Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

We have been continuing our  exploration in exploring length by measuring and creating with colored spaghetti noodles…

Measuring Colored Spaghetti by Teach Preschool

There are many different recipes available on the internet for making colored spaghetti noodles.  When attempting to color the spaghetti at home, it always seems as though I don’t quite have the exact ingredients that the recipes calls for.  As is usually the case when I cook, I decide to improvise.  For my version of colored spaghetti, you will need plain spaghetti noodles; gel food coloring;  oil; and bowls or plastic zipper bags; and rubbing alcohol…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Add about a 1/2 cup of oil to a large stockpot filled with water – the oil prevents the noodles from sticking together during the cooking process and during play.  Let the water come to boil and then add plain spaghetti noodles…

Measuring with Spaghetti by Teach Preschool

If you plan to use the noodles for measuring, go ahead and break the noodles into a variety of sizes.  While the noodles are boiling, begin adding the gel food colors to plastic zipper bags.  I read that regular food coloring may not color the noodles evenly but I was also concerned gels would not mix well due to being so thick, so I added a couple of teaspoons of rubbing alcohol to the bottom of the bags.  I squished the gel and the alcohol together until they were mixed well…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Once the noodles are fully cooked, strain the water and divide the noodles evenly among your prepared bags of color.  Squish the noodles around in the bags until it appears as though all the noodles are covered with the brilliant gel colors you have chosen. Add more food coloring gel as needed.  Store the colored pasta in the refrigerator until needed.  A few things to note about this process…

  • Adding the alcohol to the noodles makes them inedible, so be sure to consider your children’s needs when making this recipe.  
  • The smell of the rubbing alcohol evaporates off the noodles, so there is no lingering smell while playing with them.
  • I also came across another recipe that called for liquid water color, instead of food coloring.  This too, would make the noodles inedible, but would eliminate the need for the rubbing alcohol.  
  • I made a lot of colored spaghetti – most likely more than I needed for this process to be successful but I was still learning my way around the “how to make colored spaghetti” process…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Colored spaghetti noodles are a great sensory activity!  We extended the sensory play into math by providing sorting charts and rulers…

Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

The colored charts provided the children with the opportunity to sort the spaghetti noodles by color.  Sorting the spaghetti allowed us to talk about size comparisons.  Deborah and I invited the children to share with us which of their noodles was the smallest or biggest, longest or shortest…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

The rulers provided a very basic introduction into measurement.  The children lined their noodles up at the end of the ruler and stretched their noodles out to see which number it ended closest to on their ruler…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Because I had prepared quite a bit of colored spaghetti, we just couldn’t resist the opportunity to explore the noodles in a different manner.  So, Deborah suggested that we use the remaining spaghetti noodles for a little designing…

The rulers provided a very basic introduction into measurement.  We pointed out the

Deborah set out the colored noodles, as well as paper and cups of water.  The pasta may have stuck to the paper without adding water but we went ahead and added water just to create new interest in exploring the pasta.  We invited the children to dip their spaghetti in the water and then create designs on their paper…

Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

The children were very thoughtful in how they placed their wet colorful noodles onto their paper.  However, when our artwork dried, most of the noodles no longer stuck to our paper, making sure this project wasn’t going to end up going home. However it did give the children a wonderful sensory and a unique measuring process to dig our hands into…

Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

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Links to grow on:

Spaghetti sensory play by Teach Preschool

Spaghetti towers by Pre-school Play

I is for inchworm by Everyday Carnival

Discussion on Food for Sensory Play by Teach Preschool

 

 

Reading Jan Brett and making our own gingerbread playdough

The bloggers of the Virtual Book Club are celebrating the works of Jan Brett this month and my class enjoyed her beautifully illustrated book titled “Gingerbread Friends” then dove right in to make a terrific smelling batch of gingerbread playdough….

