Messy foam play

Let’s have fun with messy foam play!

Shaving foam is a messy, sensory experience that uses all five senses of touch, sight, smell, sound and even taste (though tasting is not encouraged!).

It is a textural wonderland that changes and reforms in your hands. Adding colour enables swirls and patterns to form and burying and hiding toys in the foam adds to the sense of discovery and play. Shaving cream encourages children to manipulate and mould materials, building their fine motor skills.

Gather your resources:

  • Shaving foam (brands for sensitive skin are gentle for little hands)
  • Water tray/trough
  • Dinosaurs (or other rubber or plastic toys)
  • Food colouring
  • A paint brush
  • Dry towels for clean-up.


  1. Spray shaving foam around the bottom of a tray.
  2. Mix through a few drops of food colouring.
  3. Draw in the shaving foam with a paintbrush.
  4. Add dinosaurs or rubber/plastic toys to the clouds of foam.
  5. Enjoy the swirly, gooey fun of exploring through the foam.

To extend the activity, use multiple trays with different colours and swap the trays so the colours can mix together.

Ask the children discovery questions:

“What does it feel/smell/sound like?
Can you squish it though your fingers?
What happens when the colours mix?”

This activity creates curiosity in children and enables them to enjoy the moment, developing a love of learning and encouraging them to take the initiative by making decisions.

Article courtesy of Playgroup Queensland.

Published — 11 April 2019 Last updated — 11 April 2019

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