Super Fun Shaving Cream Messy Play


If you’re a fan of messy play, this shaving cream messy play is a must! This is the messiest, most fun shaving cream activity the kids can get into.

You might think I’m exaggerating, but once you get to the pictures you’ll see I’m not. This is SERIOUS messy fun, and it’s perfect for your students if you fully embrace the mess.

You won’t need much to get this messy sensory play ready to go. This shaving cream fun is meant to be outside, both so kids can get the full experience . . . and so cleanup is easier to handle.

preschoolers playing with shaving cream outside with text that reads shaving cream messy play

The shaving cream fun is the result of a few different sensory invitations held one day during a preschool summer camp. It was amazingly fun, and I’m not understating it when I say the kids had a blast. The teachers did, too! (Don’t worry, we had some less messy activities for the kids who were a bit mess averse.)

Shaving Cream Messy Play

As I just mentioned, the messy sensory play included a couple of different invitations throughout the course of a day. I’ll detail what we did below! But keep in mind that you can make adjustments as you see fit. You know your students best, and you should also take your own preferences into account.

Shaving Cream Sensory Play Materials

We kept it pretty simple in terms of materials! Here’s what we used:

If you can, I suggest buying the shaving cream in bulk. Especially if you go through as much as we did!

Shaving Cream Messy Play Directions

Start off small with a can or two of shaving cream, some Pop Rocks, and a large sensory bin. A large plastic container works well, too. The pop rocks and shaving cream make for an interesting tactile and auditory sensory experience for the kids!

Preschooler squirting shaving cream into a bin with teacher's help

Next, squirt more shaving cream into a second sensory bin. Add a few drops of liquid watercolors or food coloring to it. We went with blue just because. Add some sensory tools (like cups or spoons) if you want.

Let the kids help add shaving cream to a kiddie pool as well. At this point, you have 3 shaving cream invitations! You can add sensory tools or washable toys to the shaving cream here, too. We kept it super simple and just let the kids explore with the shaving cream.

Preschoolers' hands in bin of shaving cream with pop rocks

If you’re as adventurous as we were, you can take a break to try our car painting for kids activity. If so, be sure to bring the shaving cream with you. Because the shaving cream messy play continues after the car’s all painted. Let the kids squirt shaving cream in the parking lot (that’s been blocked off from any driving cars, of course). And watch as they play and explore.

Because that’s really what this messy play is all about – setting up opportunities for exploring and playing. Take my word for it, the kids will handle that! They just need a bit of supervision along the way.

Shaving Cream Sensory Play Tips

Having done this shaving cream messy play multiple times, I have a few tips to share:

  • If you’re going to go all out like we did, I highly recommend setting up your shaving cream messy play outside.
  • Have the kids wear bathing suits if at all possible. And be sure they bring a spare set of clothes to change into before going home.
  • This activity is not for children who still put things into their mouths. Only older preschoolers around for this. Shaving cream should never be ingested!
  • Be sure to review your expectations ahead of time. This was a messy sensory summer camp, so we knew there would be a lot of messy fun. But we still set basic rules, like:
    • You can only put shaving cream on yourself. Ask before touching anyone else with it.
    • Keep the shaving cream away from eyes and mouths as much as possible.
    • Ask a teacher for help if needed!
  • Make sure to have multiple spots where the kids can wash up on their own. Yes, the water will get fully of shaving cream eventually.
  • Speaking of washing up . . . the hose is your friend (both for the kids and the messy play areas).
preschoolers playing outside in a sensory bin of colored shaving cream

Playing with Shaving Cream

Oh my word, we all had such an amazing time with this shaving cream messy play! I can still hear the kids’ laughter! To say that an epic amount of play occurred might be an understatement.

The children explore the shaving cream with their hands, their arms, their elbows, their legs, etc. Many of them set about to explore the shaving cream bodily! We had some sensory tools on-hand, but the kids preferred to be hands-on much more.

Collage of preschoolers fully immersed in shaving cream messy play outside

Imaginative play took place, too! Some children pretended to get ready for shaving, emulating their loved ones. Others made up stories about snowy days and shaving cream volcanoes. At one point, about 6 or 7 kids were pretending to make shaving cream snow angels in the parking lot.

The kids also used it as paint! They painted the sidewalks, the parking lot, themselves . . . and me (after asking first, of course)! We had chalk out at one point. Some children drew with the chalk and then painted over it with the shaving cream.

And of course they added it to water. This was accidental at first – some kids were cleaning off in a bucket or a pool of water. And they loved how the shaving cream and water mixed.

2 preschoolers covered in shaving cream putting water squirters into a bucket

So there was jumping and careful splashing (they were great about the “keep it out of eyes and mouths” rule!). At one point, they were helping each other wash off using water squirters. Of course, they ended up just getting messier, but they had fun doing so.

What Did the Kids Learn?

I’m a big believer that there’s nothing wrong with fun for the sake of fun! But I also know that administrators and families like to know what the kids are learning even as they’re playing and enjoying themselves.

So I put together a list for you, just in case you need it. Here’s just some of the learning that took place during the shaving cream messy play:

  • Conversation skills
  • Vocabulary development
  • Turn taking
  • Sensory exploration
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Problem solving
  • Mark making and early writing
  • Conflict resolution
  • Measuring

Needless to say, the epic messy play adventure led to an epic amount of play and learning!

Alternative to Shaving Cream for Sensory Play

As I mentioned earlier, this shaving cream messy play experience isn’t meant for little ones who still put everything in their mouths. BUT if you want to try it on a smaller scale, I have a great alternative for you – whipped cream! Cool Whip is a good replacement, too.

Here are some possibilities if you want to give it a try:

Of course, you can just replace the shaving cream with whipped cream in your favorite shaving cream activity! Go ahead and give it a go.

Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know if you give our super messy shaving cream experience a try!

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Preschooler covered in shaving cream running outside with text that reads messy shaving cream sensory play

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