I’ve divided our list into two primary categories: Ice Cream Truck Toys and Toy Ice Cream Carts & Stands. If you are looking for small scale Ice Cream Toys and accessories be sure to take a look at my companion article – 15 Best Ice Cream Toys.
Ice Cream Truck Toys
Best Double-Duty Play Set
Depending on your youngster’s preference of the day, this Little Tikes play set does double duty as both a kitchen and a food truck. Choose from an ice cream or hot dog theme and mark your selection on the chalkboard so customers will know what to expect– and let them know their order’s up by pushing the bell.
There’s a cash register to make change and an order pad so you never put ketchup when it should be mustard. When it’s time for your own lunch break, if you’re too tired to ‘cook’ for yourself, there’s a fridge for storing your leftovers and microwave for heating them up– just like a real worker!
Parents, be warned: The assembly process is not fun. Apparently, there are dozens of decals [randomly placed on sticker sheets] that have to be applied before actual assembly even begins. If this is a holiday gift, definitely schedule a couple of hours to put it together before presenting it.
What We Loved: It’s a kitchen and a food truck– who doesn’t love a good 2-for-1?!
Watch Out For: Multiple parents said the assembly was a nightmare.
- Recommended Age: 2-5 years
- Number of Pieces: 40 pieces + stationary food truck/kitchen
- What’s Included: Comes with reversible signage with two themes – Ice Cream and Hot Dogs, customizable chalkboard with chalk, cash register and order notepad, “Order up” bell, steering wheel with working horn, trash bin that doubles as seat and storage, pull out serving counter, play soda fountain, oven, microwave and fridge
Best Toy Ice Cream Truck Cardboard Food Truck Toy
This roomy cardboard food truck is an ice cream shop on one side and a barbeque shop on the other, with a reversible sign. I thought the gas tank was a cute touch. Truth be told, I was a little shocked to see that this was in fact cardboard, as I am used to seeing durable wooden toys from Melissa & Doug.
The reviews were somewhat polarizing, as other parents either gave the toy brilliant reviews or lamented that the cardboard wasn’t sturdy.
On a more personal level, this toy would be a hit in our area. Not only is the food truck scene huge in Memphis, but the home of Elvis is also world renowned for it’s BBQ. I wish I’d had this for my daughter when she was a few years younger.
What We Loved: It’s 4 feet tall and a little over 4 feet long, so there’s plenty of room to play.
Watch Out For: Several parents felt the cardboard was a little flimsy.
- Recommended Age: 3-5 years
- Number of Pieces: Truck + menus, signs, and sandwich boards
- What’s Included: Sturdy cardboard truck is packed with playful details, including a steering wheel that spins, a loudspeaker on top, a gas tank for fill-ups, decorated awnings, and service windows on both sides
Best Portable Tent Ice Cream Truck Toy
I see this toy as more of a tent space opportunity as opposed to an ice cream truck. It’s a bright and cheerful toy that sets up and collapses easily– very portable– and it can easily go inside or outside. The polyester material is flexible and easy-to-clean.
Parents will be happy to know that the set-up is instant and easy. There are two openings on the ceiling and one in the back. No ice cream toys, accessories, or any other props come with this, so you’ll either have to borrow from other toys or really use your imagination and creative play skills.
What We Loved: It’s portable and easy-to-clean.
Watch Out For: Where’s the ice cream?!
- Recommended Age: 3+ years
- Number of Pieces: Just the Truck
- What’s Included: n/a
Toy Ice Cream Carts & Stands
Best Ice Cream Cart Toy
This ice cream stand doubles as a hot dog cart. Yummy! Most of my commentary for this set comes from my own knowledge of Melissa & Doug [never have we had a product from them we didn’t absolutely love] based on the reviews from other parents.
I appreciate the attention to detail found in this set– when you turn the ketchup and mustard upside down, little sticks come out as if the condiments are actually squirting. The ice cream sandwiches velcro together for multiple combinations.
Best of all, there’s even a sliding plexiglass door that actually rolls. More than one reviewer said it was “worth every penny.”
What We Loved: Most of the reviewers had multiple children ranging in ages who played with this set– and loved it.
Watch Out For: One parent had some trouble with the final portion of installation involving a drill.
