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Babies explore by touching, tasting and hearing. Playing is a critical component of their learning process! Sensory activities for children can be a great way to encourage their development and provide them with the opportunity to learn, as well as find out what they like! One great sensory activity? Toddlers love to play with shaving foam. Since it is nontoxic, water-based, and cleans up easily, it can be a safe way to encourage their interest in new things.
Is shaving foam safe for messy play?
Shaving Foam is generally safe, although you should always supervise your child when they are playing with shaving foam. You can put it in a large Ziploc bag for baby to squish around, or put it in an ice tray and let them play with it once it’s frozen. If your child likes bubbles, they’ll probably enjoy playing with shaving foam too!
Is shaving cream toxic to babies?
If some shaving cream is ingested, it might sting their eyes and cause stomach discomfort. Shaving cream should not be accessible to youngsters unless they are under supervision. The child is more likely to have irritated skin due to an allergic reaction to something in the shaving cream, or have sore eyes from having accidentally squirted it on their face and then use their fingers to try and rub it off.
Shaving foam is generally not toxic, but you should always check the ingredients. if you are looking for an alternative to use for messy play, I’ve included a quick recipe for one at the bottom of this article!
What are some shaving foam activities for kids?
You can create a host of amazing experiences with only a little bit of creativity, but here are a few messy play ideas to keep your toddlers and preschoolers entertained.
Things you will need:
- Shaving foam / shaving cream – It absolutely doesn’t have to be the most expensive brand either, the generic or off-brand will work just fine, and save you some money in the process.
- A bucket or sensory bin – If messy play is a staple in your household you may have invested in a specific tub or table. You can buy premade sensory bin kits on Amazon, or repurpose another container you already have. Look for shallow and wide tubs – bonus points for ones that are clear and allow your kids to see through the sides.
- Food coloring – Some of the below activities use food coloring. You can consider using non-toxic paint, but to be honest you need such a little amount that it would be cheaper in the long run to use the food coloring. (I’ve had food coloring in my cupboard for years and years which hasn’t dried out like the old paints have!)
Ice blocks within a shaving foam pool
Color some water with a few drops of food coloring, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. If you have some handy, adding in some glitter is a cool idea.
Once the cubes are frozen, empty them into a sensory bin that is filled up with shaving foam and let your preschoolers have at it! while the kids are still frozen they might use the blocks to build with or organize them in colored groups. As they start melting the colors will start to swirl around in the white shaving cream canvas – try encouraging your children to use their fingers to draw different shapes and create art with the color.
Shaving foam magic sand
Depending on how fine the sand you use is, it might feel a little different to the store-bought equivalent, but your kids will still have a blast playing with it! it’s not as messy as playing with completely dry sand, so if the weather isn’t fantastic outside you can still create a fun experience for your kids inside the house.
It’s an easy recipe! Add 3 cups of sand to a sensory bin, and add the shaving foam to it, mixing as you go. The consistency you are looking for is something that looks like dampened sand but feels airy to the touch when you run it through your fingers. You will more than likely use a whole can of shaving foam, so be prepared!
Your kids will surely come up with their own activities to do with their new sand, but consider starting them off by providing them with some rocks or shells to make their own mini beach, or get out the trucks and excavators!
This one is a pretty easy recipe! Squirt shaving foam into a muffin tin, and color each muffin space with food coloring. give your kids a brush or let them use their fingers to paint away!
You don’t need very much food coloring for each squirt of shaving foam to get some good colors. You may find your kids are more conscious of the process of choosing which color they are going to use, so if you are short on shaving foam or food coloring this could be a good way to ration it out somewhat.
TIP: mix in a little bit of dishwashing liquid to the foam before giving it to your children – this can help make washing the coloring off of their skin easier when it comes time to wash up after their painting session.
If your child has a penchant for drawing on themselves during art activities, stripping down to a nappy or some old clothes, heading outside onto the grass, and giving them a bucket of shaving foam might just be something they would enjoy!
This one is similar to letting them roll around in a mud pile, but the cleanup is absolutely easier! It’s also a great sibling activity, provided you can keep them from trying to put it in each other’s eyes.
Is there an alternative to shaving foam? Try Aquafaba!
Aquafaba is a vegan alternative to egg whites which whips up in a shaving cream texture. It is the leftover liquid from cooled chickpeas – a genius non-toxic alternative that is super easy to create! Drain a can of chickpeas and keep the liquid, then whip it with a hand or stand mixer! Whisking it by hand takes a long time and doesn’t seem to whip as well.
Whipping aquafaba takes anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes, or longer, depending on your equipment and how thick your aquafaba was to begin with. Don’t get disheartened if it takes some time to achieve stiff peaks; it might take some practice and perseverance.
when combined with food coloring, aquafaba foam can be part of the sensory experience that engages all five senses, since it is safe for your kids to put in their mouths. You could even experiment a little with taste by using artificial flavoring!
In conclusion – messy, sensory play is not just about fun
It is important to remember that children need time for unstructured play. They can’t always be in front of a screen or doing chores – they require messy, creative activities where they get their hands dirty and explore new textures with their senses.
Sensory activities for babies and toddlers are a great way to develop your child’s cognitive skills, while also having fun. Can’t get them outside? No worries! There are plenty of ways to have messy play while not destroying the house! The benefits of this type of playtime extend into adulthood as well – creative and imaginative thinking are important skills to develop!
I hope i’ve shared some fun sensory ideas you might not have thought about before! who knows, perhaps some of these activities will be a bit of fun for you, as well!