Last year, I made an amazing 2-ingredient ice cream play dough with moisturizer and cornstarch but I currently have a group of 1 and 2 year olds who like to taste EVERYTHING, so I needed to come up with an Edible Ice Cream Play Dough that was just as awesome & easy to make.
This edible ice cream play dough should not work as well as it does. Every time I tell someone what is in this play dough, I get a sideways glance and they question, “but isn’t that sticky?”
I promise you, this 2-ingredient play dough sounds like it should be a sticky mess but it’s perfect. It makes those cute little aerated cracks just like a scoop of ice cream does, it’s moldable, delicious scented – and oh yea, it tastes great! This is the perfect play dough if you have younger or sensory-seeking children who are prone to taste their play dough.
How to Make Edible Ice Cream Play Dough
You just need two common kitchen ingredients for this easy ice cream play dough:
That’s it! I used less than a half container of frosting for each of these recipes (Ella used the rest during one of her kids’ kitchen projects) and added about 3-5 cups of icing sugar to the frosting until it went from sticky to dry, moldable, and thick.
Personally, I don’t think play dough should make hands messy – I think mess is totally fine in other sensory play activities, but it’s not what I associate with play dough. With play dough I want easy clean up, I want even my most sensory sensitive child to have a positive experience, etc. As you can see by the little hands in the pictures below, this ice cream play dough does not stick to hands at all – it’s just a fun texture and completely taste-safe!
(It’s more than taste-safe, the kids could eat the whole container… I just wouldn’t want to be responsible for peeling them off the walls afterwards.)
(Update – If you’re confused or concerned at all by the steps for this recipe, my friend Stacey made a video for her Strawberry Ice Cream Dough version.)
How We Played with Our Ice Cream Play Dough
I tried to offer lots of toddler-appropriate tools and manipulatives for this ice cream play dough invitation, as well as items to include my sensory sensitive children who take some time to warm up to play dough:
- Ice cream scoop
- Larger “flour” scoop
- Party supply ice cream bowls (although I would have totally preferred these reusable ones)
- Cupcake liners
- Wooden ice cream cones (similar to the ones from this play set)
- Scented, pretend food ice cream (for the sensory sensitive children to have something to play with)
- Cut up straws
The children are allowed to add extras from our kitchen supplies whenever we play with play dough, encouraging them to cater the play to their interests.
This awesome ice cream play dough has the perfect texture for scooping – Miss V is practicing one-to-one correspondence in her scooping, as well as indulging in some pretend play.
The straws were perfect for poking holes (a favourite around here) while also working on that pincer grasp that is so essential for pre-writing skills. The kids were really excited to discover that some of the play dough stuck inside the straws after poking the straws into the play dough – making “play dough tubes.”
Providing the pretend play food was a great way to involve my sensory sensitive and mess-averse kids. This little one will usually run away if I set up a messy activity, so by providing a non-messy alternative for him, he was encouraged to sit and play alongside his friends. This not only promotes inclusion but the longer they are exposed to the sensory/messy activity, the more likely they will be intrigued to try it!
And try it he did! Once Mr. B figured out how delicious this edible ice cream play dough was, there was no holding him back! THIS is exactly the reason why I love making edible play dough for sensory sensitive or sensory seeking kids: it allows them more freedom to explore and makes the whole “sensory play” experience safe and enjoyable.
Mr. B was able to warm up the ice cream play dough in his own time, and then experiment with it in his own way (tasting) to determine that it was safe and interesting. If I had to discourage him during his exploration, he probably would have lost interest in the play dough experience.
This ice cream play dough lasts for at least 2 weeks – probably longer if you store it in the fridge or only have one or two children playing with it. (I tend to throw out our daycare play dough a lot faster than I ever threw out Ella’s play dough.)
As a fun way to store and “serve” the edible ice cream play dough, I washed and took the labels off of the frosting cans and attached some new Ice Cream Tub-inspired labels.
Click here to download the free “Ice Cream tub” labels.
Have you ever made edible play dough?
Check out our Homemade Play Dough collection for more play dough fun!
Here are some other fun edible play dough options from my fellow kids’ activity bloggers:
Edible Jelly Bean Playdough | Lemon Lime Adventures
Edible Peanut Butter Playdough | Powerful Mothering
Edible Chocolate Play Dough | Preschool Powol Packets
Edible Ice Cream Dough | Natural Beach Living
Roti Dough | In The Playroom
Edible Cream Cheese Playdough | Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail
Edible Golden Syrup Dough | Peakle Pie
Edible Birthday Cake Dough | The Life of Jennifer Dawn
Edible Frozen Dough | Squiggles and Bubbles