Kids love ice cream, and kids love play dough, so we’ve combined the two, and come up with this Play Dough Ice Cream Shop! It’s a terrific pretend play great for keeping toddlers and preschoolers entertained, learning and developing their fine motor skills!
The hooligans LOVE homemade playdough, and we’ve done a ton of creative pretend play activities with play dough over the years. Homemade play dough is so easy to make I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. I had it in my head that we’d make something kind of “yummy” with today’s batch, and it was a beautiful day so we took it outside and set up an play dough ice cream shop.
Anna from The Imagination Tree has the best collection of homemade playdough recipes. She’s my go-to girl whenever I need to make any kind of dough for my daycare. I used her “Best Ever No-Cook Play-dough Recipe”. It’s very easy to make, super-soft, and it stays fresh for months.
We played with ours outside all day, and it sat out on the table, under the tree during naptime, and it was still soft and supple when we returned to it later in the afternoon!
Now, we have a decent assortment of Play-Doh brand play-sets: burger makers, sundae machines, barber shops etc., but the Hooligans love it best when I set out an assortment of random items for them to add to their playdough. Here’s what I set out for them today:
Glass beads and chopped up coloured straws. These became chocolate chips, smarties and sprinkles. The youngest hooligans find it easy and satisfying to press the beads into the dough, and one little one enjoyed transferring the beads from jar to jar with a small spoon.
Coloured wooden sticks. I’m not quite sure what these are technically called. One of my daycare moms donated a shoebox full of them a few years ago, and they come in handy at times like this when we need some small loose items.
Real sundae glasses for the older hooligans to fill. Kids love to play with “the real thing”, so when you can, offer them some authentic pieces at play-time.
Scissors! Cutting playdough is a GREAT way to introduce scissors to your little one, and a super way for them to develop their cutting skills.
Good, old-fashioned fun. Just the way we like it. 🙂
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.