Reading books by Jan Brett and making gingerbread playdough by Teach Preschool

The book “Gingerbread Friends” by Jan Brett is about a gingerbread man who leaves home in search of new friends.  He isn’t all that successful in making new friends which my students wondered about often through out the book…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

Most of the other characters the Gingerbread man met in the book couldn’t talk to him so in the end, he comes back home and there he finds all his friends are waiting for him after all…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

After reading the book, we went to the table to make our very own gingerbread playdough…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

Here were our ingredients…

  1. One cup of flour (to start with)
  2. One cup of salt
  3. Two Tablespoons of Oil
  4. Two Tablespoons of Cream of Tartar
  5. One and a Half Cups of Boiling Water  (added by me)
  6. Then One Cup of Flour (added later)
  7. And different spices including ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon (also added later)
  8. No coloring needed

The children started by mixing together all of the ingredients (number 1 – 4) above…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

Next, I added the boiling water to the bowl then stirred it a minute so it cooled down just a bit.  The playdough was still very runny at this point because we only used half of the required flour.  Then we began adding just a bit more flour until the dough started to stiffen up and we put flour on the table for each child to knead both their spices and more flour into their dough until it was more like playdough texture should be…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

By waiting to add the seasonings and the rest of the flour on the table, the children were easily able to mix the spices throughout the dough. This was part of the fun. The children added pretty much as much of the seasonings as they liked and chose to use any seasoning they wished from the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

I happen to have a lot of seasoning on hand from last year and from pumpkin pies we made in October so the children could add as much as they wanted to their ball of playdough.  Some of the children added just a little while just a couple of the children really loaded the seasoning on…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

While the children added their seasonings we talked about how each seasoning smelled and which smell they liked or didn’t like…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

The children continued to knead their dough until it was not sticky and it could be formed into a playdough like ball.  Once the playdough was firm and ready for play, the children rinsed off their hands and began to play…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

We brought the playdough out for three different days of play…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

And each time the children played with the playdough, we added new materials to their play…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

The playdough wasn’t quite stiff enough to keep around for very long but the smell of the seasonings was wonderful. Our classroom smelled amazing for a week!

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

The children loved the smell and the texture.  The playdough was smooth as silk and some of the children wanted to make a gingerbread man but most of the children just wanted to enjoy the sensorial experience…

"Gingerbread Friends" by Jan Brett and Gingerbread Playdough

Don’t go away!

Check out the linky below to see all the other Jan Brett books and activities from my fellow bloggers!

VirtualBookClub

And don’t forget – Up and coming authors that will be shared in the Virtual Book Club include the following…

  • January 21st-David McPhail
  • February 18th-Dr. Seuss
  • March 18th-Julia Donaldson
  • April 15th-David Shannon
  • May 20th-Leo Lionni
  • June 17th-Gail Gibbons
  • July 15th- Jez Alborough
  • August 19th-Donald Crews

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To see more ideas from the other participating Virtual Book Club bloggers just check out the blog hop below! Remember, if you are viewing this post by email or in a RSS Reader, you may need to click on the title of this post to view the blog hop  by actually coming to my blog and viewing it at the end of this post.

Participating Bloggers

Toddler ApprovedMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasRainy Day MumReading ConfettiInspiration LaboratoriesPlay Dr. MomMommy and Me Book ClubKitchen Counter ChroniclesTwo Big Two LittleCreative Connections for KidsThe Golden GleamJuggling with KidsTaming the GoblinCrafty Moms ShareReady Set Read 2 MeFamiglia and SeoulThe Good Long RoadThe Educator’s Spin On ItImagination Soup3 DinosaursRoyal BalooBeing A ConsciousParentNo Twiddle TwaddleCrayon FrecklesThe Pleasantest ThingAdventures in Reading with KidsSmile, Play, LearnCreekside LearningOur Feminist Playschool, and Teach Preschool!

Jan Brett Virtual Book Club Blog Hop

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Jan Brett that share children’s book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button to your post if you’d like.

 

By | December 19th, 2012|Categories: Children's Books, Sensory Play|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

DIY eyeballs for our play dough spiders

I just fell in love with these DIY eyeballs when I first saw them and had to make a set of my own to add to our play dough collection of activities to explore…

To make the eyeballs, I hot glued googly eyes on socket covers then set the eyeballs out with play dough and pipe cleaners so the children could make spiders…

The children used the DIY eyeballs like you would Mr. Potato Head toys…

The children used the pieces to stick into their playdough balls…

We had all kinds of amazing spiders being created with the DIY eyeballs and spider legs…

Super simple to put together and lots of opportunity for creative and imaginative playdough play…

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By | October 28th, 2012|Categories: DIY, Sensory Play|Tags: , , , |14 Comments

The exploration of smell

As we continue to explore our five senses, we spent time fine tuning our sense of smell with this engaging process…

Out on the table the children found a basket of different flavors of teabags, measuring cups, plastic cups, plastic spoons, and pipettes…

The children started by filling their measuring cups from the “clean water tub” and then transferring water into their clear plastic cups…

The children selected a tea bag to add to their water then used the spoons to mix the teabags in with the water and the pipettes to transfer the water from cup to cup…

To catch the overflow of water, we set all the materials out on our magnetic board (which you can read more about here) because the board has an edge that will help keep the water from flowing onto the floor…

As the children explored the teabags, the water turned different colors based on the type of tea and the smell from the teabags could be noticed all throughout the classroom….

