Today Aliza and I played with shaving cream!! When I worked with kids, shaving cream was my all time favorite activity! I loved to watch the kids really get into it and have some fun! It is messy but do not worry it cleans up easily with a towel! This is a great activity to improve handwriting and visual motor skills and a great SENSORY activity for tactile defensiveness. Shaving cream is cheap, fun and an easy activity to use at home when your little ones are feeling bored!
What is Sensory Integration?
Sensory integration is the process by which we receive information through our senses, organize the information in our brain and use it to participate in everyday activities! As children grow they learn how to take in and process sensory information at the same time focusing on some and ignoring others. Some children have difficulties receiving and processing sensations making every day tasks frustrating!
What is Tactile defensiveness?
Our tactile system is our sense of touch through different receptor in our skin. There are two kinds of “touch”.
- Light touch- this includes the feelings when someone or something brushes against your skin (clothes, materials we hold, furniture in our environment etc).
- Deep tactile pressure- This is exactly what it sounds like, a firm consistent touch like a massage.
A toddler who experiences tactile defensiveness or sensitivity may feel touch sensations to be uncomfortable, irritating, obnoxious or even painful. These are the children who rather not make a mess or only use their fingertips rather than getting their whole hand dirty. This could often be mistaken as a “behavioral” issue because your child may avoid routine “touch “ activities like dressing and bath time.
When Aliza was a baby, she hated dressing. She made it extremely challenging for me. I used to get so upset because I felt like I was hurting her. Once she had clothes on she would be ok ,but boy was it a challenge to dress her. This is when COTA MOM came into play and I would brush her skin to help decrease her sensory sensitivities because she was toO young to do activities like this. She is much better with dressing today but we will continue with sensory play at home!
* I will talk about (brushing skin) in another post!
Shaving Cream for Sensory Integration!
MESSY PLAY! This helps reduce that tactile sensitivity for children who are bothered by light touch. Be patient if a toddler does not like the activity and, allow them to wash their hands rather than push them to continue. If it’s too much, let them use another object like a toy car to push through it.
I loved watching her squish the shaving cream between all her little fingers. She started slow, only using one hand but gradually got in there with both hands! Besides touch, shaving cream has a smell, so this activity involves more than one sense. Like most 2 and 3 year old’s, miss Aliza has a short attention span so this was the perfect activity to keep her busy for quite a while!
Pre-Writing Skills using Shaving Cream!
Once Aliza had enough time to free play, I encouraged her to start practice “writing”. Shaving cream is a great platform to start practicing pre-writing patterns. This would include drawing waves, hills, lines and crocodile teeth. This will start helping your toddler develop great handwriting upon entering school!
I also love using shaving cream to practice letter formation. Writing on regular paper is boring, so if you need your little one to improve letter formation, this is a great way to do it! You can show your toddler upper and lower case letters together and go through the entire alphabet.
Tips for using shaving cream:
- Use shaving cream for sensitive skin
- Have a towel handy
- Make a rule that it is the adults job to squirt out the shaving cream (or you will have none left)
- Squirt a small pile onto a table top
- Encourage your child not to rub too much as it will disappear to quickly
- Can add a couple drops of food coloring to shaving cream
- Respect your child’s need to stop if they become sensitive
- Most importantly, have fun! !
I hope you will enjoy some sensory fun with your toddler today! I will be posting tons of sensory activities that you can do with your tot! Stay Tuned !
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