My son is a very sensory, tactile, kinesthetic learner, so the more senses and movements I can add to an activity the better. Especially if it’s really messy and makes him feel like it isn’t “school” at all.
I love thinking up new ways to get him excited about spelling in particular, because it’s a subject we struggle with. Spelling is an easy subject to sit down and do on paper and that just doesn’t fly around here. So, it’s not always easy to come up with new ways to keep him interested, but when I do I have to share it.
We recently tried using shaving cream as a way to do spelling word practice. It was fun and not even that messy. We put it in a recycled baking tin and onto plates so my son could play in it and hopefully write out that list of spelling words next to him. And, it’s like soap anyway so I guess you could say we were cleaning too?
Well, maybe not after we added the food coloring…
I always get the sensitive skin one, but it still has an odor. The kids didn’t seem to mind at all though, so I guess it’s no big deal. Just make sure you tell them not to put it in their mouths. My son is in fifth grade so I wasn’t worried about him, but I did have to explain it to his 5 year old sister. Just in case it looked good enough to eat.
My kindergartener used a plate full of shaving cream to practice writing her upper and lowercase alphabet. She also got a refresher in red + blue = purple. So, this activity can count as science too. Wow, we’re getting a lot done with this activity!;)
Ways to use shaving cream as a spelling word activity:
The plain old white stuff right out of the can is great and will work just fine. Try adding some colorful straws, so they can write their words with that as well as their fingers.
This was so much fun! The colors we got were awesome. My son chose green and my daughter chose blue and red, which combined to make hers a pretty purple. They had a blast mixing the color into the shaving cream too, which made adding the color a particularly good way to get in that sensory play they love. Warning, the food coloring did turn their hands weird shades of green and purple. We don’t care about that around here, but I’m letting you know in case you might;)
Try adding glitter. It’s won’t leave your kids hands and arms discolored like food coloring does and won’t get everywhere because it incorporates into the cream.
Try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla to your shaving cream. I was afraid the smell of the shaving cream would take over, but it actually dulled that smell so it’s a must for us from now on. In the picture below we’re adding cinnamon to ours and we were pleasantly surprised by how good it smelled. Just go easy on it, because adding too much cinnamon makes it act like flour and gums up the shaving cream, making it hard to write in.
Adding paint was a great way to give the shaving cream color, while letting them play. With food coloring I can’t let them add as much as they want, so they liked this better. My daughter tried watercolors, but other thicker paints would work great as well.
This was such a fun way to write the words into the shaving cream. The color bled into the shaving cream well so you could see the words after they were written. It’s also a way to let younger ones play with color. Just don’t let them push down into the shaving cream too much with the marker or it won’t work. They have to just run it along lightly at the top.
Try using letter stamps to print out words in the shaving cream. I hope to try this next and I know we have some stamps and ink pads around here somewhere….
We added a blue raspberry lemonade pouch to see how that would affect the smell and color. And, it was great. Kool Aid is pretty cheap and it added a fun element to the sensory spelling.
We added a strawberry jello packet to see how the smell and thickness of that would affect the shaving cream and it was awesome. I was afraid it would thicken into a doughy consistency like the cinnamon did when we added too much, but it didn’t. Instead, it gave the shaving cream a little more weight and made spelling in it even more fun.
We also tried adding flour and cornstarch to thicken it into a slime or dough, but it just broke apart on us. It was fun, but wasn’t good for writing spelling words in.
Writing tool ideas for shaving cream spelling:
We have been using colored straws to write our words and letters lately, but there are so many other things you could try. Here’s a list of a few:
- Pencil, eraser side down
- Plastic straws
- Plastic sewing needles
- Pipe Cleaners
- Paint Stirrers
- Birthday Candles
- Clothes Pins
Follow my Spelling Games & Centers Board on Pinterest for other Hands-on Spelling ideas.
We are having a blast using this activity in our homeschool.
Let me know if you try it below in the comments.