- Recommended Age: 3-7 years
- Number of Pieces: 40+ play food pieces
- What’s Included: features pull-out drawers, working bell, sliding see-through doors, reversible awning, and a double-sided, write-on menu lets kids set prices
Best Budget-Friendly Ice Cream Stand Toy
The affordable price point for this toy left a smile on my face and room in my wallet. That smile broke out into a full-blown grin when I saw dozens of glowing reviews, several of which praised how easy it was to put together.
The polyester cotton canvas material is durable and not difficult to clean, and it’s easily portable from the nursery to the backyard. Kiddos will learn imaginative play, basic business skills, and the ability to give correct change.
What We Loved: Tiny Land’s set is literally hundreds less than similar models but still delivers the same quality– and it’s easy to assemble!
Watch Out For: I could not find a single negative review about anything.
- Recommended Age: 3+ years
- Number of Pieces: assorted parts + 4 ice cream scoops
- What’s Included: designed to mimic an old school ice cream parlor with it’s striped awning, painted ice cream cones displayed on the front, a soft serve ice cream dispenser painted on the side, and a menu with items and prices
Best Vintage Toy Ice Cream Stand
Truth be told, I probably notice the vintage vibe way more than any youngster, but this is right up my aesthetic ally. Blue is my favorite color– in fact, my bedroom was painted a similar shade for many years. There is a sliding glass door to access the frozen compartment in the cart, which gives an authentic touch, and the shelf underneath is sturdy enough to hold extra toys and accessories.
Le Toy Van’s set is painted with non-toxic paint, constructed with durable, recyclable rubber wood, and meets the highest safety standards. one parent had an issue with the rubber coming off of the wheel when their kids tried to turn the cart.
Because the wheels don’t actually turn, it has to be physically moved or scooted over into the direction it needs to go. Als0, be prepared to spend at least a couple of hours putting this together.
What We Loved: It’s a beautiful, elegant, and timeless toy.
Watch Out For: The fact that the wheels don’t actually move is frustrating– and the youngest set might not get the joke.
- Recommended Age: 3+ years
- Number of Pieces: assorted
- What’s Included: 4 ice pops, 4 cones, 4 scoops of ice cream, an the cart itCart with lid and, ad an Ice Cream Scooper
Best Pretend Play, Private Space
Unichart’s tent comes in either pink or green. One of the things that I love so much about tent-type toys is that they give children their private space. They can read, play, or even sleep if they want to. Your kiddo[s] can bring their favorite books and stuffed animals inside and be lost in their own little world for hours on end.
The illustrations show several photos with a portion of the tent holding inflatable balls, giving off the impression that it’s a sort of ball pit. That is not the case and no balls [or anything for that matter] comes with it.
I found the description a little confusing as the company itself touted its “safe and durable” polyester-blend that was “difficult to bend out of shape”– and then the next point spoke about the “rough transportation or delivery” had the potential to “damage parts” and assured customers that they would gladly refund or replace within three days if that was an issue.
Well, is it tough or should we blame the delivery guy in case of flimsiness?!
What We Loved: Though I hate the stereotypical ‘gendered’ color constructors, I appreciate that they offered two color options.
Watch Out For: Let’s just hope the delivery guy doesn’t tamper with it.
- Recommended Age: 6 months-5 years
- Number of Pieces: no accessories come with the tent
- What’s Included: the tent is equipped with sturdy poles, no tools or glue needed, easy to set up in seconds
Best Interactive Ice Cream Cart
This is perfect for toddlers gaining control of their mobility. Kiddos can push the colorful cart around and enjoy all the bells and whistles. The animal activity cards introduce colors, flavors, numbers, and more. An intelligent scooper recognizes flavors and instructs children how to make orders.
There are 7 games to develop memory skills, 10 melodies and songs, and 200+ fun phrases.
My kids each had a Leap Frog tablet, so I associate this brand with smart technology and interactive features. I know there is much to be said about the screen time argument, but I wholeheartedly believe that technology used in the right ways can be both educational and beneficial.
What We Loved: It’s such a fun, cheerful, and intelligent interactive toy.
Watch Out For: Leap frog does not sell any replacement pieces, so don’t lose anything.