If the children wished to empty their cups of water and teabags, they could dump the water into our “tea-tub” which was over in the water table next to our clean water tub…

We used lots of different flavored teas like cinnamon apple, raspberry, and peach…

The children spent a long time exploring the different scents of tea as well as exploring the colors of the tea and the water transferring experience…

A wonderful way to explore our sense of smell…

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Links to Grow on

Click here to see how we explored our sense of touch!

Click here to see how we explored our sense of sound!

By | October 22nd, 2012|Categories: Discovery Table, Sensory Play|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Squeezable and colorful water play

Throughout our first week of school, we continued to explore the various tools we use in preschool. One of the tools that we use often in our classroom are these plastic condiment bottles…

We usually keep paint in our bottles (which we purchased from Walmart) but for today, we put colored water in the bottles and placed them on the window ledge next to our water table…

The goal of this process was to give the children an opportunity to explore and squeeze the bottles. As the school year progresses, we will set these bottles out filled with paint for the children to add their own paint to different painting projects or processes we try…

For today, we invited the children to squeeze the colored water into our water table tubs.  The children took the bottles off of the window ledge and boy, oh boy did the children love this process…

The children had to learn how to take the little cap off the end of their bottles and place the cap on a holder which is attached to the lid of the bottles.  It didn’t take long for the children to figure out how to open the bottles and squeeze that water right out!…

I will definitely set these out again for the water table this year but perhaps work on specific colors for color mixing. For today, I wanted the focus on just squeezing the bottles so we didn’t worry that the color turned a greenish color in the end.  The children definitely didn’t care either…

The play continued long after the water turned green.  The children spent time exploring different ways they can use the lids and bottles to squeeze water into the water table or even from bottle to bottle…

If you are thinking that this would be too much water for your classroom, then take this process outdoors!

I can’t wait to share squeezable water play with my students again…

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Links to Grow On

Here are other fun ideas for water play on Pinterest!

Play dough color surprise and play dough Ice cream cones

This week, I am joining my fellow bloggers  Nurturestore, The Imagination Tree and Sun Hats and Wellie Boots for a fun week of play dough activities…

Making Play Dough

To prepare our play dough surprise, the pre-k children helped me whip up a batch of plain white play dough…

Each child participated in the process and we used the No Cook Play Dough recipe which can be found in the free Nurture Store Play Dough Ebook.  I love this ebook and use it as my go-to resource for making play dough all the time…

The recipe calls for salt, flour, oil, Cream of Tartar, and boiling hot water.  The children mixed up all the dry ingredients but I added the boiling hot water…

The children carefully mixed the water and oil into the dry ingredients until the play dough started to thicken up and cool just a bit…

Once most of the dry ingredients were mixed in with the water and oil, the children were invited to dump their play dough out on a floured surface and then invited to begin kneading the dough…

The children kneaded the dough until it was soft and smooth. We talked about the process and used words that described the process as we went along like measurements, cups, tablespoon, mixing, boiling, kneading, and so forth…

An important part of teaching cooking and math is introducing and using math or cooking words throughout the process.  As the children hear the words and use the words through their play, they will do a better job remembering and understanding the meaning of those words…

After the children had a chance to play with out homemade play dough for a bit, we collected it all and placed it in a baggie to save for the next day.  I had told the Pre-K children that we would be sharing the play dough with our entire class the next day and this is why we made such a large amount….

Preparing Play Dough Surprise

After the children went home, I separated the play dough into small balls. Enough balls of play dough so each child in my own class would have a ball of their own plus a few extra. I didn’t realize how much play dough we had made so I ended up with a ton of  play dough balls…

As you can see, I poked a hole in the middle of each play dough ball but not so the hole went all the way through the balls…

Then I placed several drops of Coloration Liquid Watercolor (which I purchased from Discount School Supply) inside the hole of each play dough ball. If you have never tried liquid watercolor, let me just say this is the BEST stuff ever for adding color to any type of art. sensory, or other creative process. The color comes off of hands easily and the color is very pretty and vibrant…

I realized later that I could have added even more color than I did  but this was a first try for me at this process so I only added a few drops of color…

After adding color to each play dough ball, I sealed up the tops of the balls with more play dough so the children couldn’t tell that there was color inside the play dough balls….

