Practicing handwriting is a necessary skill for preschoolers and kindergarteners to work on, but worksheets are boring. Most preschoolers aren’t easy to hold pencils, but introducing shaving cream writing is a great way to teach them the shapes of letters with textured sensory play.
Writing helps kids develop their fine motor skills, and texture is one of the best ways to work on letter shapes. Kids remember the motions to create the letters better when texture is involved, whether that is shaving cream, whipped cream, salt, or sand!
Related: Teach Scissor Skills by Cutting Play-Doh
Why Writing in Shaving Cream Helps Your Child
I bet this is an activity you have done before; I remember doing this as a child in second grade at my elementary school. There are reasons it has stuck around for decades!
Engages Different Senses
Sensory play is such an important thing for little kids. It engages different senses and encourages them to pay attention to their sense of touch. When different parts of the brain engage, learning happens.
My kids learn better through multisensory learning, especially if your child has any sort of reading problems like dyslexia. You want to engage as many senses as possible to facilitate learning.
Provides Extra Sensory Input
We often think that sensory activities are just a cute thing to do.
Sensory play builds connections in the brain, encourages the development of fine and gross motor skills, supports language development, and increase cognitive development – just to name a few benefits.
In other words, give your kids all the sensory time possible!
Supports Academic Skills
Writing in shaving cream is educational and supports your child’s developing academic skills. Pre-writing skills and writing skills are supported and strengthened without even bringing out the paper and pencil!
How to Start Shaving Cream Writing
It’s really easy to practice shaving cream writing, and if you’re worried that your toddler will put it in their mouth, whipped cream works well too.
All you have to do is put a big glob of shaving cream on a table or kitchen island and have your child spread it out into a layer.
After your child spreads out the shaving cream, give him a letter or a word to write. I put down a simple letter flashcard to start practicing, and always encourage the proper formation when writing in shaving cream.
You also can provide sight words to practice; this is a good way to build their vocabulary! Get a set of my free sight word printables and use those to write.
This is also a great time to have your child practice writing numbers and shapes. We spend a lot of time focusing on writing letters but not enough time on numbers, which are equally important.
Honestly, my child’s favorite time is when they have to make a new letter and they have to “erase” it by smearing the shaving cream over.
So many giggles!
Adding to Shaving Cream Writing
Once you work through the basic beginner activity, you can add to this sensory learning experience to even further benefit your child.
Here are some suggestions!
Use Popsicle Sticks
Some kids aren’t a big fan of getting messy, so using popsicle sticks to write in the shaving cream allows them to engage as well.
Even if your child likes using their finger, popsicle sticks give them the feel of using a pencil eventually.
Encourage Pre-Writing Skills
Even toddlers who cannot yet form letters can enjoy this activity. They can try things like:
- Drawing shapes
- Creating straight lines
- Making curvy lines
- Draw zigzags
- Make pictures
Write on the Window
If your preschooler thinks writing on the table, then writing on the window is going to be even more wild.
The same steps apply. Put a glob of shaving cream on the window, and let him smear it around. Then, provide letters or words to write.
I suggest having some Windex on hand to quickly clean it up before the cream dries.
Work on Math Skills
I mentioned writing numbers in the shaving cream, but you can do more than that to support and develop math skills. Here are a few suggestions.
- Place objects in front of your child, ask him to count them and write the number in the shaving cream.
- Write numbers in order from 0-10 or 0-20!
- Write the number you say
- Practice basic math facts in addition and subtraction
This is the perfect time for some extra sensory play. Put some counting bears in the shaving cream, plastic animals, or anything else you want to facilitate more play time after you write.
Use shaving cream writing to expand and grow your child’s writing abilities and early reading skills. This fun sensory activity offers plenty of learning opportunities for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners.