Sunday, March 1, 2009
Shaving cream is a staple for early childhood education. Its soft, foamy texture is fun to feel. Some kinds have a distinctive smell. A child can experiment with finger movement and learn how to operate a can, which takes a lot of muscle strength in a concentrated direction.
There are many, many, MANY ways to use shaving cream. In fact, I've already talked about it on this blog when I wrote about making puffy paint. I'm sure I'll talk about it again another time. This post is just about one way.
I like to put shaving cream on trays on a table. This helps to define space for kids who are sensitive to having others play with the same material. I like to provide art brushes for those who don't want to touch the shaving cream as well as comb-like objects that make a pattern when they're dragged through the shaving cream. Most kids won't wear a smock but I have them nearby anyway.
While I usually start with some shaving cream on each tray (one or two in a flat design, another one or two with a small hill) I also let kids add more shaving cream on their own. Typically this involves leaving the can on the tray while they push down with all their might to get some out. Some kids will spend their entire time just spraying more out of the can, and that's ok. Shaving cream is cheap, the time and ability to practice with those muscles is priceless.