Shaving Cream, Inside and Outside

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Veronika’s fun with sensory materials continues, first inside a bag, and then out! Today, it was shaving cream’s turn as the starring material. To start, squirt a little shaving cream into sandwich-sized zip-top bags, then add a bit of food coloring to each.

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I used just green for one bag, but combined yellow and red in a second for some coloring mix. Seal tightly and add duct tape across the top for security.Veronika loved helping disperse the colors in the bags by squishing them. These were as soft as pillows to hold!

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But now it was time to get messy. I placed a few toys in the bottom of a craft bin. Choose items that will be easy to wash off, like plastic dinosaurs or animals, or toy cars. Now fill the container with shaving cream! I used about 1 and 1/2 bottles of shaving cream to completely bury the items.

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Veronika’s job was to dig! Your kids might want to immediately get up to their elbows in the stuff.  Veronika preferred to start with a wooden spoon, daintily stirring to uncover items.

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When she found the first car, she wanted to rinse it, so I gave her a separate small bucket of water.

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Now she wasn’t afraid to get soapy! She would dip her hands in the shaving cream, transfer a toy or her hands to the water, rinse, and repeat. “Now giraffe will be all clean,” she said proudly. Sometimes she wanted to dunk a toy right back in the shaving cream after rinsing it off!

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The messier the better with this one, because all said and done, your child is really playing with… soap!

Shaving Cream Rainbows

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Here’s a messy and hands-on way to make a full rainbow with your toddler!

I squirted shaving cream into each of the 6 compartments of a muffin tin, then set out food coloring in the three primary colors.

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Veronika was my helper to squeeze the color into each portion of shaving cream. We could make red, yellow, and blue just by squirting into three of the shaving cream portions. The other three portions required mixing: red + yellow made orange (alas, a sort of muddy one), yellow + blue made a bright green, and blue + red turned into a vibrant purple.

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I had to work quickly, because Veronika immediately wanted to turn this into sensory play!

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Soon she was scooping up portions of the colored shaving cream on craft sticks, stirring them, and smearing them together. I had intended to scoop out a bit of each shaving cream color and make an actual arcing rainbow, but she was so content that I let her play the game her way.

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Was she as interested in the fact that we’d mixed up ROYGBIV? Not especially; this really turned out to be sensory play. But we had fun with this very messy rainbow!

Update: Because she loved this game so much, we did a repeat… but with a twist. This time, I mixed up the colors ahead of time so Veronika wouldn’t immediately begin mixing and matching them. Then, I showed her how to paint the colors onto the window in rainbow order.

“A rainbow!” she said with delight, and began dabbing on the paint, too.

As a bonus, this will actually leave your windows squeaky clean, since shaving cream is basically just soap. Veronika loved helping wipe off the excess with paper towels and then using a spritz bottle and paper towels, long after the shaving cream rainbow was gone.

Shaving Cream Bonanza

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Today, Veronika went bananas with a shaving cream bonanza! Much like finger painting in the tub, this activity is perfect because you’re exactly where you need to be to rinse off at the end. In fact, your tub may be cleaner than when the game began, thanks to the soapy shaving cream.

I dressed Veronika in her bathing suit and placed her in a dry tub, then simply squirted out shaving cream: lots! I probably used about three-quarters of a container, but this was so fun that I might use a full bottle or two next time.

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First, Veronika had fun with her tub toys in the oceans of foam. Plastic boats looked like they were in an icy sea!

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She also liked adding bath toys like a penguin and dolphin, which could romp through the soapy waves.

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Your kids might want to play with the shaving cream on the floor of the tub or to smear it on the walls. For the latter, you could even take the opportunity to draw shapes or letters, but honestly we skipped that part today.

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Instead, I placed a basin of warm water next to Veronika and she loved scooping water up in cups and pouring it over the toys. This was neat because it made some of the shaving cream dissolve each time. She then decided it was more fun to scoop up shaving cream in her hand, rinse in the basin, and repeat. She got into such a groove solo with this activity for a while, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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As she was finishing up play, we turned it into clean-up, simply rinsing each toy and watching the shaving cream go in runnels down the drain. A quick rinse for her hands and feet and clean-up was done!

