Shaving Cream Art for Kids

There are so many fun projects you and your child can do with a can of inexpensive shaving cream (you can get a can for around $1). Remember to always have patience and encourage your child or students with special needs to do as much as they can on their own. Here are a few activities that kids of different abilities can enjoy:

Mix shaving cream and glue for 3-D Paintings - Mix equal amounts of shaving cream and glue and get some colored or dark paper.  Use a paint brush or Popsicle stick to paint clouds, ghosts, or whatever white objects your child can dream up. Unlike regular paint, shaving cream paint can be used in big globs to make three-dimensional paintings.  If your child has limited grip, look for a paint brush with a big handle or chubby brushes.  Set the artwork out of your child’s reach to dry, then check out the cool puffy creations the next morning! 

Mix shaving cream and food coloring- Put a few generous globs of shaving cream on a tray or baking sheet. Add drops of food coloring and let your child smear it around with a spoon or paint brush. Place a piece of paper on top and press down to transfer the masterpiece. Lift up the paper and scrape off the shaving cream with a spatula and wipe clean with a cloth or paper towel (this type of paint could also go directly on paper). For a more washable method of this painting, try mixing hand lotion with washable paint, then let your child paint using their fingers, paint brush, comb, rollers, etc. Some kids, like Hope, have even used washable paint on the acrylic tray of her stander, then transferred it onto paper (See HopeAbilities – Handprint Flower Art video here)

Explore shaving cream and hidden objects in a bowl or tray – Use the shaving cream as a way for your child to explore their sense of touch and discovery. Encourage them to explore the texture of the cream with their fingertips and hands and to really enjoy it – it is OK (and fun) to get a little messy!  You can hide items in the shaving cream such as cars, balls, bath toys, or whatever else.  After they find the items, they may want to wash them in another bowl of water or under the faucet to be able to examine what they found.

Thoughts to Consider:

  • Your child may enjoy the smell of shaving cream, but if they don’t you could get unscented shaving cream or try a mild conditioner instead.  Suave is very in expensive and could be a substitute.
  • Of course, shaving cream is not edible, so always watch your child closely to make sure that the shaving cream is used as a toy and learning tool and not food!
  • Don’t forget to put a painting smock or art apron on your child to minimize the mess to their clothing.
  • In a school setting, get creative about how to get your kids who use wheelchairs involved in the activity.  One neat product that encourages inclusion of kids in wheelchairs and standers to paint in a small group is the Paint Shop window that kids can paint on.

For children with special needs, there are many goals you could have for this art activity. They include:

  • Increasing hand function and finger dexterity
  • Increasing creativity and art skills
  • Independent thinking – choosing colors, paint tools, and who to give artwork to
  • Increasing awareness of sense of touch and sense of smell
  • Encouraging curiosity as they search for treasures in the shaving cream
  • Discovery of different textures of items in shaving cream and water
  • Providing a non-threatening sensory experience for a child who is tactile defensive

Doesn’t this sound fun?  It is!  Have you tried any shaving cream or similar painting activities at your home or school? What have been your experiences?

Photo Credit: by jimmiehomeschoolmom

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