Children learn so much through playful experiences. They are building social-emotional skills, and academics too!
Play is learning, and one of my Kindergarteners’ favorite areas of our room to learn and play in is the sensory bin. They also absolutely love the dramatic play area.
So two worlds collided perfectly with this Ice Cream Shop Small World!
Making an Ice Cream Shop Small World
First, to store my supplies in, I used these Sterilite I.D boxes – They are wonderful because they have dry erase labels, making it easy for me to quickly pack and label my sensory bins! This size is 10.2 Qt – it really isn’t big at all, and a lot of fun is packed in!
Inside the bin I placed several white pom poms (the kind you can get at craft stores or sometimes even the dollar store) for the “ice cream”. Cotton balls could work too, I just feel like these will stay more in tact.
I placed a real ice cream scoop in there that I had around, as well as the small ice cream bowls that I had purchased previously. You of course can use any type of bowl or container. After all, this is all about imagination!
Inside two of the ice cream bowls I placed red pom poms (for the “cherries”) and sequins (for the “sprinkles”). I had these supplies in my teacher closet, but you can often find them at dollar stores or craft stores for a decent price as well. You can also use your imagination and replace the “ingredients” with others!
Invitation to Play
To set up the “shop” – I set out the ice cream bin, empty bowls, and also a fun order form for the kids to take orders on!
(You can grab the form for free at the end of the post.)
I stuck the form in a dry erase pocket for repeated use, but you could offer it as paper and pencil as well.
Playing with the Ice Cream Shop Small World
Really, after the invitation to play, your child or students can take this anyway they want to – that’s what play is all about! But here is an example of how we play.
We take the orders of our friends….
….and have fun filling them!
To clean up, we put things inside their bowls, put it all in the container, and close the lid! Easy! Plus, it is great for their fine motor to have to pick out any lost sequins or separate the pom poms!
Grab the FREE Order Form
Ready for some pretend play ice cream fun? Grab the free Ice Cream Shop printable by clicking the large, yellow download button below!