Thursday, July 03, 2014

Giant Shaving Cream Rainbow Sensory Play

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Looking for rainbow activities? Well, your kids are going to love this giant shaving cream rainbow! It's a fun outdoor messy sensory play activity.

Embracing messy sensory play is challenging for me. To be honest, it's the clean up that scares me off. But I have noticed how much my boys love to dig in and get messy. So I'm trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone a bit more by setting up more messy sensory play activities for them. 

This giant shaving cream rainbow is definitely one of those times I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. 

I mean this activity ends up being a full body sensory experience for my kids. They literally got covered in shaving cream by the end of it all.

By the way, this was also the first time we've used shaving cream for sensory play before. Cue the gasps. What kind of sensory blogger am I if I've never used shaving cream for sensory play before? It's shocking. I know.

Anyway, despite my hesitations to let things get messy, this idea was a fun activity for my boys. It was 100% worth the effort to step outside of my comfort zone and set this up for them.

Shaving cream rainbow messy sensory play activity for kids

Giant Shaving Cream Rainbow Sensory Play: What You'll Need

If you're ready to try some full-body sensory play and create your own giant shaving cream rainbow, here's what you'll need:

  • 7 cans of shaving cream - I bought mine at the dollar store so it cost me less than $10. You'll use 6 for the rainbow shape and 1 for the clouds.
  • Bowls and spoons - To mix up the rainbow assortment of shaving cream you'll need
  • Tarp (preferably blue like the sky) - The tarp will be the canvas for your rainbow and to help contain the sensory play
I then dyed the shaving cream using food coloring and/or liquid watercolors. I made red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. I skipped indigo. You'll need one can of shaving cream per color, leaving one to make the clouds. 

Simply mix one full can of shaving cream with some coloring in a bowl. I personally found that the shaving cream that was colored using the liquid watercolors was much more vibrant than when dyed with food coloring, but use whatever you prefer.

Once you have all of your colors mixed up, arrange the colored shaving cream into a rainbow shape - and in rainbow order - on the tarp. Then use the remaining can of shaving cream to make clouds on either end.

Giant shaving cream rainbow sensory activity for kids

Close up of colored shaving cream sensory play

Close up of colored shaving cream sensory play

After spending twenty minutes with help from my youngest son K, the entire rainbow was colored and set up on a tarp in our backyard. Then, unfortunately, my oldest J complained about not feeling well. He ended up with a bit of a stomach bug less than an hour later. So we had to press pause on this sensory activity. At least for that day. 

Get Messy with this Shaving Foam Sensory Play Rainbow!

We ended up leaving the shaving cream rainbow out in the sun for over 24 hours. And thankfully, J was feeling much better the next day. I'm glad that it also didn't rain overnight or anything. Otherwise our poor rainbow would have washed away. While the colors of the shaving cream intensified overnight, it did end up looking a bit weird in terms of texture.

Shaving cream rainbow close up

Despite it's now weird appearance, the kids still thought it was delightful to play with. And, by play, I mean they fully immersed themselves in this shaving cream sensory play. They started off rubbing it all over their bellies. Then their arms. Then their legs...

Kid rubbing colored shaving cream on their body

Kid covered in shaving cream playing outdoors

Child covered in colored shaving cream

And it was lovely to see all the colors swirl together into a glossy, sparkly mixture. Goodbye, shaving cream clouds. And goodbye, shaving cream rainbow. Now it's time to say hello to some beautiful shaving cream art for the entire body!

Kid playing in colored shaving cream

Close up of colored shaving cream sensory play

The fun did not stop there however.  Oh goodness did it not. Things were about to get reeeeally messy with this shaving foam sensory play activity. 

See, in order to keep the tarp from flipping over from the wind overnight, I had set some of our outdoor toys on the edge of the tarp. In one corner was our climber and slide. A slide that would soon be covered in shaving you see where I'm going with this yet?

Soon our shaving cream rainbow became a messy, slippery slide of goodness. And boy, did the boys ever have fun with this part! The smiles and laughter could no longer be contained. It was validating for me to see their happiness, especially since messy play is so not my thing. But these smiles are just so worth embracing the mess, don't you think?

Preschool kid covered in shaving cream going down a small slide

Preschool kid covered in shaving cream going down a small slide

This shaving cream rainbow was definitely outside my comfort zone, but my kids absolutely loved it. And since we were already outside, clean up was a breeze! I simply hosed them off right in the backyard.

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