Ice-cream shop – mathematical play

Ice cream play

J is going through a real phase of wanting to ‘serve’ customers.  As it’s supposed to be summer, we decided we would play ‘ice-cream shops.’  I had previously bought some cheap tubs and taped some numbers inside (1-9).  We have used them for all sorts of games and when I get the opportunity, I will post more ideas for these tubs to be used.

To create the ice-cream shop, I got some large pompoms (for the ice-cream) from J’s craft box and put them in a container. I added a tong and pair of child tweezers – J needed to use these to pick up the ice-cream so as to not spread germs! We laid out the tubs and added a till.  I acted as the various customers and asked J for a ‘number 3 ice-cream’ or a ‘number 8 ice-cream’ and so on.  J would then have to choose the correct tub and put the corresponding number of scoops in the tub.  He laughed so much at the different customer voices I used and had a great time delivering my ice-cream and saying ‘hope you enjoy, come back soon!’  HE IS TOO CUTE!

J, as he often does, insisted we made something else for his shop.  He suggested we made cones for choice!! So, we made 10 cone shapes using sugar paper and sticky tape and numbered each one with numbers 1-10.  Then I had the choice of a tub or a cone!!


I just love pom poms!

Developing the muscles in his hands - pre writing skills!

Developing the muscles in his hands – pre writing skills!


Definitely recommend the tongs and tweezers for developing their hand muscles.

What did J learn?

  • Number recognition
  • Counting objects with one-to-one correspondence
  • Assigning numbers to numerical value
  • Developing muscles in hand gripping the tweezers and tongs
  • Developing everyday language through role play
  • Creating characters
  • Role playing with money- ‘giving change’

J’s age: 3 years 0 months


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s