An excess of shaving cream

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This was our project for yesterday: a reintroduction to shaving cream, very possibly Maia's favorite art material ever.


In the past, I've manned the shaving cream dispenser, squirting the stuff wherever she asked. But this time she insisted on doing it herself. It's hard work as you can see on her face! But oh so satisfying. Good thing I bought the super cheapy stuff, because she emptied the canister.


I set out some tempera paint and she mixed and mushed it around with the shaving cream using her hands half the time and her paint brush the other half.


I know you're thinking that this looks like the messiest possible art project, but it's actually super easy to clean up because of the shaving cream. You could do this at the kitchen table (or kitchen floor) if you don't have a dedicated art space. Or outside when it's warmer. Or even in the bathtub (make sure you have a good nonslip mat!).


By the way, I've starting working on my "project a day" list and will share it with you once I've finished putting it together. So far it's heavy on the art projects (big surprise) but also includes cooking, excursions, and nature activities.

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  1. Mary Jo says

    Hi! I came across your blog a few months ago and really enjoy reading it! I’m a former teacher turned SAHM with an almost 15-month old son. Do you have suggestions of good projects to start at this age? Thanks so much!

  2. Julie says

    I can’t wait to see your list either! I tired this with my 18 month old the second I saw it on Google Reader. At first, she didn’t want to touch the shaving cream, but then she really enjoyed it. Thanks for a quick idea!

  3. Allison says

    I have had shaving cream on the shopping list for ages, with the intent of doing this project, but can never remember to actually get it. My husband uses some fancy organic non-aerosol cream that doesn’t look like fun at all. But seeing that first picture of Maia with such an intense look of concentration cracks me up – and I think I’ll stop at the store on the way home today because its making me smile to just think about my Maya making that face!

  4. MO says

    What is the material of the white “paper” on which she’s spreading the shaving cream?
    BTW, just wanted to say thanks for yesterday’s post – was a nice reminder about the benefits of spending time with my boys before trying to do anything when I get home. We brought out the rice box once I got home and everyone had a blast – set a really nice tone for the whole evening.

  5. says

    I’m impressed with the amount of effort u are putting in to help Maia enjoy the fun of artistic expression. She sure seems to be loving it. Hoping to get inspired too. I blog about creativity too.

  6. says

    Mo — she’s using a piece of poster board for the shaving cream painting. I’ve been buying them more lately since they are cheap (22 cents each last time I bought them) and large and hold up well to paint and shaving cream and other messy art materials. Sometimes I cut a large board down into smaller pieces and sometimes I just give her an entire poster board to work on.
    Julie — glad you got a chuckle out of it! I probably would’ve tried limiting the shaving cream extravaganza, but she was just SO into it.

  7. says

    You could also have her work in a shallow baking pan and then make a “print” of her gorgeous creations. Let the shaving cream dry and then wipe off and the color will still be on the paper.
    I love parents who let their kids get hands on and messy! Keep it up.

  8. threegirlpileup says

    Oh, my four year old would LOVE this. But I do think I’m going to wait until it warms up and we can do it outside!

  9. says

    We tried out playing with shaving cream today and had a great time. I’ve posted about it and linked to this post. I hope that’s ok :)

  10. Sara says

    When I was teaching art, I would mix equal parts glue and shaving cream and let my first graders paint with it. They painted snowmen on paper and covered styrafoam balls with it to look like little snowball men, adding googly eyes and toothpicks for arms and legs. It dries firm and still foamy looking. They had a create time painting with “snow.” I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for your inspiration.

  11. Sara says

    I absolutely love this blog! I teach science classes to toddlers but we integrate a lot of art projects like this! You can also color your shaving cream with food coloring for some funky pastel/tie dye looking colors. I’m hoping to use your recipe for puffy paint in one of my classes soon, thanks!