Shaving cream – the most asked for art material in our house

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Shaving cream is not technically an art product, but it has to be the most requested material in our well-stocked studio. Maia loves the stuff! I can barely stand it myself — the smells (even unscented), the texture, the darn can — but she gets so much joy out of using the shaving cream every single time that I relent and buy it again and again. Not that I make a big deal out of it. And frankly, if a kid wanted to make art out of Wonder Bread and toothpicks, I'd buy them.

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This time when Maia asked to do some shaving cream painting, I set out powdered tempera as well. I showed her how to dip her brush in the shaving cream, then in the paint (so it sticks), then back to the shaving cream to tint it.

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Of course she had to do it with her hands, too. To her, there is no other way to paint with shaving cream. It's all about the direct contact and sensory experience.

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A little sprinkle of glitter for special effect at the end and she's done.

Here are a few other shaving cream posts, in case you haven't tried this yet and are looking for ideas:

How about you? What's the most asked for art material in your house? By the way, I should clarify — tempera paint and markers probably get used the most in our house. But shaving cream (which I keep up high) gets asked for the most and is used with the most enthusiasm.

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  1. says

    How about white foam paint? I haven’t tried it, but I saw it over at the Littlest Birds Studio. It probably doesn’t smell, but I bet it is more expensive. Still, if I head to Target today, I am getting shaving cream. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. [email protected] says

    I just love that you have a dedicated art space in your home. We end up doing all of our art at the kitchen/dining table and I would love to have a separate space. Any suggestions?

  3. mary says

    Many years ago(35)I did shaving cream art with my children, only we did it outside on the house windows. After a fun day of painting on over 10 “canvas”, we would have the best part (according to the kids), hose time!! The kids would have a blast, no clean up and the cleanest downstairs windows in the neighborhood! (don’t ask about the upstairs windows..:-)

  4. Jessica Flowers says

    Funny – we did this last night too! Luke loves to get his feet into it so we opted for the back patio as our canvas. It’s such a great sensory excercise for them. I love to watch it happen. After “painting” with his feet he put he leftover on his face and pretended to be Santa. We are very excited for Christmas at our house!

  5. says

    Thanks for the reminder about shaving cream! The first time we tried it out was after I discovered your blog! My girl loves the stuff too. She is all about sensory! I also think it would make a great toddler art project/activity – sub the shaving cream for some whipped cream in can (just in case you have some mouthers)and add maybe a drop or two of food coloring (depending on how you feel about food coloring, of course!). I’ll give it a go and let you know!

  6. Amy says

    At our school and home it is all about the clay and play-doh. We can’t get enough of it!! I am a little tired of it myself and would gladly do shaving cream, but it is about what they want, not what I want!

  7. says

    100% with you on the shaving cream. At the end of the hot weather this year I finally relented and got TWO cans of shaving cream, which were used to fill the kiddie pool in the back yard for a full-body sensory experience – and as a result ended up EVERYWHERE… the deck, the grass, the outside toys, and especially the puppy. That was a serious tactical error on my part.
    We have used shaving cream with food coloring on paper as a final product, to make marbleized prints, and on the (outside of) the glass door. I agree with you about the sickening smell and the irritation factor, but it is tons of fun and so like you I give in periodically and we have a shaving cream extravaganza. Doing it in the bathtub can be satisfying as well as making cleanup easier in inclement weather.

  8. says

    I haven’t tried shaving cream. I should. But I am reluctant – I can still remember the smell from the end of school shaving cream fight!
    In our house, it’s all always about sticky tape. It gets used with so many different things. My two year old has lately taken to putting a strip of it on the edges of all our breakfast bowls!?

  9. says

    Fun! We keep shaving cream in an accessible spot for our four- and six-year-olds. Whenever they want to use it, they grab it, strip, and play as long as they want in the empty bathtub. At some point during their play I wander by, notice them, and keep myself available to rinse them off when they’re finished.
    Powdered tempera paint has been on my wish list FOREVER! This project will join all the other thousand uses that I have in my head for it.

  10. says

    Yes, shaving cream is much loved in our house as well! And also kept in the art cabinet. I think of all mushing and messing and mixing projects as “art” because they are creative (even if you can’t keep the creation) I love the idea of tinting with tempura powder. Watercolor would work well too (although I hesitate to suggest that because it will become a “must” every time!).

  11. jwg says

    Have you tried mixing it with white glue? The creations dry and many of the swirls and peaks remain. It also feels good!

  12. Liz says

    What ratio of shaving cream to glue??? Does it actually dry? I would like to do somehting that can “keep”..rather than bubble and disappear…

  13. Kristi says

    To keep the shaving cream fluffy – mix just enough glue into it to give the cream a sheen. You can also mix in a little tempera paint or food coloring. It does take quite a while to dry. it will stay more dimensional if you just use it in blobs, like scoops of ice cream, circles for snowmen, etc.

  14. Lisa says

    I was hoping someone had a recommendation for unscented shaving cream. I’ve been looking for MONTHS without success!
    We are using Barbasol aloe and oh my, the smell lingers for way to long. And it can’t be good for little ones with all the phthalates!