Happy Tuesday friends. I hope you are all getting to enjoy some warmer weather. This is the first week I will have to water my yard now that the constant rain storms have left. Today I needed a VERY quick set up activity. It is the last week of school for my oldest so I feel like a crazy person. Maybe this is terrible to say but…can’t school just end? Do we really have to do all the fanfare and parent volunteering crap? 😬 Am I a terrible person? Anyway, I digress. Today I pulled outage shaving cream, popped my toddlers down at the table and that was that! Here are some tips to make shaving cream an engaging and manageable sensory activity.
- Container of sorts, I used cookie trays
- Shaving cream (dollar store baby)
- Easily wirable surface (grab a table cloth, plop them in the tub or take it outside)
- EXTENSION small objects, washable letters or numbers
- CLEAN UP it is nice to have a damp hand towel at your play area
- Grab a towel and get it a little wet. Put it by your children work area.
- Then simply spray some shaving cream on the trays.
- Invite your gremlins to the table! (Side note-I often remove my kids shirts when we play with shaving cream, just to make clean up that much easier!)
Really can’t get much simpler can it? Well if our children were self cleaning it might be a bit simpler….Oh well, low expectations make for a happy mom! I called my girls over to the table and asked them what they saw. They were a bit timid for a minute. They poked it and smelled it. Then Middle Miss remembered this activity and asked if she could stick her hands in it. It was all history after that!
At first just rubbing their hands in it was enough. They spread the shaving cream all over. We doodled int the cream. It was fun to see how we could draw in the shaving cream.
Next I introduced some letters that were easily washable for Middle Miss and some Paw Patrol for Little Miss. Little Miss, who is one, liked covering the dogs with the shaving cream. Then she would ask, “Where it go?” Then she would hunt for it. Middle Miss was able to trace the letters and then we practiced spelling her name and putting the letters in the right order. We have played with magnetic letters before but it was very fun to add the shaving cream to the activity. (Note the messy belly? This is why I take off kids shirts)
After they had played for a good 15 minutes I noticed they were starting to “wash” themselves with the shaving cream. I wasn’t in the mood for that so I redirected and asked if they could wash their items off with some water. They LOVED this. I got small bowls of water at first and then eventually switched to a casserole dish half way filled with water. This extended the activity another 15 minutes.
In the end I scooped up each child and popped her in the bath. I then put all the trays and items, complete with shaving cream, into the shower with the messy girls. They took a shower and cleaned the messy stuff all at once. I think we can call that an activity extension too!
Clean up tips
I know many moms avoid these types of activities because they are TOO messy. I get that. I am here to help you see past the mess. It is totally manageable. This mess, really not that bad, took me 4 minutes to clean up! Here are some ways to keep Shaving Cream Sensory play fun.
- Set up the play in an easy to wipe down place or add an easy to clean table cloth (or spray down…outside or tub).
- Put the shaving cream in something that has boundaries, like a tray.
- Think ahead and place towels, to wipe off hands, next to the play area.
- Remove shirts from your munchkins.
- If you are using water proof items (which you should be) EVERYTHING (child included) can be placed in the shower. Have your child help in the clean up and make them responsible for cleaning the trays and toys.
- Use the hand towels to wipe off that table.
- This is an activity that really does need mom in eye sight. I did the dishes while the girls played that way I could see anything getting out of hand and I was able to step in to help with anything.
We hope you and yours had as much fun with this simple Take-A-Minute-Tusday activity as these girls did.
Real Mama Moment: Little Miss lost her flipping mind in the shower and started pulling sisters hair. She was promptly removed, dressed and put in her crib to cool off. I am sad that her big emotions took over but it doesn’t change the fact that she was giggling and completely engaged in the activity 15 minutes earlier. I think sometimes we think our children OWE us good behavior when we are trying to be a fun mom. But they don’t. I challenge you to not let something frustrating take away from all the fun and learning that an activity can bring your children and you!