Shaving cream isn't just for dad to use on his face. Kids can make an array of awesome activities with the foamy white stuff that include science and art projects. Whether you are looking for an indoor rainy day activity that gets your grade-schooler thinking or an outdoor project for your kindergartener to try on a sunny summer day, shaving cream is an easy-to-use material that allows your little learner to use her imagination.
If you are looking for a creative craft that your child can try over and over again, shaving cream is an imaginative way to help your young artist experiment with a rainbow of colors. Start with a cutout construction paper base. Your child can make a large oval for an Easter egg design, an arched rainbow outline, a diamond kite or any other shape that he can think up. Place a piece of newspaper on your work surface -- under the paper shape -- to catch the mess. Cover, partially or fully, the shape with shaving cream. Have your child drip a few drops of different hues of food coloring onto the shaving cream. You might want to use washable liquid tempera for younger kids because the food coloring easily stains hands and the surrounding areas. Use a plastic spoon or spatula to mix the colors and the cream, allowing the food coloring to sink in to the paper. Gently wipe the shaving cream off to reveal a swirl of light colors on the paper.
Kids can create a super-scientific shaving cream experiment that allows them to explore how the consistency of the substance acts like a physical barrier. This activity is easy enough for a first-grader, but still will interest an older student. Fill a clear punch-sized bowl half way up with water. Add a layer of shaving cream to the top. Ask your child to come up with her own hypothesis on why the shaving cream floats on the water. Discuss the concept of density along with this sink or float activity. Choose a few objects that are heavier such as marble or a pebble, and lighter such as a feather, to see which one sinks under the cream and which ones float. Finish the experiment by dripping different colors of food coloring on top of the shaving cream. Note that while on top of the shaving cream they stay as separate shades, but once they sink through the barrier they mix together in the water below.
Go outside on a warm day and have your child create his own washable graffiti using shaving cream. Clear a concrete area such as a backyard walkway or a concrete deck. Avoid using areas that are near traffic such as the driveway or a front yard sidewalk. Have your child use the shaving cream to create his own graffiti designs and pictures, or write his own name. Add some color to the graffiti art by dripping a drop or two of food coloring or tempera paint into the shaving cream design. When the art making is done, snap a picture to remember your artist's masterpiece and wash it off the garden hose.
Finger-painting isn't just for toddlers. Kids in preschool, kindergarten and even grade school will get a kick out of a creatively sensory shaving cream paint activity. Line your work surface with newspaper or a painter's tarp. Place a few dabs of tempera paint -- or use a pinch or two of powdered tempera -- on a cardboard base. Reuse the front of an old cereal or cracker box instead of buying new board for this messy activity. Squeeze dots of shaving cream on the cardboard near the paint. Let your child get in touch with her creative side by spreading the shaving cream into the paint, mixing it together to form new hues. Younger kids might just want to explore the finger painting process, while older ones can purposefully try to mix new colors. Give your child a piece of paper and have her use her fingers and hands, or even feet, to make colorful shaving cream prints to keep and display.
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