“Ice Cream” Play Dough

My kids love playing ice cream shop!

They have a magical ability to manifest imaginary ice cream out of nothing and turn any location into an ice cream parlor. In fact, on the first day of preschool, my son claimed “ice cream man” as his dream job.

My kids are seriously dedicated to ice cream, but who isn’t?

With summer here, I wanted to do a little something to enhance their experience with the fantasy ice cream business. I know there are a number of Play-Doh sets themed after ice cream shops, but we honestly have enough Play-Doh related tools and the color of the dough turns ugly after a few minutes of manipulation by a toddler.

And, to be completely honest, I recently discovered a really cool way to make non-toxic play dough, and I wanted to see if it works.

Surprisingly, it worked extremely well!

The ingredients might be a little intimidating for parents, especially those of the healthy variety. It seems like the consistency should be pretty sticky and gross, and it is certainly a lot of sugar to put in front of kids. However, this worked out significantly better than I thought. The texture of the dough matched pretty closely with traditional Play-Doh, and since I didn’t tell my kids (right away) how I made the dough, eating it didn’t occur to them…

Except that my son asked me about the ingredients, and I didn’t want to lie.

But! The end result is so sickeningly sweet, he didn’t eat anymore beyond an initial taste test. My daughter, on the other hand, kept licking her “ice cream”, but after only a few licks she got sick of the taste rather quickly.

This activity was easy to set up, and it kept my kids entertained for hours. Sure, they could (and often do) play ice cream shop with nothing more than their imaginations, but every now and then it’s fun to make their fantasies come alive!

What You Need:

Store bought frosting
Powdered sugar
Optional:
Food coloring
Ice cream scooper
Small aluminum loaf containers
Sprinkles
Ice cream cones

Instructions:

Choose frosting that matches the colors you want. We bought a pink, a purple, and a white (which we turned into a minty blue). If you’re wanting to create your own color out of the white frosting, mix in the food coloring before adding powdered sugar.

Using a spoon, mix your powdered sugar and frosting together. The ratio should be 1:3 (for every 1 cup of frosting, add 3 cups of powdered sugar). If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle in more powdered sugar until it reaches a similar texture as Play-Doh. Eventually, the frosting will clump, and you may need to knead the dough with your hands once it is no longer gooey and sticky.

To really heighten the experience, put the “ice cream” dough in aluminum loaf tins. Give the kids an ice cream scoop (it scoops wonderfully!), sprinkles (or maybe confetti or something else that can substitute sprinkles), and ice cream cones. Don’t forget bowls and spoons as well!

While this recipe does not last forever, it did keep my kids entertained for a couple of days before we had to toss it. But, it’s so easy, I can definitely do this again without stress!

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