Summer Learning – Ice Cream Playdate

We really enjoyed this ice cream playdate which included the following ice cream goodness:

  • ice cream play dough
  • an ice cream craft
  • ice cream rhyming
  • ice cream reading
  • homemade ice cream!

I believe in learning through play and figured an ice cream playdate would make a great start to our summer! Myself and a few of my friends decided that we wanted to have some fun with our Pre-school and Kindergarten age children this summer. We settled on a lot of  just for fun activities on our summer bucket list but we also wanted to include some learning. At this age I believe in learning that is mostly fun and learning through play.

A lot of the reason I chose this theme is because my eldest has been obsessed with ice cream. Ice cream clothes, pajamas and earrings to name a few! We recently switched an old piece of furniture from a puppet theatre into an Ice Cream Parlor. I found some cute cones at Lakeshore Learning, used ball pit balls for ice cream and added a few DIY’s to round things out.  We also snagged a cute sign from the Target dollar spot and added our own “flavors”. This was great pretend play in between activities while I was setting up for the next. Once I finish up a couple of details I will share the Ice Cream Parlor in all of it’s pretend play glory.

For our playdate I focused on a few fun activities to get our summer started off right!

Ice Cream Play dough:

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You really can’t beat a good sensory activity. This play dough is really neat because it actually feels (minus the cold) and looks like ice cream! It is definitely  “edible” but unless you want your child hyped up on frosting and powdered sugar tell them not to eat it ;-).

 

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Rhyming Activity:

This was a really fun activity that we were able to work on scissor skills as well as rhyming words! I found it on Teachers Pay Teachers, which if you haven’t heard of is stellar! This was an ice cream playdate win for sure.

Rhyming activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Craft:

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For my daughter this was probably one of her favorite parts because she loves anything to do with arts and crafts. This was a super simple option that still allowed for some creativity with the “toppings”. To keep things quick I cut out the cones and let each kid glue that to the page and then I had a bowl of “ice cream” (a mixture of glue and shaving cream) ready for them to scoop on top and then they added sprinkles.

 

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Reading:

We read “Should I Share My Ice Cream” By: Mo Willems which they thoroughly enjoyed. Afterwards we talked about what it means to be a good friend and how sharing is integral to that.

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Last but not least we couldn’t have an ice cream playdate without making homemade ice cream! We found a simple vanilla ice cream recipe in our ice cream maker.

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We went through the activities pretty easily and I even took a bunch of pictures with my new DSLR! Unfortunately… I’m still learning what the heck I’m doing because I used a memory card that wasn’t appropriately formatted and I lost all of those adorable pics. Super sad panda. Great example of how I TRY to DIY… and it doesn’t always work out. I hope this helps you organize a fun Ice Cream Playdate with all of the fun ideas compiled!

 

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Never say never … to Preschool anyways

I should know by now that of all people I should never say never! I truly change my mind about things ALL the time. Do you remember back when I said that I wasn’t planning on putting McKenna in preschool? Here’s the thing… I had decided that I wasn’t going to based on a few things, which you can read about here. Since then a couple of things have changed. The biggest is the addition of our sweet Drea to our family. I now know that I may have been a bit naive about what I could handle as far as teaching McKenna with another little vying for my attention.

If you recall I stated previously that I believe there are 3 reasons to put a child in Preschool:

  1. It helps children to learn their basics ahead of the game (obviously).
  2. It teaches children how to  be in social situations.
  3. It creates a setting early on for how to listen to directions, especially to someone other than the child’s parents.

A couple of things have changed for us in regards to these three areas. I’m still not concerned about McKenna’s learning skills. She is a fantastic learner and knows things I often don’t even realize. For instance, about a week ago she came to me telling me that her right leg got hurt. I was bewildered because I didn’t teach her left and right yet. I thought maybe she was just guessing but I tested her then and nearly every day I test her and she knows. I am amazed by her ability each and every day. BUT she has stopped actively working with me to learn new things. I believe it may be due to the fact that she gets less attention so when she is getting my full attention there are so many other things she wants to do with me.

In regards to being in social situations and listening to directions she has had additional opportunities (she is now in swim class and tumbling) to improve these skills but unfortunately her listening and direction following has declined. It seems to be that she is acting out in this area because she isn’t always getting my attention. Simply put, she needs more attention than I can give her and needs mental stimulation in the amounts that I used to be able to provide.

Once the decision was made I quickly went into searching for a viable option. I knew that I wanted a smaller environment so I setup to look at three different home preschools. It almost felt like a Goldilocks and the Three Bears situation. The first was super structured and they only had 2 kids (with a max capacity of 3) in the class. As much as I appreciated that I knew McKenna would get plenty of attention and learning in that environment it seemed more strict than I wanted for her. The second preschool that I went to had a ratio of waaaay too many kiddos to one adult. It was chaotic and due to the amount of children I wondered how much they were actually able to sit down and learn together. I had almost given up but went to check out the last preschool. I audibly sighed in relief when I walked in. It felt absolutely perfect. There were quite a few kids there but they had two teachers. The children were very well behaved, even though it was free play time. I knew that this was the one for us. She won’t start until the Fall but we are also participating in a loose preschool co-op for the summer which will be perfect for the time being and she talks about going to school ALL the time. Based on her excitement alone I know I made the right choice! At least until I change my mind again 😉

 

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