I'm a preschool teacher and as a fun lesson for my class before they move up into the 5's room, I decided to do ice cream. What could be more fun as a year end lesson than ice cream? But I have very few ice cream toys for the dramatic play center. I looked online to buy some, but the sets I found were 1) pretty expensive and 2) would cause sharing issues for the few parts they came with. Then I realized I could make my own set -- DUH -- and get back into being crafty after a busy year and absence from my hobby.
I found some tutorials from other parents/teachers that made ice cream playsets but those all involved sewing, and sad as it is, I don't know how to sew! (But I would like to because I have been dying to make matching pajamas for the whole family!) So I really had to get inventive with this set because all I had to hold it together was my trusty glue gun.
This is just a quick picture I took to share with a friend, but I will take more later to get shots of the entire playset and individual parts.
So the first part...and most important...the ice cream scoops. I took foam balls and cut them in half. Then I glued felt around the halves. I put the ice cream in tupperware bowls, but I have plans to use old ice cream containers for each flavor.
The popsicles were made with toilet paper rolls covered in felt. I flattened the rolls and then bent them in half to look more like popsicles, then just glued them shut with the sticks inside. The popsicles are kept inside a poptart box that I rewrapped.
I got some tupperware containers for the brown string (chocolate syrup) and red pompoms (cherries). The whipped cream is stuffing. I did clean out a whipped cream and chocolate syrup bottle for them to use, too.
The sprinkles are made from dyed rice and then put inside an empty sprinkles container. I put a piece of contact paper inside the lid and then glued that shut so I won't have to worry about rice everywhere in the classroom, but they will still be able to open it and pretend to shake the sprinkles out.
And finally...the ice cream cones were made out of the remaining tupperware containers that I had purchased to hold the string and cherries. I was having a hard time figuring out how to make ice cream cones that would survive hours (and years!) of play. I tossed around the idea of cutting water bottles down to size, but I didn't know if the plastic would really hold up...and the sharp edges might cut through the felt. So while I'm frustrated and at a loss, because how can I have an ice cream play shop with no cones, I see those tupperware containers just sitting there staring at me. I wrapped them with felt too and an old rewrapped tampon box is the perfect size for the 4 cones!
I found green bowls at Walmart. (I also found matching colored ice cream scoops!) A pack of 4 bowls was less than $2 and the scoops were under $1. I also found a clear tub with matching green handles that the entire set fits into (what everything is sitting on in the picture). I love things that match. This set was so much fun to make!