And then I gently placed each play dough ball inside a plastic bag for the night…

Surprise!

The next day as the children arrived at school, they found the play dough balls set out at a table along with ice cream cones…

Each child was invited to select a ball of play dough and encouraged to “soften up the ball a bit by squeezing it first”…

The children very quickly discovered that there was some color hidden inside their balls of play dough. I heard words like, “I got red!” or “I got green!”  The children jumped right in to see what other colors were inside the play dough balls…

The children loved finding their color surprises and I had hoped that the color would blend in with the play dough until the entire ball changed color.  But this is where I learned that I should have either added lots more color or made each ball a whole lot smaller!  Although I had hoped for better color results, the children didn’t care at all. They just wanted to keep on playing with the play dough balls…

For those who wanted more color, I simply added more Coloration Liquid Watercolor to their play dough and they mixed it more until the color spread throughout the play dough.  Remember, the coloration does not stain hands (and it did not stain out table). The color may look like it is going to stain, but the color came right off with one quick hand washing with a little soap and water…

The children used their play dough to make ice cream cones as part of our ongoing celebration of the Indianapolis 500 which I shared more about in in my previous two posts…

The children created their ice cream cones with the play dough and added pom pom cherries right on top!

A super fun day with lots of surprises…

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Puffy Ice Cream Cones from Teach Preschool

Mystery Play Dough from The Seeds Network

Color Surprise Playdough from Play, Create, Explore

Watermelon exploration in preschool

I brought in a real watermelon for my students to both explore and to taste and to, of course, enjoy for snack…

We started by examining the watermelon in circletime. We knocked on the watermelon to listen to what sound it makes. Then we lifted the watermelon to determine if it was light or heavy.  I wish I had brought scales so we could have estimated the weight of the watermelon. I would have loved to hear what my student’s guesses might have been compared to the actual weight of the watermelon (writing that down for next year)…

We discovered that the watermelon was indeed quite heavy. In fact, Mrs. Stewart had to stay close by to help out because it was very hard to hold such a huge watermelon…

We also discovered that the watermelon was round and we could the feel curves with our hands….

So many words to describe a watermelon so far but then we cut it in half.  We knew that if we took a sharp knife (well that was Mrs. Stewart’s job) and cut it down the middle, it would now have two parts and each part would be one-half…

After opening up our watermelon, we discovered that this watermelon was considered a seedless watermelon. Not finding any black seeds was actually a little disappointing and confusing.  We could definitely see white seeds in our watermelon but not any black seeds were to be found…

We continued to cut one watermelon half in half again.  Now we had three parts of a watermelon.  We saved two parts for our snack and the other half of the watermelon to explore a little more closely…

When we went to write out the word watermelon and draw our own watermelons, we (Our Prek Kids) discovered the word watermelon was actually two words put together to describe one piece of fruit. Now how cool is that?  Two different words put together can make a brand new word!

As we explored the inside of the watermelon, we discovered that it had a rind, seeds, and that the fleshy red part was the fruit. We talked about how the fruit can be eaten but the rind should not be eaten.  But what about those seeds? Could we eat them? Some of the children didn’t think so and others felt it would be just fine…

We explored the remaining half of the watermelon and dug down deep to find more seeds and yes, it was a bit messy…

Our morning of watermelon exploration and discussion was almost complete but we had to do at least one more thing. We had to eat some of course!

And no – we didn’t eat this watermelon half but I didn’t think to take a photo of snack time so you will just take my word for it – we ate the other half of our watermelon for snack…

I have already shared with you our watermelon suncatchers that we made to go along with today’s exploration.  In my next post, I will share with you our watermelon paintings that we made to wrap up our watermelon day of discovery…

 

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By | May 28th, 2012|Categories: Science and Nature, Sensory Play|Tags: , , |8 Comments

The wonderful world of water bead play

I have had several folks ask me what water beads are so I decided to write this post to share what they are, how we use them, and where you can get them…

What are water beads?