- Recommended Age: 2-5 years
- Number of Pieces: 6 cute animal order cards and following the instruction, place the accessories in the correct places or put them in the two storage drawers and push the cart around to hear upbeat songs and music
- What’s Included: 4 flavors of ice cream, 3 toppings, 3 syrup flavors, magic scooper to recognizes colors and flavors
Best Wooden Toddler Handheld Ice Cream Set
So it’s not technically something your toddler can hold in their hands, but it is a smaller scale toy that sits a couple of inches off the floor. If your youngster is sitting with their legs crossed on the floor, they will be at the perfect height to play with this.
Parents sang the praises of this set and especially noticed that the sticks holding the popsicles together were quite strong. Several people said that it was a toy that has lasted for years and never gets old. This would be the perfect way to sample an ice cream setup without committing to something that is large and takes up a lot of space.
Your inner environmentalist will be happy to know that every time this company cuts down a tree for their product, they plant another in its place.
What We Loved: Everything about this set is a great starter for a toddler looking to dabble in the ice cream world.
Watch Out For: There are choking hazards with some of the parts, so me mindful with your child’s level.
- Recommended Age: 3+ years
- Number of Pieces: 15 pieces
- What’s Included: 4 ice pops, 4 cones, 4 scoops of ice cream, an ice cream cart with lid and an ice cream scooper
Best Textured Set
I just want to reach out and run my fingers along the grooves of the cones and stack the scoops atop each other. If my grown self feels that way, imagine how a toddler must feel! All of the edges are smooth, the wheels actually roll, and it’s an explosion of color.
With the different shapes and bold patterns, kiddos learn to recognize colors, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and shape recognition. It’s made with BPA-free plastic and is phthalate-free as well.
The only warning I have is to be mindful of the photos versus the actual dimensions [ 10.4 x 8.2 x 6.9 inches]. Some of the pictures make this toy look like it’s huge– when it’s not even a foot tall. Obviously, companies want the most flattering images of their product, but some of the photos were seriously misleading.
What We Loved: We think it’s great for satisfying the curiosity of a child.
Watch Out For: It’s a lot smaller than it looks.
- Recommended Age: 2-6 years
- Number of Pieces: 31 pieces
- What’s Included: varied pieces
Best Skills Practice
We’re definitely double-dipping here, but I firmly believe in giving credit where credit is due.
This stackable set features a lift-and-release scooper, which is perfect for tiny hands to grasp. The play money allows for counting and change-making practice. There’s even a menu card to serve as inspiration– and a launching point for creative interactions.
Using the scoop, wooden spoon, and tongs are sure to assist with fine motor skills. Practice stacking, counting, grabbing, placing, etc. will this fun and educational toy.
What We Loved: It’s a timeless, educational investment.
Watch Out For: Potential weight gain? Like other parents, this set makes me crave ice cream!
- Recommended Age: 3-6 years
- Number of Pieces: 28 pieces
- What’s Included: wooden ice cream counter, 8 ice cream scoops, 6 toppings, 2 cones, cup, scooper, tongs, wooden spoon, and (6) pretend $1 bills
Best Extra Addition Accessory Set
I feel like it’s deja vu seeing that bright, blue apron again! Because I’ve touched on this set before in my Ice Cream Toy Roundup, I want to focus on the fact that it’s an excellent bonus item for everything we’ve discussed thus far.
Furthermore, I took a deeper dive with the reviews and could not help but notice the variety of submissions– not only were there parents, but nannies, preschool teachers, and family friends singing the praises of this toy.
A thoughtful review from a parent is always appreciated, but I feel like it’s something really special when a ‘third party’ takes the time to leave their feedback.
What We Loved: Aside from the adorable apron, this set is the perfect addition for any or all of the aforementioned items on our list.
Watch Out For: The ice cream carton is made of cardboard, so it doesn’t hold up the way its plastic counterparts do.
- Recommended Age: 3+ years
- Number of Pieces: 18 pieces
- What’s Included: 4 scoops of ice cream, sugar cone, cake cone, sundae dish, banana split dish, ‘splittable’ banana, scooper, 2 spoons, apron, write and wipe menu, ice cream carton, and bottle that ‘squirts’ pretend chocolate syrup