2 Ingredient Homemade Snowballs

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There’s no need to wait for the next snowfall before your kids have a good old-fashioned snowball fight. Make your own snowballs at home with just two ingredients in this hands-on activity!

To make the snowballs, you’ll simply need 1 (16-ounce) box cornstarch and 1 (7-ounce) can shaving cream. Combine these two ingredients in a craft bin and stir.

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I wish I had photos from the exuberant mixing session that followed. This is messy toddler play at its best, and Veronika was up to her elbows (literally!) in the mixture. Unfortunately, I was up to my elbows in it, too, so couldn’t grab my camera in the moment.

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Once the mixture comes together, it is shockingly not messy at all, but rather squeezes together into perfect “snowballs”. We headed outside with our ammo!

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Older kids will no doubt want to have a real battle. In that case, you’ll probably want to make a double batch, and then each team can make a fort and pelt away. The snowballs are so soft that there’s no need to worry about anyone getting hurt.

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For toddlers, the delight is more sensory. Veronika loved the way she could hold one of the soft snowballs carefully in two hands. But the second she tossed it to the ground, it splattered into crumbles.

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She loved doing this off our patio, or even sending snowballs down her plastic slide.

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Once everything was in crumbs, she kept playing for a long time. She enjoyed picking up the leftover bits of the mixture and then sprinkling it down to make it “snow” all over the yard.

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Although I wouldn’t recommend regularly sprinkling a shaving cream mixture on your grass, it doesn’t hurt once during the winter season!

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Shaving Cream Marbling

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I made shaving cream prints with Travis when he was in preschool, and it was meant as an art project (one that resulted in lovely bookmarks!). For Veronika at age two, this same activity was definitely more about the process and the sensory play. I love when I’m able to tailor big kid activities to my toddler in this way.

To start, we squirted a thick layer of shaving cream into a disposable foil tray. In turn, I placed this inside a second craft tray, because the activity is definitely messy.

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Next, we added lots of drops of natural food coloring. You can also use liquid watercolors, but I like the food coloring with a toddler because it doesn’t stain.

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I showed Veronika how to swirl the colors through the shaving cream with a dowel. The dowel is great because it’s long enough that you’ll minimize any mess on your toddler’s fingers!

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Next, we pressed a piece of watercolor paper over the shaving cream, patting down on it lightly. Veronika loved the patting! Lift up and reveal the pretty marbled colors.

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Finally, we needed to scrape off the excess shaving cream, and the edge of a jumbo craft stick works great for this. Repeat as many times as desired!

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We ended up with four lovely prints that we can turn into art, but Veronika was still busy with all the materials. We squirted in a second layer of shaving cream, then added lots more food coloring, and did lots more stirring, scooping, and playing for quite a while.

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Puffy Snowmen with Shaving Cream and Glue

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I’ve been on a hunt this winter season to find the best toddler snowman project, whether stamping it with marshmallows, turning it into a melted snowman, and more. In this version, the snowman shape isn’t cut out until the end, meaning your toddler can simply have fun with painting on a more sensory level.

First, we needed to make puffy paint, which is fast becoming a favorite around here. I squirted equal parts white glue and shaving cream onto a paper plate and Veronika helped mix it all up with a paintbrush.

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She began to smear it thickly over a sheet of white craft paper. I encouraged her to use all her senses for this particular paint. The shaving cream mixture smells fresh and soapy and has a wonderful goopy texture.

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I encouraged her to make a handprint…

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…which led to gleefully squeezing the mixture between her hands. We had a quick hand wash and then finished covering the white paper with the puffy paint.

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Once dry, I taped a snowman template onto the back of the paper and cut out. Be careful as you cut not to squeeze the puffy paint mixture, or it may flake off.

The snowmen looked so cute in the window, and almost like they were covered with real bits of snow!

