Your preschooler is at one of the best ages for sensory play, where she can learn while getting down and dirty. Squishy shaving cream allows her to get messy while practicing her fine motor skills and learning reading basics. Shaving cream is for playing, not for eating, so watch your preschooler closely to keep it out of her mouth.
Where to Play
Shaving cream gets a bit messy, but it won’t harm most table finishes. Grab the can and spray the foam directly onto your table and allow your little one to spread it around, gooping it between his fingers. Covering the table with a plastic tablecloth can help with cleanup, or you can use a large tray. Shaving cream is also entertaining when spread over a mirror or tiled surface, such as your bathroom wall. Cleanup is a breeze — at least for the table. Simply wipe it down with a damp rag until all the shaving cream is gone. Your preschooler, however, might be a different story; he might need a quick bath to get the shaving cream out of his hair.
Get your preschooler off on the right phonics foot by getting her interested in letters and their sounds. After she spreads a layer of shaving cream over your desired surface, show her a letter and ask her to write it in the shaving cream with her finger. Then, make the letter sound and ask her to repeat it. Using uppercase and lowercase letters at the same time gives her a better grip on what all letters sound like.
Sight words follow your child from preschool well into elementary school, so getting him used to them early gives him a leg up on reading. When you first start working on sight words, write individual words in the shaving cream and help him memorize the words. As he progresses with the sight words, call one out and ask him to write it in the shaving cream. You can also write several sight words in the shaving cream and ask him to point to the correct one when you call it out.
Spraying the Letters
Your fun doesn’t have to be restricted to drawing letters in a layer of shaving cream. Giving your child the can and letting her go to town on the bathroom wall can help her learn more about letter shapes and phonics. For example, you can practice rhyming words by writing a couple of letters on the wall with the shaving cream, such as “un,” and ask her to find words that end with those letters. If she says “fun,” help her draw an “f” at the beginning of the word with the shaving cream can. Wipe off the first letter with a damp cloth and continue adding letters, such as “r” for “run” or “b” for “bun,” until you both run out of rhyming ideas.