Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sensory Saturday: Shaving Cream!

I buy shaving cream by the case. Literally. Shaving cream is one of those "go to" activities that is a must in any sensory diet. There's something about that creamy yet fluffy stuff that kids just go nuts over. I buy the fragrance free kind. LM has never had a problem with sensory or tactile defensiveness so he just jumps right in. For the more sensitive child you can spread the shaving cream on a tray and try encouraging them to use one finger to draw with and then gradually move to spreading it with their whole hand.

Shaving Cream Artist: A simple tabletop activity - spread a thin layer of shaving cream on a plate and let your child draw shapes, letters, squiggles ... be creative! Let them "erase" and start over again. This is a great one to introduce new concepts. LM is doing simple addition now and we always practice in shaving cream drawings.

Shaving Cream Car Wash: A little messier ... we often do this in the bathtub. Take a small car and cover it completely with shaving cream. Child first uses his hands to get as much of the suds off. Give your child a washcloth to finish washing the car. We use a lot of language with this one. Make up a story to encourage pretend play. "Daddy and LM drove this car through the mud and now its all dirty!" - make all sort of car sounds and squeaky cleaning sounds. Ask "WH" questions ... "What are you cleaning now?" "Oh! Good job cleaning the wheels!" "Who got this car all dirty?" "Daddy and me!"

Window Washer: Getting high on the messy scale with this one, but great now that summer has arrived! We go outside and spray shaving cream on the sliding glass door. Encourage your child to use great big arm movements to spread shaving cream way up high and left to right crossing midline. This is a great gross motor skill and LM gets heavy work activities out of it by pushing his arms against the door. We taught LM the concepts of UP and DOWN when he was younger this way. "Reach up, up ,up ,up!" "Slide down, down, down, down". Of course you can draw in the shaving cream too - I sometimes even add a squirt of nontoxic washable paint to the shaving cream. And when you're done, time to clean up. Take out the hose or spray bottles (I'll take any opportunity to get some fine motor activities in too!) and give him a washcloth or a squeegee. In this case kids think the clean up is just as fun!


  1. Love shaving cream - always good to go to the basics, right?

    This is also a blast in a swim suit in an empty bathtub -- just a kiddo (seeker) and a tub of suds. :)

    Thanks Lea!

  2. We haven't tried this yet but they are on our roster of crafts - I thought of them when I read your post:

    Materials Needed:
    • Shaving cream (foam)
    • White glue
    • Construction paper
    • Food coloring (optional)
    • Small plastic bowl (one per color)
    • Small paintbrush (or Q-tips)

    What to do:
    Step One: If you'd like your snow painting to have color, mix a small amount of glue with a drop of food coloring in a plastic bowl. If you'd like your painting to appear white, do not add any food coloring to the glue.

    Step Two: Add an equal amount of shaving cream to the colored glue.

    Step Three: Make a new mixture for each color you'd like to paint.

    Step Four: Use the paintbrush or a Q-tip to paint pictures with the shaving cream on a piece of construction paper.

    Step Five: Let the picture dry.
    When the picture has dried, the shaving cream will be puffy -- just like real snow!


  3. I have a mirror that Lucas can look into, there might be a picture of it on our blog, We put the shaving cream on the mirror and let him smear it away to see himself. He is seriously troubled by textures and this one gets him reacting as if we were hurting him.

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  4. My kids (including my daughter who doesn't actually have SPD) love playing in the shaving cream. We have sprayed my yoga mat and the kids roll around in it (often naked). It's too funny.

    We also add sugar and other textures like that since my son has problems with competing textures.

  5. The kids I work with love this too!

    I have one little girl with extremely sensitive skin-and a little boy who puts everything in his mouth-so whipped cream is also a good substitute-you can add food coloring right to the whipped cream-and "finger paint" on large construction or kraft paper-it will dry hard and be semi-permanent!

    We also make a sensory box with this-and hide little rubber animals (fish, bugs etc.) and let the kids find them. A great tactile/fine motoe exercise!

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    Debbie @
    Lucas's Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder

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