numbers and letters with ice cream cones

DIY Ice Cream Preschool Alphabet Games & Number Games

Preschool learning should be fun and based on play, so summer is great for learning too!  Pretty much every kid loves ice cream, so these preschool alphabet games and preschool number games all about ice cream are sure to make some happy moments for your child! 

Why are these ice cream learning games awesome??pink ice cream cone

  • They cost pennies to make. 
  • The craft materials take all of 5 minutes for you to prepare – kids can even help!
  • Your preschool child can play with them in so many ways the fun last for hours on different days!
  • Easy and obvious prize for celebrating at the end – enjoy an ice cream treat together!

It doesn’t get much better than that!  Huge mom win as far as mom effort vs. kid fun and learning balance!

Remember, at this age the best way to incorporate preschool learning is through play.  Preschool children learn by exploring the world around them using their natural curiosity.  Don’t let this activity become worksheet type learning.  It is meant to be silly and fun – these are preschool alphabet games and preschool number games, not work!

Literacy and Numeracy: Preschool Alphabet Games & Preschool Number Games

two children with letters and numbers around themLiteracy is more than letters, reading and writing.  

It includes all aspects of engaging with a language to understand the world around us and communicate using that language.  Basically, from the moment your child wakes up to the moment they go to sleep they are working on their literacy skills! 

Numeracy is more than just numbers.

Numeracy is about their meanings and sense.  Kids naturally do this – they love comparing sizes and definitely get the concept of more than because how many times have you heard “No fair, they have more than me!!!”. Then, once kids know how, it seems like they are counting everything!  

When your child does get to this preschool stage, adding in some fun activities like these ice cream games is a great way to boost learning.  Preschool kids are learning constantly through fun play, so meet them where they are by making the on purpose learning fun too with these ice cream learning games!

Is your child starting school?!

Send them with love using these adorable kindergarten lunch box notes!!

Preschool Alphabet Games:

 

1. Alphabet Ice Cream Store

ice cream shop

Perfect for children who are beginning to recognize letters! What better way than a preschool alphabet game?!

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The materials for this are SO EASY and SO CHEAP!  You probably have everything in your craft drawer already (but if you don’t I’ve got you covered with some affiliate links, thanks for your support!). 

  1. Construction paper or cardstock – This cardstock  is awesome – it’s so bright and will last longer, but both totally work!
  2. Markers
  3. Scissors – I suggest these scissors if your child is old enough to start learning to cut.
  4. Self-adhesive velcro dots – Not necessary, but make some of the preschool learning games easier/more fun!  They’re also just great to have in your craft bin!

How To Make The Preschool Alphabet Game:paper ice cream cones and scoops with letters

  1. Cut out some triangle ice cream cones and a bunch of ice cream scoops. 
  2. On each scoop write a different letter.  
  3. Put a velcro sticky dot on the cones & the opposite type velcro piece on all the scoops. (If you want, you can also leave it just paper that doesn’t stick together.)

How many you make and what letters you use will depend where your child is on their learning journey.  No need to make 26 when you might only need 5-10 and can just add some later if you want.  You can see in our set we started with a few and have added to it as we played.

  • Are letters totally new? Do 5 or fewer at a time. Teacher tip: Start with the letters of your child’s name so they can recognize and maybe write it when they get to school!!

    name ice cream scoops for preschool alphabet games

  • Does your preschooler already know and recognize the whole alphabet?  Go ahead, use all 26 letters!
  • Somewhere in between? Do something in between – use a mix of ones your child confidently knows and new ones they are working on. This keeps it fun, not frustrating!

How To Play & Learn:  ice cream shop with paper letter ice cream scoops to serve

Set up an ice cream shop wherever you want!  In nice weather an outdoor playhouse with a window is so perfect for drive-thru pretend play, but anywhere works!

The letters are the ice cream flavors you can order.  

You be the customer ordering a “M” ice cream for mom and your child works at the shop.  They need to find the M scoop to fill your order! Velcro the M scoop on a cone 

Keep it fun!! If letters are totally new, be a worker with your child  so learning just happens as you play and talk about what you’re doing.  Dolls or stuffed animals can be the ice cream customers!

Our play kitchen with its window is perfect for playing ice cream shop – complete with some of our  easy ice cream crafts for decorations!  Ours is a few years old so harder to find, butone like this with a window pass through  is what I highly recommend for so many imaginary play opportunities! Ours has been the ice cream shop, restaurant, coffee shop drive-thru, bank, library – you name it, this little kitchen has been it!

Keep the Alphabet Game Fun & Fresh!

Is your child a pro at their letters?  Make the game new again with these two options!

clock timer1. Add a timer!  How many orders can they fill in one minute?  How fast can they get 5 orders done? 

2. Use letter sounds instead of names.  Order an “mmmmmm” ice cream and have your child find the M scoop.  This is great for starting to understand initial word sounds.   You can then take this idea on the road with this fun game while out for a walk!

 

2. Ice Cream Word Rhymes – Two Games in One!

This is great for preschoolers that know their letter sounds or for introducing them by doing it together. 

How to Make The Game:

For materials, re-use the same letter pieces from the ice cream store.

