Ice Cream Dough and Sundae Bar

My four year old's favorite book lately has been The Ice Cream King.  He asks for it often.  So I thought it would be fun to explore ice cream and do some activities to go along with the book.

The Ice Cream King is a cute story about a little boy who drifts off into a fantasy while visiting an ice cream shop with his mom.  When the waiter crowns him with a paper crown,  he begins to imagine that he is the "Ice Cream King" in a world made up of ice cream and toppings.  It's a fun story with a sweet (no pun intended) ending.  I also love the rhyming text, the clear beginning, middle, and end, and that there is a problem/solution within the storyline.  It's perfect for working on reading comprehension skills.

{Cold} Sensory Bin

The boys and I made a base of ice cream dough and let it chill in the fridge overnight (I love how the bin came out frosted!).  To embellish, I threw in some stale ice cream cones left over from last summer, an "Ice Cream King," and a small bowl and scoop.

Ice Cream Dough

I saw a recipe for cold ice cream dough from Growing a Jeweled Rose a while back, and lately I've been seeing another recipe from Play Create Explore popping up on Pinterest.  I attempted a combo of the two with a couple extra ingredients of our own added in.  Our concoction was a lot of trial and error, and while I loved the results I would still recommend you go with one of the other tried-and-true recipes.

Ice Cream King
For lack of a better representation of the Ice Cream King, I included this Little People figure holding an ice cream cone to be our "king."  I thought it might be fun for the kids to act out the story with her, so I placed her up on an ice cream cone throne.

Sundae Bar
I made up a tray of toppings to use with our ice cream dough.  The toppings included fake chocolate and caramel sauces (recipes below),  shaving cream as whipped cream, and rainbow colored rice as sprinkles.

Chocolate Sauce
To make the pretend chocolate, I mixed brown sugar and water to a syrup-y consistency then added a some purple and green food coloring to darken it.  Looks real, huh?


The caramel sauce is a mix of a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar, a packet of instant vanilla pudding mix, and a little water (just add a little at a time until you get the right consistency).   I was so excited over how well this came out. :)

The kids had a blast making sundaes and ice cream cones! 

In the story, the little boy's imagination takes off after receiving a paper crown, so we made paper crowns to wear as they created...

Surprisingly, Max was the only one to make an ice cream cone.  My favorite part of watching them play was Max reciting the line, "Upon my throne of ice cream cones, I am the Ice Cream King!"

If I didn't know better, I would think this was real. 

Our Ice Cream King had fun sliding down whipped cream lane! 

This was supposed to be an outdoor activity, but the weather didn't cooperate.  It does make for an awesome rainy day activity though!  In hindsight, I wish I would have put a disposable tablecloth over the table.  It would have made it so easy to just fold the mess into a tablecloth and throw it out.  But clean up really wasn't that bad, and we had enough fun to make it worth it.  I even had fun making a sundae or two of my own! :)

Here are some other ice cream themed books and things you may like:

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  1. Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this!! :) What a great book-inspired activity for the kiddos to extend 'The Ice Cream King'. And what just plain FUN! Off to pin in a moment. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    1. Thank you Mary Catherine! It really was fun! :)

  2. This looks amazing!! Off to pin and share!

  3. I love this - I've been wanting to do the ice cream dough for a long while as well, but this just adds a whole new element of fun!!

    1. Thanks Lindsey! Definitely do toppings if you try it- really made the ice cream all the more fun!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I loved what you did and have definitely pinned it so I remember for our Sweet Treats Unit. I'm excited about the book recommendations too!

    Feel free to check us out at http://everystarisdifferent.blogspot.com.

    1. Thank you! I wish I would have spent some time looking at other books before we did this, "The Sundae Scoop" would have been a perfect go-along! I didn't find it until after the fact, and haven't bought it yet, but I really want to! :)

  5. This is one the cutest ideas ever---I love how you paired the activity with the book! We would love for you to share at our first Super Summer Saturday party here: http://www.thechirpingmoms.com/2013/06/super-summer-saturday-party.html!


  6. Thanks for linking up this week! Just pinned so I will remember to do this with the kids soon. Come back next Saturday for another fun Super Summer Saturday party!


  7. This is one of the cutest ideas I have seen. Such a wonderful way to encourage creative play. Pinned!

  8. What a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing at Pin It Tuesday! ~ Pary Moppins

  9. This is so awesome! It all looks VERY real! We are featuring your post tomorrow on Share It Saturday! Thanks for joining us :)
    Colleen at Sugar Aunts

  10. Your sauces look amazing! Thanks for sharing this at Mom's Library!

  11. This looks like such a fun sensory bin and go along for this book. Thanks for sharing at the After School Party.
    Kelly at Little Wonders' Days

  12. This looks like so much fun! I had never heard of cold icecream dough, I'll have to check out those recipes. Your sauces looked so real!
    Thanks for linking up at Artsy Play Wednesday. Pinned it to our group board.

  13. hi, featuring you this week on the kids co-op. my son came up to while working on the post and saw the picture and said "ooh mommy we have to do that". thanks for linking up. http://www.frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtail.com/2013/07/10-want-to-try-with-kids-activities.html

  14. What a fun unit!! I'm going to have to check out the book - too cute!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! I pinned this =)

    Hope to see you linked up again today. Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)

  15. One of the links was dead but the other link to the ice cream recipe just listed the amounts but never specified the amount of baking soda........to make a reasonable amount; how much baking soda do you need?



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