I Scream, You Scream, We ALL Scream for Ice Cream! This frosty theme page includes preschool lesson plans, activities and Interest Learning Center ideas for your Preschool Classroom!
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Themed Art Ideas
Materials needed: a cone shape and 3 scoop or circle shapes for each child; crayons
The children color the scoops their favorite "flavored" color and glue on top of their cone.
VARIATION: Marble paint the scoops by placing them in a shallow lid, drop a few drops of their favorite colors of paint and roll a marble back and forth by moving the lid!
Ice Pop Painting
Materials Needed: Popsicle molds, powdered tempera paint, paper
Mix powdered paint with water. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze.
Use them to paint on paper! As they melt, awesome colors appear on the paper!
VARIATION: If you don't have popsicle molds, use same mixture and pour into ice cube trays. Cover tray with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Poke craft sticks into foil or plastic in each cube compartment. Freeze.
Creamy Dessert Art
In 3 separate bowls, mix equal parts of white glue and shaving cream.
Add a few drops of brown paint to one bowl and mix (chocolate ice cream!)
Add a few drops of red paint to another (strawberry).
Add a drop of yellow to the other (vanilla).
Let children fingerpaint onto paper.
Give them precut ice cream cones to add to their masterpieces!
EXTENSION: Precut toppings for them to add (cherries, sprinkles, etc.).
Scoop It Up!
IN advance, draw bowls that are about 4 inches tall.
Provide different colors of scrap construction paper or tissue paper.
Provide scissors, glue sticks and an 8 1/2 X 11 inch plain paper.
The children cut out and glue the paper bowl onto the plain paper.
They cut or tear the paper and add to make their own ice cream sundae!
Themed Block Center Ideas
Thank you, Tamara, for these ideas!
Since ice cream comes from cows, we made a corral out of blocks and created a dairy farm using the cows from our farm animal set.
You could also build and ice cream store or stand with the blocks.
Themed Circle Time Ideas
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
Where Does It Come From?
Most children will be surprised that ice-cream comes from......cows!
Cow to Ice Cream
After reading this book, let the children milk a cow! Obtain a non-latex glove (many children have allergies to latex).
Fill it with milk (or water mixed with white paint).
Hold it over a tray.
Poke a pin hole in the tip of one or two fingers.
The children squeeze to milk the cow!
Hippity Hop to the Ice-Cream Shop!
In advance, cut out different colors of ice cream scoop shapes from flannel or felt. (Make multiple of each color).
Have a felt board at your circle time area.
Lay all the colors out on the floor.
Say the following rhyme:
"Hippity hop to the ice-cream shop. Which flavor would you like?"
One child chooses a color and names the flavor (remember, yellow could be vanilla, banana or butter pecan!).
The child places it on the flannel board as you and the other children clap out the syllables of the child's flavor.
EXTENSION: Follow this up with a song I found from Jean Warren:
Thank You Cows Song Sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb
Thank you, cows,
For the milk we drink, milk we drink, milk we drink.
Thank you, cows, for the milk we drink.
We say MOOO to you!
Thank you, cows for the ice cream we love.......
My Favorite--Charting the Flavors
In advance, prepare a chart to have at circle time.
List each child's name in a column on the left.
Ask each child what their favorite flavor is and write it next to their name.
EXTENSION: Based on their favorites, purchase each flavor for a follow up taste test!
5 Ice Cream Cones
Finger play (could also be made into a flannel board story!)
Five little ice-cream cones at the ice cream shop
But no one wanted to buy them with vanilla on top
One little cone took some time to think
It mixed in some bubblegum and turned itself pink!
Four little ice-cream cones at the ice cream shop
But no one wanted to buy them with vanilla on top
Then one little cone knew what it should do
It mixed in some blueberries and turned itself blue.
Three little ice-cream cones at the ice cream shop
But no one wanted to buy them with vanilla on top
One little ice cream was a smart little fellow
It mixed in some lemonade and turned itself yellow.
