So, for a while now I have wanted to set up some sort of a café or restaurant for my kids to play with. The older two were getting bored with the play kitchen and plastic food, but they love imaginative play. When my oldest daughter broke her arm and finally got her cast off the doctor said a good way to regain strength in that arm was to play with play dough, so it all started to come together. What would be simple to make out of play dough that all the kids would enjoy? Ice cream! You can never go wrong with ice cream.
First, we made 5 batches of playdough to be our 5 flavors of ice cream. I used some bright food coloring we had on hand. Here is the best recipe we have found for play dough that lasts and is super easy to make. http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/206/play-dough
Next, we took a trip to the dollar store to pick up some supplies and we found almost everything we needed without spending a fortune.
- ice cream scoops
- 5 plastic tubs with lids
- ice cream bowls in sets of 4 that came with small spoons
- straws to cut into sprinkles
- more straws to use as decoration
- pom poms for toppings
- brown yarn for chocolate syrup
- cotton balls for whip cream
- candles for birthday celebrations
- small pad and pen for taking orders
- decorative containers for toppings and equipment
- small serving tray
- popsicle sticks for “ice pops”
A few other things we collected for the shop:
- A desk bell to alert customers when their orders were ready (the kids love yelling, “Order up!”)
- An old phone for taking phone orders
- The kids cash register
- A tip jar
- Plastic ice cream cones from Amazon
It was fun to involve the kids in the process of setting up the ice cream parlor. They chose a name for their shop, and decorated a sign for the front counter. Then they came up with names for their daily ice cream flavors and we wrote them on the easel so that they can erase them and come up with new ones when they feel inspired.
Finally, we got all the toppings ready and organized, and then it was time to open shop! The kids have been playing with this non-stop since we set it up. They love pretending to get phone orders for big parties and helping their customers make special creations. We even found a role for my 1 ½ year old, he became the delivery truck man using his toy car. This activity will provide you will countless hours of fun this summer.