Water beads are actually meant for use in flower arrangements to add color, water, shine, and texture to the water in a jar.  Having said this, it is important to note that water beads are not designed for child’s play as a rule.  Although water beads are non-toxic and environmentally safe, they should not be eaten by young children.  My class of children ages 3 through 5 understood this and they did a wonderful job playing with the water beads but we talked with our students about the do’s and don’ts of playing with waterbeads when we introduced them to the class…

What do water beads look like?

Water beads can come in different forms.   At the Dollar Tree, they come in a bottle and they only come in clear.  The clear water beads have been our standing favorite because when you add them to water, they disappear into the water and can only be found by touch.

If you order water beads online, they will come to you in little packets that almost look like seed packets.  You have to let the “dehydrated” water beads sit in water for up to 12 hours so they will reach their full growth potential. When water beads sit out of the water for several days, they will shrink back up into small seed-like shapes…

When you let the water beads sit in water again, they will expand into marble shapes once again.  However, after my student’s played with ours for several days, we squashed them up and disposed of them…

What do water beads feel like?

Water beads feel like soft, squishy, smooth marbles.  If one drops to the floor, it will have a little bounce and it will definitely roll.  If you add water beads to a water table, they are relaxing and gentle and wonderful to touch. They are not slimy and they do not dissolve…

Ways can waterbeads be explored in the classroom

Of course the number one way we enjoyed playing with water beads was by adding them to our water table along with different types of strainers and cups. As I mentioned earlier, because the clear water beads seem to disappear in water, my class would spend long periods of time using their hands to search for the beads and gather them up. The children loved to search for them, scoop them, pour them, feel them, and gather them in cups….

We also explored the water beads on our DIY light box. Because my DIY light box has a plastic lid for the top, it was fine if the top of the light box got wet. The light shines beautifully through the water beads and the children enjoyed the combination of how the water beads felt and looked on the light box…

We also added water beads to our shave cream play.  The added feel of water beads creates a marvelous sensory experience…

All Content Areas

Water beads promote learning and development in all content areas of the classroom.  From fine motor exploration to science, color, sensory, and creative art – the ideas of how water beads can be used is endless.  I feel like we only tapped into just the beginning of what the possibilities are in my classroom this year and look forward to making new discoveries with my students next year…

Where can you get water beads?

Water beads are available in many stores like the Dollar Tree, Michael’s, and Walmart. They are considered a seasonal item so if your Dollar Tree doesn’t have them when you stop by, just check back again at a time when planting and gardening is more in season.  Stores like Micheal’s carry them in different colors.

You can also purchase them online. I purchased my colored water bead packets (shown above) from the Crystal Water Bead and in Canada you can find them online at Water Beads but if you just Google the key word “water beads” I am sure you will find many other places where water beads are available.

What should you expect?

I have found that some water beads are more squishy than others.  It seems that the water beads I bought online were easier for the children to squish and break apart than the ones I bought from the Dollar Tree. You do need to expect that your preschoolers may very well want to squish and break the water beads up.  What we learned to do to help with this is have a squishing day.  I asked the children to play with the water beads and not squish them up until squishing day. Before I was ready to throw a batch of water beads out, I would invite the children who really wanted to squish them up to have at it.

UPDATE 

There has been one reported incident in which an 8 month old infant swallowed a Water Balz. To read more about this story click here on the CPSC – Dunecraft Recall of Water Balz.  It is important to note that Water Balz and Waterbeads are not the same. WaterBalz are no longer available for purchase.

WaterBalzInHandLARGE

Description of the recalled Water Balz from CPSC

According to the CPSC: “This recall involves marble-sized toys that absorb water and grow up to 400 times their original size. They were sold as Water Balz (round-shape), Growing Skulls (skull-shape), H2O Orbs “Despicable Me” (round-shape) and Fabulous Flowers (flower-shape). They were sold in packages of six in green, yellow, red, blue and black colors. “Dunecraft,” the name of the toy and the model number are printed on the toy’s packaging.”

Use of Water Beads

Although waterbeads and Water Balz are different products, it is still important to stay informed and use good judgement as to what will be in the best interest of your students or children. DO NOT let children who are still at an age where they want to put things in their mouth or are unable to distinguish the difference between a product meant for play versus a product meant to be eaten play with water beads.

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Links to Grow

Observing shrinking and growing beads from The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Water beads in the Dark from Preschool Projects

Water beads from Preschool Play

Water bead exploration from Tinkerlab

Hidden diamonds water bead play from Play Create Explore

Water beads from Happy Hooligans

Simple watermelon suncatchers

This is just a fun watermelon idea I thought I would take a minute to share with you. I just love watermelon and with summer time quickly approaching, we spent a little time learning about watermelons in our classroom.

