Earlier this year, we set up a gorgeous Ice Cream Shop in our living room! It was such a popular play space for both of our children. Today I want to share some photos of our play area which will hopefully inspire you to set up an Ice Cream Shop dramatic play area in your classroom or home too!
I started by going through all of our dramatic play materials and collecting all the items we could use in our Ice Cream Shop. I found some gorgeous milkshake cups and sundae bowls from a play set we already had which I knew would be perfect for our shop!
Next we headed to the shops and grabbed a few extra things like our ice cream scoops and plastic containers for the ice cream from Kmart! I also ordered a beautiful wooden Make Me Iconic ice cream set from My Sweet Fox. Then I created all of our printable signs and labels which you can grab from my shop right here. Then it was time to set up!
I made some bottles for our cream, sauce and sprinkles using containers from around the house. I used a shaving cream can which I covered in cardboard for our cream. Then the sauce bottle was just a cheap bottle from our dollar shop. We had some spare spice jars in our pantry which I filled with beads for our sprinkles!
We also found some great little dessert bowls at Kmart which we perfect to add to our collection! Lilly also helped me to make some cones out of brown cardboard and tape!
After searching Pinterest for ideas, I ended up getting my handy husband to build us our very own market stand! You can read the DIY instructions right here. He did such an amazing job and we use it in all of our dramatic play spaces now!
I made some simple DIY ice cream using some rolled up coloured tissue paper for each of the flavours. By using a black felt marker, I was even able to add some choc chips! I also raided our craft stash for some pom poms which we used for cherries, nuts and extra choc chips. Then it was time to hang up all the printables and signs ready for play!
It was so funny watching our little learners interact and play in their Ice Cream Shop together! Even our 18 month old got in on the fun and had some milkshakes and bowls of ice cream! It was also lovely to see our almost 4 year old, Lilly, getting in some pre-writing practise as she filled in the customer order forms.
There are so many opportunities to learn through play when imagining in these types of dramatic play spaces! Our children can begin to develop an understanding of measurement as they fill and empty their bowls. They can practise counting and one-to-one correspondence as they count out scoops of ice cream. Familiarity and an understanding of how we exchange money for items is another wonderful benefit of dramatic play! And that’s just some of the mathematical benefits of imaginative play!
As children engage in dramatic play, they are also building content specific vocabulary and building their oral language skills. When they play beside other children, they also have numerous opportunities to develop problem solving and social skills. As our children play surrounded by labels and signs, they are also developing and understanding of concepts of print! So. Many. Benefits.
Our children had an absolute blast playing in our ice cream shop and I just know your little learners will love this set up too! You can grab a copy of the printables and labels seen in this post over in my store!