Two Little ice-cream cones at the ice-cream shop
But no one wanted to buy them with vanilla on top.
One little ice-cream got an idea in its head
It mixed in some strawberries and turned itself red.
One little ice-cream cone at the ice-cream shop
But no one wanted to buy it with vanilla on top
Alone and sad, it really wanted to go,
So it mixed in all the colors and made itself a rainbow!
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Theme!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Frozen Banana Blend
In advance, freeze bananas with the skins on.
Take out of freezer and remove skins right away.
Let children cut up the bananas with a plastic knife.
Add frozen bananas to blender with a little bit of water (I use a few teaspoons per each whole banana).
Blend and serve!
Banana Sherbet Pops!
3 ripe bananas
16 ounces crushed unsweetened pineapple
3 ounces unsweetened orange-juice concentrate
1/2 cup powdered milk
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend on Puree until smooth.
Pour into paper cups and freeze.
Once it is somewhat slushy, insert large craft sticks.
Slice up fruit. Place on a foil covered dish or cookie sheet and freeze.
We've used red and green grapes (remember to slice them first so they are not a choking hazard), watermelon and banana.
Themed Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area
The Everything Frozen Shop!
Set up your dramatic play area into a restaurant. But, the only thing you will serve are frozen treats! Use play food, make up menus using pictures of different types of frozen treats, bowls, spoons, aprons, bowls, etc.
Themed Ideas for your Easel--
More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
My Favorite or Favorites!
Provide different colors of paint. Provide paper with bowls or cones already glued or drawn on them. The children paint their favorite frozen treats on them!
Themed Large Group Games
that help build their muscles while they have fun together
Toss the Scoops
Materials needed: different colored socks and large bins.
Toss the flavors for fun into bins. OR, if you want to color match, choose bins or large bowls to match the colored socks!
VARIATION: Place a large, thick foam board (thick poster board) against the wall.
Cover it with strips of velcro (hook side).
Wrap the balled up socks in the loop side of the velcro.
Provide the socks used above and let the children ride their bikes or ride on toys to deliver frozen treats to their friends.
Kick the Can---into Ice-Cream!
Materials needed: Small coffee cans, large coffee cans (both with lids); heavy cream, light cream, 1 egg, sugar, vanilla extract,
Mix 1 cup each of heavy and light cream, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl. Pour into small ice cream can. Cover with lid and tape lid on.
Place small can into large coffee can.
Pack the large coffee can with a mixture of ice cubes or crushed ice and 1 cup of table salt.
Cover large can and tape lid on.
Kick the can! Do this or at least 5 minutes!
VARIATION: Rather than small and large cans, use small and large ziplock baggies and shake, shake, shake!
Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom
Book Suggestions for the Library
Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream Shop by H. A. Rey and Margaret Rey
From Cow to Ice Cream by Margaret Rey
Ice Cream: The Full Scoop by Gail Gibbons
The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger
Wemberly's Ice Cream Star by Kevin Henkes
Themed Activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!
Cone Match Up!
In advance, make cones with scoops of ice-cream--single, double and triple scoops. Make each scoop different colors or patterns. Make 2 of each pattern you make.
You will make many, many pairs of these!
The children can match them up or you can use it as a memory or concentration type game!
Scoop It Up!
Materials needed: Different colors of playdough, bowls, ice cream and melon scoopers
Encourage the children to count the number of scoops, scoops colors into matching colored bowls or you can number the bowls and the children place that number of scoops in the bowl.
Fill the Bowl
Provide colored pom poms, tweezers/tongs and bowls.
The children use their hand muscles to pick each pom pom up individually and place in the bowl. Great for fine motor development, eye-hand coordination and rational counting practice!
In advance, make and cut out cone shapes. Laminate.
Make and cut out scoop shapes. Laminate.
With a dry erase marker, program the cones and scoops based on what you are working on with the children:
Print different numbers on the cones and the same numbers on the scoops to match.
Print different numbers on the cones and the corresponding number of dots on the scoops to count and match.
