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Ice Cream Theme Ideas for Home and School

Photo by wonderlane (flickr.com)

July is National Ice Cream Month, so what better way to celebrate this delicious observance than with some ice cream inspired recipes and activities. If you teach year-round or are responsible for planning summer camp activities, some of the ideas below can also be incorporated into your lesson plans. The summer just got sweeter with these fun-filled and tasty ideas!

Making Ice Cream

In our Easy Month of Meals for July feature we included a simple and inexpensive recipe for Ice Cream in a Bag. If you have never tried it with your class or your own children, collect the simple ingredients from around the kitchen and get started shaking. You will have the most delicious, creamiest ice cream around and your children will have a blast making it.

Ice Cream Trivia

Have you ever wondered how many gallons of milk it takes to make one gallon of ice cream? Do you know how and why the first ice cream cones came about? If you are a trivia buff, or want some interesting facts for your summer ice cream theme bulletin board, check out IceCream.com. In addition to trivia, they also have ice cream recipes and an ice cream compatibility test.

Ice Cream Place mat

Decorate your dining room table or outdoor patio with child-created ice cream place mats. Use large sheets of white construction paper or tag board as the place mat base. Have children cut out ice cream cone bases and glue them on their paper. Encourage them to use colors that represent their favorite ice cream flavors when they cut out the ice cream scoops. Single scoops, double scoops or even triple scoops are all fine. Label the place mats with each child’s name and laminate them with clear contact paper or a laminating machine. Whether at home or at school, children will love dining with their new ice cream place mats.

Really Good Stuff Ice Cream Erasers

Ben and Jerry’s has some fun and kid-friendly games on their website. They range from navigating an Eco-friendly vehicle to a concert to lining up ice cream ingredients in a Tetris-like game. Geared more for home use, your own children may enjoy playing the games and reading about the variety of ice cream flavors that Ben and Jerry’s offers.

Read About Ice Cream

Some say that children’s book authors are kids at heart, so it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of children’s books about ice cream. Read some of the ones below to your class, camp group or your children for some creamy cold inspiration!

  • Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream Shop by H.A. Rey
  • Ice Cream: The Full Scoop by Gail Gibbons
  • Wemberly’s Ice Cream Star by Kevin Henkes
  • Ice Cream Mystery (A Boxcar Children Book) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Ice Cream by Elisha Cooper

There are not many months when indulging in large amounts of your favorite summer treat is not only acceptable, but expected. Whatever you do to celebrate National Ice Cream Month, enjoy. Leave a comment below if you have a special activity or party centered around an ice cream theme. We would love to hear about it!


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12 comments
Lori Archer
Lori Archer

Thanks for the cute ideas. I have another book that talkes about milk going through the process to make icecream but I can't remember the title. Isn't there also a episode of curiuos goerge that would go along with this?

Julie Keown
Julie Keown

I used to have a bulletin board of boring words on ice cream cones. Every time we encountered a more interesting word, we would put a flavor on the cone. For example, the cone would have the word "said" and the flavors would be replied, answered, whispered, shouted, etc.

Jessica Berggren
Jessica Berggren

It's 8:00 in the morning and now I want to eat Ice cream!! thanks for the great placemat idea and titles.

Cheryl Ener
Cheryl Ener

What great ideas to start off the school year!

Jill
Jill

Wellness policies keep ice cream out of the classroom in our town! However, if you turn making ice cream into a science experiment... :-D Carla, just search "ice cream in a bag" and you will find lots of recipes!

Carla
Carla

That ice cream in a bag sounds like a cute idea. My own kids would love to do that. Can Jennifer put the directions up on this blog? Also...I love Really Good Stuff's little ice cream erasers. I am ordering a bunch.

Jen
Jen

I haven't used it in my own classroom yet, but when I was student teaching my cooperating teacher had a bulletin board where each child had their own ice cream cone. For each book the kids read, they earned another scoop of ice cream on their cone. When the kids earned 10 scoops they got a homework pass, and 25 scoops got them a homework pass. It was really cute to see how excited the kids were to add a scoop to their cone.

janine
janine

We have made tin can ice cream and the kids love it. The love the rolling of the cans to make the ice cream.

Mary Jacobs
Mary Jacobs

I love ice cream! I incorporate that into the classroom. I make a BB with ice-cream cones and the students get a "scoop" of ice-cream when they have mastered a fact level. This could be used for addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Once the students have mastered up to 10, they are rewarded with an ice-cream party. The BB looks great too!

Christine Hagerman-Holm
Christine Hagerman-Holm

This might be my unit for the second week. We go back to school the first week in August, so it will be hot! This will be a fun way to get my students interested in school and cool down! great ideas!

Jennifer C
Jennifer C

For the summer I keep busy with ESY and we just made ice cream in a bag on Friday! The students had so much fun and it really was educational! They had to follow instructions, wait their turn, measure, and use their OT skills to shake the mixture until it turned into ice cream!! It was a fun activity for a hot day!

Barb J
Barb J

Wow! I never thought to use ice cream as the focus of a small unit. I love the trivia questions! It is also great that you gave us a list of ice cream related books. I can't wait to find and read them!