sensory · social/emotional

shaving cream

Between our recent teething kick with Lucas and the fact that somebody must have told Jackson he should really start acting like a stereotypical 3.5-year-old, we’ve been having a lot of THOSE DAYS lately. One of the only things I’ve found to bring my boys joy on those days is a crazy sensory experience like this. And being outside. That always makes all of us feel better.

Basically, spray the shaving cream and let’em at it! It smells so good. We use a bin from Home Depot that is made for mixing concrete! I like its depth and sturdiness. We use it for a lot of our sensory play, including beans, pasta, rice, etc. You can also use shaving cream on a baking sheet or just on the kitchen table. 

You can dress this activity up or down, depending on your kiddos’ interests, your current learning objectives, and your materials. 

I LOVE sensory activities. Besides being fun, they are generally flexible and often inexpensive. 

The benefits to children (of all ages) are even greater. 

Their minds and bodies NEED this sensory input. These activities provide countless opportunities for cooperation, creative pretend play, language development, and experimentation. 

This is how children learn. They experiment. They try new things without the fear of making mistakes. They make sense of the world around them. They have fun! Play is learning!

My boys engaged with this activity in very different ways. Jackson stuck his hands right in, played hard for about 10 minutes, then incorporated his bike. He drove in loops, stopping to “fill’er up” with shaving cream fuel. Then he painted the handle bars and bell with the cream. It still dinged!

Lucas was all in… until he wasn’t. When he wanted to clean his hands, I grabbed a big bowl of water and it was a hit. He actually ended up spending the majority of his time transferring rocks (his favorite) from our yard, to the shaving cream, to the water bowl. We made stick roads and rock walls. We sorted rocks and sticks and pinecones into piles. We made a recipe for stone soup and wrote our names with our fingers and sticks. 

Other fun additions to shaving cream include 

  • food coloring (explore color mixing)
  • kitchen utensils and pans (pretend cooking)
  • paint brushes, sticks, fingers or other pointed objects (letter, number or shape formation, drawing, name or sight word writing)
  • cars and trucks to make tracks
  • foam or other light blocks to build structures

Enjoy! We sure did!

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