Color Matching Scoops
Make different scoop shapes of different colors. Laminate.
Cut each in half.
Glue one half in a manila folder.
The children match by placing the other half next to it.
Themed Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
Ice-Cream Truck Bells!
Use wrist bells or hand bells to practice different rhythms and patterns of sounds.
Shake (or ring) 4 times fast.
Shake or ring 2 times slow.
Hold your hands up high while ringing.
Hold your hands down low.
Act It Out!
Have you made the Ice-Cream in a Can or a bag (listed under the Gross motor activities above)? If so, have the children act it out!
Pour in the milk. (Run in place) Now just a drop (squat down and up quickly) of vanilla. Now fit yourself into a bigger can or bag. Brrr...now lots of ice is around us! Now we are shaking! Or Now we are rolling! You get the idea!
Themed Activities for the Senses!
Frozen Treats! Thank you Gina M. for this great idea!
Add ice cubes and shaving cream to your sensory table! It's very cool! Also, add spoons or tongs and bowls for the children to scoop if they want!
The REAL Thing!
No, really! Either you or a parent has that freezer burned ice cream in the freezer! Don't throw it away! Scoop it in your sensory table for some gooey texture!
Ice Cream Castles
Provide white flour and sand castle molds or other molds to use in the table. Add red pom poms or cherries! Sure it's messy, but where else can you explore the texture of this but at preschool??!!!
Suggestion from experience: Provide shirts or aprons....this is a great outdoor activity...if indoors, do this on a carpeted area or tarp--the floor will be too slippery with flour on it!
Scoop 'Em Up! Thank you Kristen T. for this idea!
Put lots of colorful pom poms in your table along with colorful scoopers and fun bowls! Our kids LOVE it!
Themed Science Activities--
for your Preschool Scientists in Training!
It Doesn't Take All Day...or DOES It?
Place 2 bowls out. Place ice cubes in one and ice cream in another.
Discuss what they are, how they are made etc.
Ask what they think will happen if we leave these bowls out all day?
Write down their answers.
Check on the bowl throughout the morning or day and write down their comments!
EXTENSION: Make a journal for each child so they can document what happens throughout the day (they may draw, or scribble or ask you to write what they say).
NON-edible but Way COOL Frozen Texture!
Materials needed: hair conditioner, corn starch, food coloring, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, strawberry extract
Mix together 3/4 cup of conditioner with 1 1/2 cups of corn starch.
Add cocoa powder (chocolate ice cream) to one bowl of this mixture.
Add vanilla and no color to another.
Add red coloring and strawberry extract to another.
Add banana extract and yellow coloring to another.
Make up more "flavors".
The mixture should be pliable! When done making, provide muffin tins and scoopers for the children to use and manipulate it!
EXTENSION: For your older preschoolers, you could make rebus cards--they are picture cards--so they can choose one "flavor" to make.
Set up the ingredients like an assembly line with the cards.
You'll have a card that shows the number "1" and a picture of a measuring cup (for the conditioner).
Another card might have the number "3" on it with a picture of three measuring cups and then you provide a 1/2 cup measuring cup (for the corn starch).
The children go down the line adding the ingredients you have pictured.
Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Theme!
Once Upon A Time
Provide Ice Cream stickers and crayons. The children make a picture and tell a story (which you write down) about their ice cream's adventure!
Miscellaneous Activities for Your Theme!
Visit a Dairy Farm
Visit an Ice Cream Shop
Invite the owner of an Ice Cream truck to come talk to the children and give a tour of their truck...and of course a treat!
Have an Ice Cream Social with the families.
This would be a great way to have an Open House! Invite family, friends and others interesting in preschool to come check you all out!
The children can help tell visitors everything they've learned about this treat!
Hang pictures and stories your children have made all around the room!
For an extra touch, try dipping an inflated (non-latex) balloon into melted chocolate chips. Let dry and remove balloon for a chocolate cup to serve in!
You can do the same with plastic spoons! Dip them in the chocolate, let them dry and use the spoons to eat with!