I buy shaving cream by the case. Literally. Shaving cream is one of those "go to" activities that is a must in any sensory diet. There's something about that creamy yet fluffy stuff that kids just go nuts over. I buy the fragrance free kind. LM has never had a problem with sensory or tactile defensiveness so he just jumps right in. For the more sensitive child you can spread the shaving cream on a tray and try encouraging them to use one finger to draw with and then gradually move to spreading it with their whole hand.
Shaving Cream Artist: A simple tabletop activity - spread a thin layer of shaving cream on a plate and let your child draw shapes, letters, squiggles ... be creative! Let them "erase" and start over again. This is a great one to introduce new concepts. LM is doing simple addition now and we always practice in shaving cream drawings.
Shaving Cream Car Wash: A little messier ... we often do this in the bathtub. Take a small car and cover it completely with shaving cream. Child first uses his hands to get as much of the suds off. Give your child a washcloth to finish washing the car. We use a lot of language with this one. Make up a story to encourage pretend play. "Daddy and LM drove this car through the mud and now its all dirty!" - make all sort of car sounds and squeaky cleaning sounds. Ask "WH" questions ... "What are you cleaning now?" "Oh! Good job cleaning the wheels!" "Who got this car all dirty?" "Daddy and me!"
Window Washer: Getting high on the messy scale with this one, but great now that summer has arrived! We go outside and spray shaving cream on the sliding glass door. Encourage your child to use great big arm movements to spread shaving cream way up high and left to right crossing midline. This is a great gross motor skill and LM gets heavy work activities out of it by pushing his arms against the door. We taught LM the concepts of UP and DOWN when he was younger this way. "Reach up, up ,up ,up!" "Slide down, down, down, down". Of course you can draw in the shaving cream too - I sometimes even add a squirt of nontoxic washable paint to the shaving cream. And when you're done, time to clean up. Take out the hose or spray bottles (I'll take any opportunity to get some fine motor activities in too!) and give him a washcloth or a squeegee. In this case kids think the clean up is just as fun!