Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ice Cream!

I'm not sure what got me thinking about ice cream today - really, does there need to be a reason?  Almost everyone likes ice cream, and when we like things, we're more inclined to learn about them.  Today I'm going to share some of the ways I've harnessed a love of ice cream to get kiddos learning.
My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

Disclaimer: Looking at pictures of ice cream may cause you to crave and or eat it.  I cannot be held responsible for my own ice cream eating, let alone yours! 

Every  summer we make ice cream with the children.  We read a recipe, gather ingredients, follow directions, and measure ingredients. (Keep reading for my favorite recipe!)
My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

 By the time the ice cream maker is done, the children are well and truly ready to taste it!  In the meantime, we graph which flavor we think we like the best, or if we think we will like a particular flavor.

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!
This is a great time to compare numbers: greater than, less than or equal.  Real life learning!

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!
 Sometimes we eat it in cones, sometimes in a bowl.  We usually read one of our favorite ice cream books at story time or while we're eating too.
My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

 Some years we've made a book about our ice cream experiences.  I've made a simple class book about it, which is available at  TeachersPayTeachers if you are interested.  
Ice Cream


Another fun way to extend the learning for young children is to have them cook up a batch of dough and pretend.  I grabbed bowls, cups, spoons, etc. from my toy kitchen, added dough and kiddos, and we made all kinds of delicious concoctions.  As they played and pretended, the children cooperated, worked their finger muscles (important for writing skills), spoke and listened to each other about what they were doing, and more.  Child's play is how kiddos learn, and as you can see, they were all very engaged with what they were doing.
My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!
 When we work on our letter Ii, ice cream is a sure way to help them connect the long i sound with a concrete object. I especially like pictures of ice cream with a cherry on top - I tell the children it's like the dot on top of the letter i, which helps them remember too.

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

Another fun way to get "hands on" is with ice cream puffy paint.  I found the idea on pinterest, from http://www.gettingmessywithmsjessi.com/search/label/ice%20cream.  It's just a mixture of shaving cream, white glue, and tempera paint.  The kiddos mix it up, then paint the ice cream on top of their cone.  When it dries, it is still textured, and feels beautifully soft and silky.  (We painted it with our hands too, for more sensory fun!)
My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

Some years I like to do a taste test with the children, giving them several flavors to try.  Of course, we graph which we think we will like best, and then which one they actually prefer.  The children are often surprised to discover a new favorite!

My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!
My favorite easy ice cream recipe, and how I use making ice cream to teach young children. Delicious fun!

There are so many ways to engage our students in learning, and I have to admit, I'm not above using ice cream or other food to reach them.  Here's another ice cream themed game I've made, for students who are ready to learn to tell time.
Super fun folder games for telling time - with an ice cream and ocean theme!  My kiddos will LOVE this!


There are lots more brilliant ideas about engaging students with food, I've gathered some of them on my Food and Nutrition Pinterest board - I hope you'll check it out!

As promised, here's my favorite recipe!  It was hand written on the back of an envelope by one of my daycare mommies years ago, so I can't tell you who wrote it, but I can absolutely tell you we love it!

In your ice cream machine, put 2 or 3 cans of sweetened condensed milk, 1 or 2 cans of evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring, fruit or chocolate chips as you prefer, and then top off to the fill line with milk.  Churn until done, then EAT!

I'd love to hear how you engage your students too.  In the meantime, I'm off to find some ice cream!

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