shaving cream painting — a sensory experience!

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I know painting with shaving cream is not a novel idea, but I'd never tried it with Maia. Wow! She had so much fun. I wish I had done this with her and the art group from the very beginning.

This was a spur-of-the moment nighttime art activity. I was working in the studio when she came in and asked to paint and I thought of the shaving cream. I'm not sure how other people do this, but I squirted shaving cream on poster board and handed her bowls of paint and paint brushes. First she painted through the shaving cream with the brush and some red paint.

But she quickly moved on to using her hands and finger/hand painting through it. She loved how it felt on her hands and actually spent quite a bit of time just squishing it around in her hands and all over her arms.

Here's the finished painting. It smells very nice! :)
Have you tried shaving cream painting? Any tips or other ways to do it?
By the way, we had art group yesterday but it was more of an outdoor play day than an art day. We attempted giant bubbles but weren't very successful, and the kids drew with chalk on the driveway, cars, and the porch. Mostly they ate fruit juice popsicles and played.

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  1. says

    Wow, I haven’t posted about shaving cream painting in a long time, but we do this every month or two, or whenever we notice shaving cream at the dollar store. :)
    I usually start my daughter (just 20 months) out with plain white to see how wild she’ll be that day! And I give my son (now 6) a mound of shaving cream and let him sprinkle dry temperas over the top from old salt cheese shakers.
    Most of the time we do this activity straight on the enamel tabletop… and I take prints when inspired.

  2. says

    I want to try this one of these days. I’ve heard of using splashes of food coloring in it, but paint sounds better. I’ve also heard of doing this on the kitchen floor – and you end up with a great-smelling super clean floor afterwards.

  3. says

    That looks like SO much fun. I’ll have to find a shaving cream with a smell I can tolerate — I am picky. Maybe we’ll do that for our playgroup in a couple of weeks. Did you just use regular paper? Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  4. says

    Once again…Liquid watercolors to the rescue! They are great for the marbling techniqe referred to above. Also, for those squeamish about the potential “mess” try doing this in the bathtub!!
    Have fun…this is always a hit in my classes, but if you introduce it to a group, be aware, there may be a child or two who does NOT want to touch it…have brushes or other tools on hand for them, like you did for Maia initially.

  5. says

    I’ve done the marbling with shaving cream and also monoprints. After adding the colors to the shaving creaming and playing around a while, lay a sheet of paper over the cream and press. After the cream dries, you can scrape/brush it off with your hands for a neat, textured mono-print.

  6. says

    We’ll have to try marbling with shaving cream. It looks like fun. And the monoprints, too.
    Molly – I used a sheet of poster board since I had it on hand, but I’m sure you could use regular paper as well. Maybe thicker paper, since I’m not sure how well thin drawing paper would hold up to the shaving cream.

  7. says

    i just wanted to add whe i did it at the preschool i worked at we did it onthe tables with no food coloring to help clean the tables really really good!!! it cleans them to a sparkle!!!
    we also would just add powder tempera paint for color or food coloring
    i had never tried actual paint i might have to try that istead!

  8. says

    Shaving cream “painting” in the bathtub is a daily experience in our house. I’ll add powdered tempura to it for some color. For about a year, it was the only way I would get my older DD (then 3) in the shower! I would let her pick the color and mix it up on a platic plate. I haven’t tried it with liquid paints – will def. do that!

  9. Christine says

    My daughter (2 and a half) likes to do this and use her Fisher-Price Little People and cars in it — making patterns, tracks, covering the people and ‘finding’ them.. We do it right on the kitchen table, and I don’t usually mix in paint (never thought of it!). In the winter, we pretend it’s snow, since Richmond, VA doesn’t get much actual snow. I also know her preschool filled a water-play table with shaving cream and ice cubes for “snow and ice” play! I’ll have to try making prints and marbling, and also have it for bathtub play!

  10. cathy says

    ooo! fun and a great OT thing for kids with si (sensory integration) issues or fine motor skill development

  11. says

    Have you tried this on a window (or sliding glass door?) We’ve also used shaving cream in the bath tub by filling muffin tins and using food coloring for extra effect.

  12. says

    [...] Paintings and CreativeInterpretations Posted in Motherhood, Music by fightingwindmills on July 30th, 2008 My son really went to town with the paintings on Monday and Tuesday. He only spent about 2 minutes on each one, but he had a great time. He claims that most of them are sharks. We were using Apple Barrel brand acrylic paint. It looks to me like hes ready to move on to canvas. And I want to get some tempera powdered paint and mix that into shaving cream. I bet they would have fun with that texture on some posterboard, as suggested by The Artful Parent. [...]

  13. says

    I just stopped by from Mozi Esme’s Mommy blog….
    I haven’t done this yet with my 21 month old, but I used to do it a lot when I taught preschool. If you add equal parts shaving cream and glue (regular old Elmer’s glue) you’ll get a puffy effect when it dries. And I usually used food coloring for the colors but it looks like paint worked just fine.

  14. Lana says

    I work in child care and just thought I’d let you know how i do shaving cream painting
    I mix shaving cream in a bowl with glue and powder paint.
    I have found this allows the painting to keep it puffy textured look