I had promised the kiddos they could play with regular shaving cream in the water table (back when we’d had to use my weird shaving cream). So I decided that was a good time to try out an idea I’d seen recently — Time for Play’s “Fluffy Stuff”. I grabbed a can of old-fashioned shaving cream and a box of cornstarch. Snoopy offered to add the shaving cream, while Engineer was excited to pour the cornstarch in. Then it was onto tons of messy play fun with shaving cream, cornstarch, and water!
Once those two items were added, I asked the kiddos if they wanted to mix everything up for me. Snoopy was the only one who volunteered.
After watching for a few minutes, Girly Girl decided that mixing looked like fun. She wandered over to help Snoopy out.
Engineer wanted in on the fun, so he ran over to help out.
At this point, Little Hurricane just had to see what all the fuss was about (notice how he has a smock on and everything)! When I was looking through the pictures, it cracked me up how the kids came over one by one. As if the shaving cream and cornstarch mixture was going to jump up and eat them or something!
The texture of this concoction was a bit different than regular shaving cream. Snoopy and Engineer decided that it felt like butter. I really have no idea how, exactly, they came to that conclusion! The kiddos spent about 30 minutes squishing it in their hands and scooping it with some spoons and cups. I bet you’ll never guess who ended up the messiest at this point?!?
As seems to be the trend this summer, the older children wanted to see what would happen if we added water. So water ended up mixed in with the shaving cream and cornstarch. Girly Girl used cups and funnels to put the watery mess into an old pitcher. She spent quite some time stirring it and transferring it around.
Engineer and Snoopy remembered my stash of recyclable materials in the craft closet. So old two-liter bottles were grabbed and brought out. They used the funnels and a play teapot to fill the bottles up to the top, giggling as they overflowed. “It’s a volcano! The volcano is erupting!”
This, of course, led to more tragedies of dam-building, “The volcano is making the dam overflow! Oh, no!” Hopefully neither of the boys will build dams in the future. I’d be worried for the structural integrity of said dams, based upon the glee with which the boys destroy them in the water table.
I loved this messy play activity for so many reasons!
- It was a multi-level experience. All of the kids enjoyed themselves and got something out of the experience.
- The children brought imaginary and small-world play in. There were cars and trucks, along with pretend rivers, pretend dams, and even pretend volcanoes!
- It was an awesome sensory experience. They felt the shaving cream on its own, and then felt the difference when cornstarch was added. Mixing it all up with water changed the feel and look of it yet again.
- There was tons of science involved, even if they didn’t realize it. They were creating new mixtures, observing how things changed, measuring and pouring, etc.
- Tons of language!
- It was made up of very few ingredients — all of which I already had in the house. All of which was under $5, total!
- Most of all it was FUN and they were all engaged for hours! Yes, they ended up covered in shaving cream and water, but who cares?! 🙂
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
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