Shaving cream and contact paper are two materials I never imagined I would use so much after having children. We’ve had hours of memorable fun with these two basic supplies, and the fun isn’t over yet. As we’ve been enjoying our summer days at home and focusing on simple unstructured play, we’ve been pulling out some old favorites. One day when the girls asked to play with shaving cream I realized we have never tried using it on contact paper. So we decided to explore the combinations of sticky and smooth with two of our favorite play materials.
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To set up this activity I used tape to secure long strips of contact paper with the sticky side facing out to large plastic lids. (You could also try adhering the contact paper to a wall, easel, or the ground depending on the tape you are using and the surface.) I knew the girls would be working with the contact paper a lot so I added tape all the way around all edges.
Then I mixed shaving cream and food coloring and placed it in squeeze bottles. Food coloring does stain a bit, so if you have liquid watercolors they would be a better option for stain-free play. With the small amount of food coloring I used our hands were a little stained for the afternoon, but the sidewalk washed clean.
Getting the shaving cream into the squeeze bottles can be a little challenging, so I sprayed the cream directly into the bottle and then added the coloring. Just be sure to fill the bottles as much as possible and then squeeze out any extra air. This helps the colored cream come out more easily when its’ playtime.
The girls had a ball creating with the shaving cream. They started by trying to paint pictures of flowers and hearts, but soon they decided it was way more fun to play with the squeeze bottles and see what kinds of designs they could make. They practiced squirting from very close. They also stood up and squeezed the bottles to see what would happen as the shaving cream fell to the ground (I took this as an easy opportunity to discuss gravity with them.).
When they tired of squeezing and were nearly out of shaving cream they started exploring the feel of the shaving cream and the contact paper together. First they used their hands, and there were giggles and smiles galore as they commented on how some parts were very smooth and silky while other parts were sticky.
After the hands, came the feet. Shrieks of glee followed as they felt the shaving cream ooze through their toes.
And by the end you probably guessed that they were fully covered in shaving cream, but the mess was totally worth it for smiles and memories like these.
To help with clean up I kept the hose and our water table (similar but the one we use is discontinued for now) nearby. The girls had almost as much fun washing up as they did playing, so we’ll call that a win and a perfect activity for a summer day!
If your child loved this you have to try our fluffy oobleck recipe! It has an amazing texture that kids can’t resist diving into.