Shaving Cream Play Activity

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April 20, 2023

Activities that encourage parent and child interactions, promote development, and benefit the brain do not have to be complicated or expensive! In fact, when our Healthy and Fair Start Parent Educators come into a client’s home, we bring ideas and activities that can easily be replicated by any household. One project that we like to do comes from the Parents as Teachers curriculum and needs only one thing: shaving cream or shaving foam.

Setting Up the Shaving Cream Activity

Depending on the age of your child, this game can be adapted. But regardless, it gets messy! For toddlers and young kids, we suggest using a table outside or covering an area with a plastic tablecloth or plastic wrap. For older kids, you can simply set out a cookie sheet or plate. Always supervise this activity! You don’t want anyone sampling the shaving cream!

  1. Cover the area with shaving cream! Hypoallergenic, scent-free shaving cream is best, but as long as your child doesn’t have sensitive skin, you can use any kind.
  2. Let the child explore the scent and texture of the shaving cream. Ask open ended questions like: “How does that feel?” and “What does it smell like?”
  3. Then “hide” some objects under the cream (plastic toys, a spoon, anything you have around and can be rinsed off). Ask them to find what you’ve hidden. For older kids, you can have them feel the object under the shaving cream without seeing it and have them guess what it is. You can hide it again and have them describe it.
  4. Turn it over to them! Give your kids agency and watch their creativity blossom. Ask: “What else should we do with the shaving cream?”

Why We Do It

Mostly because it’s fun! But there are great developmental benefits to sensory play, like this shaving cream activity. Messy play can reduce tactile sensitivity in children, which translates to better experiences with clothing and food later on. Shaving cream is a relatively mess-free way to play with textures! It can also help kids develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination by picking up, moving, and drawing with their fingers in the shaving cream. You can draw shapes, simple figures, or letters to engage your child in more learning activities.

Your child is using cues and memory to discover what’s under the shaving cream. It also helps develop object permanence, which is the idea that something still exists, even if it’s hidden or not in sight.

And there’s no end to the creativity and imagination you’ll see from your kids when you let them play with this safe, messy (but clean) activity!


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