“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!

Homemade Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Living in an agricultural state, we have this trend of finding entertainment in paying other people to let us preform the work of picking produce. I know some of my Yankee friends like to poke fun of the concept, but there’s an odd satisfaction in enjoying fresh fruits I’ve picked myself. It’s also a wonderful educational experience for kids, and helps build an appreciation for where our food comes from. I enjoy the tranquility, and kids somehow find it fun and exciting. It’s totally worth it to me.

Since reading Blueberries for Sal as part of our Before Five In A Row curriculum last year, blueberry picking has been a tradition we’ve recently started to pursue every summer. We go to a small family owned farm in our area and fill a bucket with as many blueberries as we can possibly gather. Once we bring our fresh fruit home we immediately can them and add to our ever-growing-never-ending collection of homemade jam.

This year I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a lot of blueberries left over after the canning process. Considering that I’ve been in love with making homemade ice cream lately, the next idea I had for the blueberries was, of course, blueberry ice cream!

When I got around to actually making the ice cream, I decided to play around with texture and taste a little more than I intended. The result was incredibly delicious, and now a new favorite of mine. It’s rich in flavor, has a great texture, and I cannot stop eating it!

Also, if the blueberries are replaced with bananas this would make an excellent “banana pudding” ice cream!

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 tbs vanilla
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 11oz box of Nilla Waffers

Directions

Combine milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk for about two minutes, until the sugar is well dissolved.

Mix in blueberries.

Fill a zip lock bag with Nilla Waffers (I used about 3/4 of the box). Using a meat cleaver or hammer (or whatever tool you have on hand), smash the cookies to a powdery consistency.

Mix the cookie powder in with the ice cream mix.

Prepare ice cream according to the manufacturing instructions of your ice cream maker. I have a niffty Cuisinart ice cream maker that has a freezable bowl I prepared a head of time. Your ice cream maker might require ice to be added. Read up on the instructions and become familiar with your maker.

Once the ice cream is finished, pour the rest of the Nilla Waffers into the zip lock bag. Once again crush the cookies, however, this time keep them a little more chunky and textured.

Pour the rest of the Nilla Waffers into the ice cream and mix well. Put the ice cream in a storage container and pop in the freezer to continue forming.