Ice Cream Sensory Play
'Ice Cream Shop'
This month we are exploring our senses under the tasty 'Ice Cream Shop' theme. You can take part too by tagging your ideas on instagram using #osk_icecream
Our Sensory Story Sack
We are starting off our theme by telling a multi-sensory story all about Ice Cream!
We have chosen this beautiful story 'Izzy the Ice Cream Fairy' by Tim Bugbird because it has wonderful illustrations and works perfectly with the wooden toys in our story sack for sale in our shop. You can also mix and match the items you desire by searching the pick 'n' mix' section of our shop.
We lay out all of the props we need in order. The adult reads the story and hands the props around the circle in turn. Allow the children to explore each object as it comes around. Multi-sensory stories help keep interest in a story and help add context to stories around words and concepts that the children may not have had access too. It also amuses fidgety hands!
Ice Cream Bowling
Kate @early_years_mummy used our Physical Development activity idea of using our hand painted wooden ice cream balls to practise rolling towards the cone targets! How fun does this look! I love the addition of the numbers 1-10 for a bit of number recognition as you roll too!
You can purchase these wooden ice cream balls from our shop at www.oursensorykids.com/shop
Coloured Rice Sprinkles
We coloured our rice using pastel shades to use through out our ice cream month. Here we filled up our tuff tray to practise filling and emptying our ice cream tubs.
Filling and emptying is used in Early Years Framework to support children to understand quantity, weight and amounts.
A fun game for really early learners is to fill up the tub with rice then say "Ready Steady...." when they initiate a response by giving you eye contact or by gesturing say "GO!" and pour the rice into the tray letting it spray. This will act as early counting for these kiddos as well as learning to repeat as action. Both very important skills for early maths.
For higher ability children, you could request a specific amount of rice in each tub by weight or by counting spoons into the tubs. You can make this as complicated as you need to suit your child's needs.
You can find the recipe to make coloured rice sprinkles on our recipe card in our shop.
We also used our sensory tray for a writing exercise. We filled it using coloured sand. A wonderful resource, great for practising mark making!
We first practised writing lines and shapes. Then we copied words into the sand. Just shake the tray to smooth out the sand and start again if you make a mistake.
We purchase our coloured sand from Baker Ross ltd.
As we explore our sensory play we also like to play music in the background. Our Aural sense is one that we often forget so we have created a playlist of our favourite ice cream songs for your enjoyment.
The first in the playlist is ice cream van songs. It is our favourite to play in the background as we read our sensory story. It really sets the scene and gets your mouth watering for yummy ice cream!
We also like to learn new Makaton signs with each of our themes. It is a great way to introduce your adults and children to new words. It also supports children of all ages and abilities to use actions.
Here is the wonderful 'Singing Hands' on YouTube teaching us how to sign 'ice cream'.
Ice Cream Gloop
@nahdz_adventures and @lnnally have created the most beautiful ice cream gloop using food colouring, cornflour and water. It has the strangest consistency and is so fun to explore!
Find the full recipe on our recipe cards in our shop.
Ice Cream Massage
One of my favourite activities with my sensory class was at the end of each day we would have a themed sensory massage. Its such a wonderful calming session in which we explored the theme using our senses.
We all sat in a circle and rotated the following activities so every child was exploring something with no waiting time.
TOUCH: Feel cold reusable ice cubes.
SIGHT: Explore coloured pastel materials over your head or on your lap.
SMELL: Use vanilla/chocolate/strawberry scented oils or creams to massage into your own or your partners hands or feet.
HEAR: Listen to our "ice cream shop" playlist on youtube int he background as you explore.
TASTE: Taste chocolate chips or have your own tub of ice cream to try.
It is a wonderful way of engaging children in a theme like this if they are not allowed to actually taste the foods for medical reasons. It is completely all inclusive. I love that.
Writing in Sprinkles
@raising.kingley created this wonderful writing invitation using sprinkles!
Just use your finger tip to recreate the letters. You could also use a wider board to enable you to spell our words if you needed to.
By writing with your finger tip you are using both sides of your brain. This supports your visual and movement memory helping you to develop your writing and spelling skills. This is particularly great for children with Dyslexia or poor fine motor skills.
Ice Cream Shop
Stained Glass Windows
This kit is included in our Pick 'n' Mix shop and I love it so much. It's mega easy for little hands to place the pre-cut tissue paper pieces onto the laminated ice cream cut out.
However messy and overlapping they always look mega cute on the window or totally mesmerising on a light box!
Shaving Foam Ice Cream
@early_years_mummy and I created this wonderful shaving foam set up! I can just image the messy fun that was had!
We purchase our shaving foam from our local supermarket for 50p per can! Mega cheap and so much fun. Don't be worried about the mess either. Shaving foam is really easy to clean as the foamy bubbles pop away and disappear after a while or when wiped away.
Perfect to create your own whipped ice cream with water bead sprinkles!
Healthy Ice Cream recipe
We have been experimenting with healthy alternatives to ice cream as we prepare for our theme this month.
As you can see this particular one was an absolute winner!
Ingredients: Blackened bananas, 0% fat greek yoghurt, banana chips.
Method: Blend Bananas and yoghurt together in equal quantities. The more fruit, then the sweeter it will be. Stir in the banana chips. Freeze over night in a medium cold freezer. You're good to go!
(We also used berries and yoghurt and its just as good!)
Playdough Ice Cream
@artful_play have recreated icecream using play dough! How realistic does it look!? We have our own recipe for play dough ice cream found on our recipe cards in our shop.
This stuff is great for kids to create their own ice cream parlour. You can make all sorts of colours and scents too! It's mega soft and smells amazing as we use conditioner and cornflour to make ours. (Which makes it a great alternative play dough for gluten allergies too!)
Pastel Puffy Paint
@sierraandtherenas created these perfect puffy ice cream pictures. We were inspired to create our own puffy paint recipe to include in our story sack. You can find how we make ours by getting your hands on our recipe card.
This paint is such amazing stuff. It dries puffy too! It has the consistency of candy floss! Great for classroom wall displays and for adding extra sensory goodness to arts and crafts activities!
Cotton Pad ice cream art
This is a mega cute one! Just stick round cotton pads onto your cone picture. We went for the classic three scoops but you could have a whole rainbow tower if you wanted too!
You mix food colouring and water to create your colours and use pipettes to transfer the coloured water to your cotton pad.
Great to develop fine motor skills and two-step tasks. This could also be used as a colour mixing lesson.
Cutlery Tray invitation
I have seen lots of wooden cutlery tray invitations all over Instagram and Pinterest and they always look mega inviting! I thought i would have a go myself.
I set up a colour rice ice cream shop and it was irresistible to these little hands! I had to "try" each flavour and kept going back for more.
We used it as a communication session, but you could also include coins and have it as a money maths type lesson so easily! It would make for a wonderful role play activity amongst friends.
Tuff Tray Sensory Play
It doesn't take long to set up and it isn't expensive. I purchased most of these items from my local pound shop/ dollar store. The more colourful and fruity the better for this tray!
My kiddos were nervous to break up the sharp lines at first, but once I got scooping they were straight in! We filled and emptied until our hearts were content.
A lovely remember that sensory play doesn't have to be expensive- in fact thats kind of the point.