Here’s an activity that will a) cool the kids off; b) provide sensory play; c) fire up the imagination; and d) give them a yummy snack! I told the kids they were going to open up their own sno cone stand, and the excitement began.
I set out a tray of crushed ice (an easy task thanks to our fridge filtration system, but a blender can do this for you, too), then added ice cream scoops.
For “cones”, we folded conic shapes from craft foam. These turned out to be very easy to break, so next time I would probably stick to little plastic bowls.
All they needed now were fruit syrups to flavor the ice! For these, I simply pureed fruits in the blender. We had pink from strawberries and deep purple from a mix of blueberries and blackberries.
If you have condiment squirt bottles, those would be perfect to use here! I gave the kids paper cups filled with each syrup instead, along with plastic spoons.
As with a recent nature soup activity, I loved that this game could engage both my toddler and 1st grader in different ways. For Veronika, it was all about the sensory aspects. First she just loved spooning through the ice.
When she tasted plain ice, she copied big brother and said, “It’s yummy!” but I don’t think she really thought so.
“It’s cold!” she added instead, looking confused. So we showed her how to spoon the berry syrup on top of her ice. Well now she couldn’t be stopped!
In retrospect I would have done this activity in just a diaper to avoid berry stains, but it was worth a few purple splotches. She was having such delicious fun I let it be.
Travis, meanwhile, enjoyed the role-play aspect of the game. He loved using the ice cream scoop to properly fill a “cone,” and then asking me for my order, adding strawberry or purple berries on top accordingly.
And of course he did lots of tasting, too!