To make a watermelon suncatcher, we started by putting one good squeeze of hair gel (purchased from the dollar store) in a Ziploc baggie…

Then we added a few drops of red food coloring and some black seeds cut out of foam.  I had planned for the children to use real watermelon seeds but it turned out that the real watermelon I brought to school that day was a seedless watermelon so I had to do a quick change of plans…

Once the gel, seeds, and food color were in the baggie, the children pressed the air out of the baggie and then sealed the baggie shut…

To add a little extra reinforcement, we added clear packing tape to the tops of each baggie so they wouldn’t open up during our color blending…

The children squeezed the baggies until all the gel and food color was blended together. I also invited the children to lay the baggies flat on the table to see if they could push their seeds around the baggies with their fingers…

To finish off our baggies, we added green tape to the top of the baggies to serve as our watermelon rind…

And then we taped our watermelon suncatchers in the window…

The watermelon suncatchers added a beautiful, soft glow to the classroom window…

Available on Amazon

By | May 16th, 2012|Categories: Sensory Play|Tags: , , |10 Comments

Everyday shave cream play

My students have been asking me to pull out the shave cream so they could play with it and last week, we had a shave cream extravaganza….

You can really put anything in shave cream and it will be a fun experience. For example, we were talking about bugs on one day and so the children spread little plastic bugs out all over the table and the we covered them all up with shave cream…

And now it was time to dig in and start looking for all those bugs.  The children used tweezers and their hands to hunt for the bugs…

You really don’t have to add anything to shave cream to make it a fun experience. My students will sit and play in it for the longest time but I always like to mix it up a bit.  Another way we mixed the shave cream experience up was by adding a tray of water. It was just a small tray so the children could rinse off their bugs but the children loved how the water changed the feel of the shave cream to an even more silky or creamy texture…

I don’t think we ever did find those bugs.  I know that they are in there some where! Eventually, the children found all the bugs and we set them aside for one more adventure. Since we were already elbow deep in shave cream, I decided we might as well try at least one more thing that I had been thinking about…

So we added a bottle of clear water beads to our shave cream play.  I have a ton of waterbeads that I picked up at the beginning of the year from the Dollar Tree so this was a good chance to try a different kind of play with them…

I was only planning on adding a few water beads but the children talked me into adding the entire bottle to our creamy, watered down, now bugless shave cream play…

Talk about texture overload! The children loved it – the waterbeads added just that right touch of texture to the shave cream play. They were still smooth and soft but they were bumpy too.  Perhaps next time we will add colorful waterbeads to our shave cream play. The clear ones pretty much got lost inside the shave cream so you couldn’t see them but you could definitely feel them…

As fun as our shave cream play was without color, we decided to finish off our play by adding a little color. So I simply squirted out a few lines of paint on top of the shave cream so the children could mix it in…

The nice thing about shave cream play is that everything, and I mean everything, comes out much cleaner at the end of our day. The table was a bright white, the paint tubes were not tacky anymore, our bugs were now germ free, and our hands probably haven’t been this clean since the last time we played in shave cream…

So for those of you who are going to inevitably write me and tell me how some higher up authority that has no name that you can identify and probably doesn’t work in an early childhood classroom and doesn’t trust early childhood teachers to handle shave cream responsibly and thinks that the risks are greater then the benefits and thinks that all kids will just eat it has told you through some sort of written policy rather than walking in your classroom and observing the benefits that you can’t use shave cream in your classroom, please accept my sincerest apology for sharing the fun we had today. Since my kids do have a say as to what goes on in my classroom, we enjoyed our shave cream extravaganza!

Okay, perhaps the paragraph above wasn’t polite but I get the same questions or the same push back every time I write about shave cream that it worries me and exhausts me so please don’t write me and tell me that you can’t use it. Write whoever is telling you that rule and invite them to come into your classroom and observe the children at play with shave cream and then while they are standing there – offer them a handful of shave cream too and invite them to join in and play. Who knows, they might just have second thoughts!

At the end of the day, the children helped clean up the tables and they rinsed off their hands and even the water beads rinsed off beautifully through a strainer. I put the water beads back into the jar (they are now cleaner then ever) for another day…

By | May 6th, 2012|Categories: Sensory Play|Tags: , , , , , |28 Comments