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Who doesn’t love ice cream?! Combining our love of ice cream with painting couldn’t get any better than this melting ice cream cone project. Why melting ice cream? Well, this is part of our Safari Activity Plans. When you are on a hot Safari and need a snack, what would taste better than ice cream. But, uh-oh, it’s hot, so our ice cream is melting fast! This painting activity for preschoolers is super fun, cute, easy, and really fail proof!

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What you need for this painting activity for preschoolers:

  • Paint
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Baby Oil
  • Paper
  • Brushes or popsicle sticks (for mixing)
  • Straw for blowing (optional)
  • Red Solo Cups
materials for painting activity for preschoolers

How to Make melting ice cream:

The idea for this project comes from acrylic pouring, so if you have the supplies to do that, feel free to substitute them for this project.

It can get a little messy, so you may want to line your work area with newspaper, but the beauty of acrylic paint is how easy it cleans up!

First, make your ice cream cone.

For this we cut out a simple triangle since Little Miss could do that on her own. If you are doing this with bigger kids they could make a bowl, sugar cone, etc.

Next mix your paints.

For simplicity, it is best to select 2-3 colors for the ice cream.

We cut our red Solo Cups smaller to make it easier for little Miss to mix the paint. Add each color to it’s own cup. To the paint add about a tablespoon of glue and a tablespoon of baby oil. Mix it all together and check the consistency. You will be pouring the paint so if it needs to be thinned down further add more oil until it is flowing smoothly when you tilt the cup side to side.

Follow these steps for each color you are using.

Add all the paints together.

Pick which color you want to be on the bottom. Pour the other colors into this cup, alternating if desired. The paints should remain separate. Do not mix them together!

mixing paint for painting activity for preschoolers

Pour the paints.

Pour the paints slowly on your ice cream cone, letting the colors spread.

Melt the ice cream!

To make our ice cream look melted, pick up the paper and tilt it side to side. The colors should remain separate and make beautiful patterns!

Alternatively or in addition, use a straw to blow the ice cream (paint) around the page to make it look splattered.

toddler blowing paint for painting idea for preschoolers
letter I painting activity for preschoolers

Make the letter “I”.

Glue the letter I to the paper, talking about how ice cream starts with “I”, the sounds it makes, and what it looks like.

Let them decorate the “I”. They can outline it, paint it, or splatter it with more “ice cream” as Little Miss did here.

Finish and decorate!

Allow your child the freedom to express their creativity. Let them decorate the I, add sprinkles to their ice cream, or any other idea they make have.

The poured paint can take 24 hours to dry so when finished set it somewhere safe for the next day or so to dry.

ice cream painting idea for preschoolers

How cute is that! There are so many ways this project can be modified, played with, and individualized for each child’s creativity. Have fun with it and don’t forget to show us the results by tagging us on Instagram @blueberriesmash!

painting idea for preschoolers pinterest image

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