Dramatic Play Ice Cream Shop Small World

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Children learn so much through playful experiences! When kids play, they are building both social-emotional skills and academic skills. Play is learning! And one of my Kindergarteners’ favorite areas of our room to learn and play in is our sensory bin center. They also absolutely love our dramatic play area too! So two worlds collided perfectly with this Dramatic Play Ice Cream Shop Small World!

*For even more hands-on learning fun, grab our Play and Learn with Manipulatives Bundle for Pre-K & Kindergarten!

Make a Dramatic Play Ice Cream Shop Small World and your students can take orders and make ice cream while having tons of fun!

Dramatic Play Ice Cream Shop Small World

When I am setting up any sensory activity, I first need to decide how I want to store my supplies. For this Ice Cream Shop, I used a plastic storage container. They are wonderful because they have matching lids. This makes it easy for me to quickly pack up and store my sensory bins. They don’t have to be very big either to have a lot of fun packed in!

For this Ice Cream Shop I used a plastic storage container for my sensory bin.

Inside the sensory 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 likely stay more intact.

I placed a real ice cream scoop as well as some 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 the sensory bin, I added cotton balls for ice cream, pom poms for cherries, and sequins for sprinkles.

RELATED RESOURCE: Write It! Bakery Writing Center Activities

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 depending on what you have on hand!

Invitation to Play

To set up the “Ice Cream Shop,” I set out the ice cream bin, empty bowls, and also a fun printable order form (download below) for the kids to write the orders on!

I placed the order form in a dry erase pocket sleeve. This makes it reusable plus my kiddos love using dry erase markers to write with!

To play, I set out ice cream bowls, spoons, and a fun printable order form for the kids to write the orders on!

When it was time to play, we took turns taking ice cream orders from our friends, writing the orders on the form, and filling them.

After playing in the ice cream shop together for a little bit, I left the kids to play and interact as they wanted because that’s what play is all about!

I placed the order form in a dry erase pocket sleeve and gave the kids dry erase markers to write the ice cream orders.

To clean up, we put things inside their bowls, put them all in the container, and closed the lid. So easy!

This step is also great for their fine motor skills to have to pick out any lost sequins or separate the pom poms before we put the sensory bin away.

To clean up, we put the supplies inside their bowls and put them all in the sensory bin container,

This Small World Ice Cream Shop is sure to add endless amounts of fun to your classroom sensory play!

Grab the FREE Order Form

Ready for some pretend play ice cream fun? Get your free copy of the printable Ice Cream Shop Order Form by clicking the large, yellow download button at the end of the post!

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Dramatic Play Ice Cream Shop Small World


    1. Thanks Kathleen! The kids definitely love to play in small worlds! I am hoping to incorporate more this year too!

  1. Great idea, Alex! I love the idea of using white pom poms rather than the usual cotton balls. And I love the order form too… your kids must love that!

    1. Thank so much Liz! I definitely found the white pom poms to work better than cotton! The kids do love to take “orders” 🙂

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