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Slippery Sledding Bin

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When your kids wake up to a huge snowstorm outside and sledding is in the near future, but it’s too windy and cold to go sledding just yet… Take the toys sledding instead!

I loved the set-up for this activity because it required only one ingredient: shaving cream. I turned a glass bowl upside down over a craft tray and sprayed liberally with shaving cream. The kids were sort of in awe that mommy was doing this!

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Smooth down into an even layer, then add toys and send them sledding! Lids from the kitchen make perfect sleds for Playmobil figures (we used one from a peanut jar).

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We also have a few Little People figures who came with their own skis and slids, and they were perfect for sending down the “hill”.

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Travis loved having figures face plant in the snow!

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Veronika just thought it was amazing to see how slippery and soapy the tray was, making it more of a sensory game for her.

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This was messy for sure, but a fun way to start the morning.

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Shaving Cream Car Wash

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Veronika loves a song about going to the car wash, so I knew she would enjoy making the concept come to life with her favorite toy cars!

Shaving cream does double-duty in this game. It can either be the snow and muck getting cars dirty, or the soapy suds washing them off, depending how your toddler wants to play!

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I squirted a generous amount of shaving cream onto a tray, and showed her how to drive her cars through.

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The shaving cream is so fun to scoop up with any construction vehicles your child has. It’s also great for making tracks.

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But Veronika preferred the second step of our “car wash”, which was transferring the cars over to a bucket of warm clean water. Now, the shaving cream dissolved into suds and the water was soon thick and soapy.

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“The car’s in the muck!” she said with delight. She loved swimming the cars through this bin for quite a long time.

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Finally, we really did need to get them clean! So I added a second tray of warm water to get off the last of the suds.

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Every car was soon toweled dry and sparkly clean.

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Halloween Shaving Cream Sensory Activity

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To get in the mood for all things orange this month, I turned the color into a sensory experience for Veronika today!

To start, I filled a shallow tray with a thick layer of foamy shaving cream. You can use orange food coloring for the next step, but I preferred to drizzle on some red and some yellow.

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This way, Veronika could see it “magically” turn orange as we mixed it all together.

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She wasn’t hesitant about getting her hands in it, but she quickly decided she didn’t like being goopy.

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Instead, I passed over a paintbrush. Now, she loved stirring through! So we pulled out orange and black construction paper and soon she was smearing the pages with the mixture. To make it more like puffy paint, add a little glue and stir to combine.

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As a final messy element (since, heck, we were already a mess!), sprinkle a little glitter on before the puffy paint dries. Once dry, scrape off any excess shaving cream.

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This is great way to have Halloween-themed sensory play with one- and two-year-olds, even before they’re old enough to understand the holiday!

Shaving Cream Fingerpaint

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There’s more to this activity than just the sensory fun of shaving cream or the artistic fun of colors and “painting”; half the fun was doing the activity right on the tabletop!

I squirted about half a can of shaving cream onto the kids’ table, which immediately piqued everybody’s interest, Veronika and big brother alike.

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The curiosity grew once I added drops of food coloring throughout.

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Now it was time for the real sensory fun to begin! I demonstrated for Veronika that she could put her hands right in the mixture, either to swirl the colors around or just to get messy.

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Interestingly, she was hesitant at first, but soon a little finger dipped in. Foamy!

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The sensation must have made her quite happy because it merited a little swirling dance.

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After that, though, I couldn’t quite tell if she liked the shaving cream or was a little afraid of it. She did lots of delicate dabbing, but never got as messy as I had anticipated.

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Big brother Travis tried his hand gladly and liked creating “animal footprints” through the shaving cream.

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Veronika preferred just having some of the shaving cream on her palms. She smooshed her hands together and admired both the creaminess and the color left behind. Then it was time to wash! And the shaving cream mixture wipes off of the table like a dream.

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Overall, this wasn’t the best version of fingerpainting we’ve done as far as producing art. But it was still a great sensory experience.