Put a cone on a piece of paper then pile two scoops on top with letters that create a word family ending like: – AT -OP -IT -AN etc.   Stick to easy three letter ones – this is meant to be fun while sneaking in the learning!  No clue what a letter family is??? No worries, the picture below gives the main idea.  Here’s a site that will fully explain and give you a good list!rhyming word family images: hat, bat, cat, rat, mat and man, can, fan, pan, van

How To Play & Learn:

There are a couple ways to play these rhyming alphabet learning games.  Both will look a bit like this just changing how children get the scoop options to finish the ice cream cone. 

ice cream scoops with at ready for other letter scoops to make new words

Game 1: Silly Scenes -One of my favourite preschool alphabet games has the child put random letter scoops on top of the two you’ve set.  Next, your child tries out the sound of their letter on top of the sound that’s always there to see if it they made a real word or a silly word. 

Focus on fun by being super silly when it’s a silly word, acting out the real word or even adding a scavenger hunt to find any objects you end up spelling.  Did you spell “cat”? Pretend to be one together! Did you spell “hat” – how fast can you go find a hat?!  This is the fun part!

Game 2: Word Treasure Hunt:  Hiding letters around the room and they have to find the scoops before trying them out takes this preschool alphabet game to another level of fun.  Make a buzzer noise “Ding, ding” when they complete a word and “Bzzz” when they don’t.  Just like a game show!  You could even add a timer and see how many real words they can get in that time. 

Keep It Fun!

Whatever preschool alphabet games you choose, make sure you are playing.  This is one of those activities that is a game because you say it is by adding some fun to an old school worksheet activity.  DO NOT DO WORKSHEETS!  Sorry for yelling, but please, please if you don’t think you can keep this one fun, just skip it!

Worksheets can be boring and will just end up with your kid thinking letters are too.  But if they associate them with that fun time mom was making silly actions with them or they ran all around the room on a hunt –  well that’s a much more positive memory!!!!!

 

Does your child LOVE ice cream?!  Try some of these SUPER EASY PRESCHOOL ICE CREAM CRAFTS!

Preschool Number Games:

 

Ice Cream Numbers Game Materials:

This one is all Mom prep unless your child can cut and write numbers.  It makes a bunch of different games and all kinds of kid fun though, so totally worth it.  And it only takes 5 minutes anyway! 

    1. Cut several scoops and cones. 
    2. Write the numbers 1-10 on the scoops.
    3. Draw a dot grid to represent the numbers 1-10 on the cones.paper ice cream cones with numbers and dots to match

 Just like that, in 5 minutes you have 5 brand new preschool number games all about yummy ice cream!

Ice Cream Shop:

Revisit the ice cream shop fun you had with letters, but add in the twist of numbers.  The simple way is to just find the number asked, or you could add the challenge of  needing a matching scoop and cone. 

Matching: 

paper ice cream cones with numbers and dots on scoops and cones

Spread all the parts out just like the picture above with all the numbers visible.  Spread the ice cream parts really far apart to get your child running and playing!  Your child needs to make all the ice creams by matching the right number scoop with the dots on the cone.

If they have gotten really good at it, make it a challenge: How many ice creams can you make in one minute? Two minutes? Whatever you think is reasonable for your little one! 

You could even make it a hunt for hidden scoops like you did with the word family letters. Or when matches are done, next make a secret ice cream trail by lining the completed  cones in order between where you are and their room! 

This is why I love activities like this – so good for their actual purpose and also so adaptable to being played with in so many ways!  Plus they are practically free they are so cheap!!

Memory Match:

A classic! Turn the shapes upside down so you can’t see any numbers to play the game memory.  Take turns flipping over one scoop and one cone to find matches.  If no match, flip them back over and try to remember what numbers were where.  Keep going until all the matches have been found! 

Go Fish: 

Another classic!  Shuffle the parts up, each player takes 3 ice cream pieces and the rest are put in a pile between the players.  To start, one player asks for “a scoop 3” or “a cone with two dots” to find the pairs for their own ice cream parts.  If the other player has it, they hand it over.  If not, the person asking picks another piece from the pile of extras to add to their hand.  Keep going asking for and finding pairs until all the pieces are matched.

Number Detective  

three scoop ice cream with middle scoop missing to put correct number scoop in

Use the number scoops to make a big ice cream cone but leave a space (or several) missing.  Kids have to figure out what number goes in the missing spot then run and find that scoop and put it on the ice cream! 

Seriously, make them run.  It’s a preschool numbers game

Put the other scoops on the other side of the room, in a different room or you could even play outside and run around the yard! If you want you could do this as a treasure hunt like the letter game too.

If your child is new to numbers, make a quick number line (just write the numbers 1-10 in order on another paper) so they can look at it as their clue to figure out what is missing.  Sing the numbers while pointing to them and say the missing one a little louder to help.  Remember, keep it fun! 

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These preschool alphabet games and the preschool number games are perfect for having fun right from just introducing the ideas up to being a pro and enjoying a timed challenge! They are awesome for you as a mom too because they take no time to make and almost no money to make them happen! Double mom win!

Have fun playing then enjoy a scoop or two to celebrate all those happy moments!  

Does your child LOVE ice cream?!  Try some of these SUPER EASY PRESCHOOL ICE CREAM CRAFTS!

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