Summer Ice Cream learning kids activities and crafts for preschoolers and kindergarteners to promote numeracy, literacy, and fine motor control.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, and thus this Ice Cream Kids Activities compilation of fun hands-on activities will bring experiential learning to life!
Themed activities and unit studies are extremely fun and engaging for little people. Unit studies (also called thematic units or integrated studies) use a hands-on approach to effective learning as children learn by experiencing and discovering first-hand through different activities. Moreover, unit studies are a way to bring a subject to life by exploring the theme from many different dimensions: through a fresh shelf set up, books that come to life, sensory bins, language, and math activities with a twist, and so much more. Unit studies add emphasis to a particular area of study, season, or a holiday, allowing a child to engulf in it fully. Most importantly, they add a fun twist to an otherwise mundane concept, lesson, or activity! What child would not rather count sprinkle on ice cream instead of calculating problems in a workbook? And why not bring a potato masher to your craft table or engage little hands in sensory play with play dough!
Ice Cream Kids Activities Math
Ice Cream Math Strategies
BASIC KIDS MATH STRATEGIES• Write it, Spell it, Show it, Make it!
What about “math readiness”? The answer is: start early! We “officially” started a Montessori Math curriculum with Adrian when he was two years old! I am a strong believer that I would rather be early than late. If the material is introduced too early, a child would simply show no interest and you, as an educator, would simply come back to it later. On the other hand, if the material is introduced too late, the sensitive window of opportunity is closed forever and the chance for a seemingness, natural and effortless absorption of information is now gone!
Here are the basic math strategies you can incorporate, starting at age two and continuing to kindergarten age. Remember, repetition is the key to mastery.
Basic Math Strategies:
- Show a child a NUMERAL which is a written symbol we, humans, decided to represent a particular quantity.
- 2. Use COUNTERS, also called manipulative, which are actual quantity (here counters will be what Adrian is punching out), which also work great for visual learners.
- 3. utilize TALLY MARKS which help children visualize the numbers 6 through 10 as a group of 5, plus the additional ones.
- 4. SPELL out the number.
Ice Cream Number Line | MATH
So much research has been done on the benefits of teaching ↔️number lines as a visual math strategy. Children who early on are exposed to a linear representation of numbers, will, later on, be able to make a leap towards mental calculations without paper more easily.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- a roll of paper
- a ruler and markers
- dot markers are perfect for 2 YO + but you can also use dot stickers, you can offer to paint with pom poms, or place marbles or any round counters, etc
GOAL: One-To-One Correspondence
Which is the ability to match an object (dot prints or pom poms) to the corresponding number and recognize that number is a symbol to represent a quantity! Young children often learn “rote counting” without having an understanding of One-To-One Correspondencethey count till ten just like a heart-learned poem! (That is they memorize the numerical order without really understanding what each quantity means.) To lean RATIONAL counting, offer them to COUNT aloud each stamp and then TOUCH each POM POM as they color and number match.
Pom Pom Pattern
Hands-on learning is a form of education where children are learning by doing. So, instead of merely listening, when little people are making, creating, and actively engaging, they experience a huge increase in the amount of information that they retain. Offering children to VISUALLY reconstruct a pattern requires a lot of skills! For example, learning matching skills early on will support children to match letters and sounds in Reception class. Also, matching skills are involved in visual discrimination. And little people use matching skills to tell whether two words or letters are the same or different. So offer FUN engaging DIYs to develop the MATCHING SKILL!
– recycled milk caps to
– dot stickers
– fine motor control
– color matching
- [18M+] color match ~ a child looks at a picture and matches pom popms to the ice cream on a card board
- [4Y +] *friends of 10 (See a post below) ~ for example 4 pink pom poms + 6 blue (as illustrated on a card on the left)
- [4.5 Y +] addends of 10 (4❤️+3💚+2🧡+1💜)
FRIENDS of Ten Cardboard DIY
Knowing freinds of ten early on is extremely important! Best of all, you can practice this skill with fun DIYs where the cost of materials is zero while the benefits of learning are great.
– recycled cardboard
– more recycled cardboard
HOW: Invite your child to place 2 scoops of an ice cream (called addend) which when added together, will have a SUM of 10.
💡 According to Common Core Math standards, kindergarteners are expected to know sums that equal ten. At an elementary level, students are expected to explain their thinking, for example, “to add 34 plus 9, I added six more to 34 to make 40 and then knew I had 3 so the answer is 43.”
Common Core Standards “Numbers and Operations in Base Ten” emphasizes the concept of ten. Then, in 1st grade you see this:
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 7= 8 + 2 + 5= 10 + 5= 15); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 5= 13 – 3– 2= 10 – 2= 8); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 5 = 13 being a fact family of 13 – 8 = 5), etc.
Trust me, knowing by heart how to “make 10” is a pivotal building block for children to gain mathematical fluency.
Ice Cream Kids Activities Literacy
Lower to Upper Case Matching
– dot stickers
AGE: 3 Y+ Always supervise your child!
Children from BIRTH until about 6 yr perceive everything through SENSES! Thus Multi-sensory PLAY IDEAS in making the link between lower and uppercase letters is a FUN way to learn the skill!
There is a lot of heated debate on whether to introduce upper or lower case FIRST? My opinion is based on some educational observations, so I will happily share it.
WHY TEACH LOWERCASE FIRST
- When children are exploring written text/print in their books, lowercase letters are the ones they see most since that’s what fills the page. By teaching lowercase letters first, we help children recognize those ‘symbols’ and sounds and feel more connected to the print. (Don’t you feel more connected to familiar things!)
- writing/ printing lowercase letters is EASIER for little hands since they require LESS strokes and are thus less challenging and exhausting for young children.
- Learning 52 letters (26 of both upper and lowercase) at the same time is simply too overwhelming and unnecessary!
So once your little one officially knows lowercase letters sounds – by rescuing them from tape, digging them with the digger, finding in rice, as well as making them out of playdough, it’s time to add in the capitals! MAKE IT FUN and engaging and follow your child’s interests!
Fine Motor Ice Cream Kids Activities
ICE-CREAM ✂️SCISSOR PRACTICE
- paint swatches from your local hardware store.
- recycled popsicle sticks.
- a marker
- kids ✂️scissors
HOW: cut your paint swatches in the shape of the ice cream; tape the stick to the back (make sure it will not be on the way of your child cutting). If the paint swatch has lines, use those as a guide, if not, draw lines, zig-zags, curves.. according to your child’s level.
Just like a proper pencil grip or a pincer grip (holding small items with a thumb and a pointer finger), the proper scissors grip must be actively taught since it is completely unlike any other grips a child has used. The proper scissors grip requires a child to rotate his hand so that the thumb faces up, while the pinky points down. A child has to spread his thumb and pointer finger as far apart as possible while using his palm to help stabilize the scissors. Cutting can be challenging for little ones, and the only way to become comfortable with cutting activity is a frequent practice.
A trick to learn a proper scissors grip~ offer a child to 👋🏻shake someone’s hand!
It is very important to instill the proper scissor grip from the beginning since the longer the child uses an incorrect grip, the more difficult it will be to unlearn such a habit.
I have details ~ Proper Scissors Grip 2 Yo on my blog.
Ice Cream Kids Activities Crafts
🍦POTATO MASHER CRAFT
Here is a super FUN And EASY craft your little one will LOVE. All you need for this craft is paints and a potato 🥔 masher!
AGE 2 YR + Always supervise your child!
Have you tried making snow cones? Super fun! Fill spray bottles with diluted food coloring and SPRAY! This exercise is great for developing small muscles of the hand.
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