Colored Foam Paint — Better Than Shaving Cream for Kids’ Art and Sensory Play!

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Playing with Colored Foam Paint - Better Than Shaving Cream for Kids Art and Sensory Play

Have you tried
foam paint
? It's like shaving cream, but better. And you know how much we like shaving cream around here. (Refreshers herehere, and here. Just for starters.) Shaving cream may not be the neatest art material around, but when it comes to sensory art and sensory play, it's tops. Just ask any kid.

Well, the colored foam paint we've been exploring is like shaving cream, except it's colored (duh), has no scent (awesome!), and, according to the product description is non-toxic and environmentally friendly (no CFCs). It has also inspired some pretty unique art in our house.

Would you like to see the foam paint in action?

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The first time we tried the colored foam paint, we used
watercolor paper

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It was a relatively low-key, low-mess art session.

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Which is not to say that the kids didn't thoroughly enjoy the experience!

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Even I had a little fun adding hair to a face drawing.

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I was curious to see how the foam paintings would dry. Would they hold their shape?

Alas, no.

The foam paint dries up and shrinks flat. 

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And then flakes off.

So it's better for the experience of exploring and creating with the foam paint than it is for any sort of finished product. (Although the paper did retain plenty of pigment… I suppose you could brush off the dried bits and keep the remaining artwork.)

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By foam paint session number 3, the kids were completely into the foam paint and used it quite differently. They dived right in with their hands, squishing it…

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mixing colors…

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exploring three dimensionality…

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adding decorations…

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making patterns…

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And almost completely ignoring the paint brushes on the table.

Daphne was in the bath at this point, after covering her upper body with blue foam (and deciding she was finished). But Maia and Stella created 3-D artwork after 3-D artwork.

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It was so interesting to see them at work. I would have never expected these kinds of artworks or their level of attention. They created a garden, the yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz, and a "bubble gum explosion," among other pieces.

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And once they thoroughly exhausted the supply of foam paint (I saw it coming, but chose not to limit their use), they found the canister of regular shaving cream and kept going.

So, would I recommend foam paint? Yes!

Would the kids recommend foam paint? Yes!

The colored foam paint
is a Colorations brand product, so you have to order it from Discount School Supply if you want to give it a try. I don't know of any other brands available. (If you do, will you let me know?) And, at $6.49 a canister, it's not cheap. But, boy is it fun! I bought just three colors—the primaries—because of the price and because I figured we could mix the other colors from them.

Have you used foam paint with your kids? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience!

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  1. Roxanne says

    Last summer I put shaving cream in a muffin pan and added a different food color to each muffin cup. I sent the kids outside with paint brushes and trays to paint on. It ended up becoming body paint but hey we were outside. Your post makes me want to try this inside, minus the body painting. This is way cheaper then the foam paint.

  2. Andrea says

    Wow, that looks great! I’m not sure if I am willing to pay the price though. Maybe just once…

  3. says

    Yes, Jean, the previous commenter beat me to the punch. I have done the make-it-yourself puffy paint with my classes many times, with great success (and they can mix it up themselves)…approximately equal parts shaving cream and white school glue (the colorations washable glue works fine), then as much or little color as desired (I use the liquid watercolors, of course). In fact, sometime we don’t use color at all, for snowy paintings or cloud-inspired paintings on a colored background paper. It has a great puffy texture, and does hold it’s shape when it dries without flaking. It has a cool spongy texture. I have also found a women’s shave cream that is oatmeal scented…very mild and neutral, which solves the problem of the traditional shaving cream odor.