Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month in the United States of America? The popular dairy dessert has had its own official food holiday since Ronald Reagan proclaimed it in 1984. No matter how you like your ice cream – in a bowl or on a cone, July is the month to celebrate it! Here are some fun educational activities to help celebrate your summer’s favorite food holiday.
When is National Ice Cream Day?
In 1984, the 40th President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. In his proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
Why Would Kids Engage with this Topic?
If you ask most children, every day is a good day to eat ice cream. So, if you’re looking for a way to engage your students then celebrating National Ice Cream Day is the perfect way. This topic is sure to keep students engaged and is a great theme that crosses over into all subjects.
Educational Activities for Learning
There is no better way to observe National Ice Cream Day then to celebrate with some ice cream inspired activities. Here are a few ideas.
Making Ice Cream with Science
A fun activity to do on National Ice Cream Day is to make ice cream. There is a lot of chemistry that goes into making this tasty treat and Science Buddies has a fun experiment for kids called “Ice Cream in a Bag”. This simple science experiment will have students making their own ice cream and learning how the process becomes a creamy delicious treat they can eat. To extend the activity have students try one bite of each students’ ice cream and write a review about it.
Fun Facts about Ice Cream
Did you know that the average American eats 48 pints of ice cream each year? Did you also know that in order to make one gallon of ice cream you need twelve pounds of milk? These are just two of the many facts about ice cream. For this activity students will break into small groups and research 5 facts about ice cream. Once groups have found their ice cream facts the class will join together to create one “Fun Facts about Ice Cream” poster to post on the school’s website during National Ice Cream Month in July.
Learn the History of Ice Cream
Students can discover ice cream’s past by watching this short video clip of the history of ice cream or this longer video. After learning about the history of ice cream students can fill out a graphic organizer about the story of ice cream. Have students divide their paper into four sections: Ancient Ice Cream, The 1800’s, the 1900’s, and Ice Cream Today. Then, have students use the information they learned in the video(s) to help them fill out the graphic organizer.
Learn Money Math by Building an Ice Cream Sundae
Counting and using money is a practical life skill that all children need to know. For this activity students will use their money math skills to build an ice cream sundae that they can eat. To begin you must purchase ice cream and a variety of toppings. Next, decide on a price for each topping and label each topping. Give each student fake (or real) money and have them take turns acting as a customer to select and buy their ice cream toppings. To help students figure out the total price allow them to use a scrap piece of paper. Once students have paid for and built their sundae, allow them to eat it.
Describing Ice Cream to an Alien
If you’re looking for a fun writing activity to get your students’ creative juices flowing, then have them answer the writing prompt “If you were to describe ice cream to someone from another planet how would you describe it?” Encourage students to get creative and use descriptive words to explain this tasty treat. To extend the activity have students create an illustration to go along with their descriptions.
Become a Taste Tester
Everyone loves ice cream and there is no better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day (and month) then to become an ice cream taste tester. For this activity you must purchase several different flavors of ice cream. Then, instruct students that they will become “taste testers” to vote on and give a review of the best flavor ice cream. Once students have tasted all of the flavors provided, they must review each flavor and give it between one and five scoops (similar to rating something in stars) as well as write a review about why they gave it the number of scoops they did. Once all of the reviews are in and tallied, the teacher will announce the most popular and least popular ice cream flavor.
Remember, Ronald Reagan gave us the entire month of July to celebrate ice cream, so you don’t have to try and fit in all of these activities into just one day.