Experimenting with textures can be so much fun, not just for young children, but people of all ages. Take shaving cream for example. The squishy feeling of shaving cream in your hands is something so raw, so different, and can be so entertaining. Which is why I’m sharing it with you all for this week’s therapeutic activity.
I’ve mentioned before the importance of young children (especially toddlers and preschool-age kids) to play with different textures. It helps their development to explore and they learn much through their five senses. But shaving cream play is also lots of fun for older kids and adults as well. Take last week for example. In the playroom we did shaving cream play and even the volunteers got into it, playing around the with kids in the shaving cream.
You can squish it, you can paint with it, you can color it, and much more if you are inventive. For younger kids the experience is more of just touching and experiencing the feeling. Older kids often enjoy using their finger to draw pictures in it. If you grab some water colors and drip them from a syringe you can color the shaving cream (and have the added benefit of medical play!!!) I even heard that you can take the colored shaving cream, draw a picture with it and then place a piece of paper on top to transfer the drawing onto to the page. We didn’t test that theory out, but when I do, I’ll let you know how it went!
Now you may be thinking that shaving cream play will make quite a mess. You may be right, but there are ways to alleviate the mess a bit. I recommend putting the shaving cream in a tub to help contain it, or if you’re feeling adventurous, cover the table with plastic trash bags so when you’re down clean up is a snap. You’ll still have to deal with messy hands, but an apron will help and also cleaning up as soon as your kids get bored with the activity. One piece of advice though. If you do decide to do the play right on the table, make sure your kids understand that this is something they should ask permission to do before hand, and don’t tell them it will clean the table. My brother once did this activity at school and thought that shaving cream was a cleaner. He came home that day and decided he would help our mother by “cleaning” the coffee table with shaving cream. That was quite a surprise to walk in on ^-^.
But don’t let that story scare you! Shaving cream play is really very fun and therapeutic. Kids love to do it and it’s not something that is done often. So go ahead and have a little fun. Let me know how it went!
Shaving Cream Play Activity Notes
Ages: 2 and up (keep an eye on the little ones to make sure none of it goes in their mouths!)
Materials Needed: Shaving cream, a flat surface, trash bags (for easy clean-up), syringe, and liquid water colors (to decorate if desired)
Medical play (if using syringes)