This SHAVING CREAM WRITING TRAY is a fun way for preschoolers to learn how to write letters and numbers and for school age kids to practice their sight words and spelling. The shaving cream provides a wonderful sensory experience while kids learn. Add in some candy canes and a few polar animals to put a snowy winter spin on the activity.
My kids love using sensory trays to practice their writing skills, so we’re always thinking up creative new ways to make them. In the past, we’ve used salt, coffee grounds and even candy sprinkles in our writing trays.
Knowing how much kids love to play with and doodle in shaving cream, I recently created this shaving cream sensory writing tray for them. I added in some wintery elements like candy canes and polar animals so they could pretend the shaving cream was snow.
My kids miss the snow. We recently moved from Chicago back to California so their days of playing in the snow before and after school are over.
This “snowy” shaving cream writing tray was a fun way to get some pretend snow play in while they worked on their writing skills. It’s not hard to get your little one to sit still for some learning when you provide them with an activity like this.
Why Writing Trays Are So Beneficial
When it comes to learning, sensory writing trays have many benefits:
They engage our kids’ senses and force them to pay attention to their sense of touch, smell and sometimes their sense of taste.
Children who need extra sensory input can get it in a safe and healthy way.
Sensory writing trays encourage our kids to explore, create, build, learn and play in meaningful, fun, and hands-on ways.
And sensory trays can support and build academic skills your child is working on in an engaging way. Both pre-writing skills and writing skills are strengthened without using paper and pencil every time.
You can tailor a sensory writing tray so it suits your child’s personality or learning style.
Supplies Needed for this Shaving Cream Writing Tray
- Cookie sheet with edges or a black styrofoam mean tray
- Shaving cream
- Paper towels for clean up
- Sight words/spelling words if applicable
- Arctic animals for play if desired
- Candy cane writing utensil if desired (my eldest cannot stand to get messy or sticky. The candy cane kept her fingers clean while still letting her participate.)
Writing Activities for Your Shaving Cream Tray
To use the shaving cream writing tray, you can use a small amount of shaving cream for writing activities or quite a lot of shaving cream for more of a snow play experience.
Show your kids how to “erase” their sensory tray by rubbing their hands flat across the tray.
Toddlers can practice mark-making and pre-writing skills
- Create pictures
- Draw straight lines
- Draw curvy lines
- Make zigzags
- Explore the sensory aspects of shaving cream
Preschoolers and young elementary school students can practice letter formation
- Write letters they know
- Write the letters in their name
- Copy a letter you show them
- Write a letter you ask them to draw
- Write a letter to a sound you give them
- Write the alphabet in order
Kids learning to read can practice spelling
- Write sight words
- Write simple consonant-vowel-consonant words like cat, sun and big
- Write more complex words with long vowels or blends
- Write spelling words
- Practice cursive writing
Kids can practice math activities
- Write numbers in order
- Write the number you give them.
- Count objects then write that number
- Practice math facts: addition, subtraction, multiplication or division
There are countless ways you can incorporate learning with a shaving cream writing tray. I hope you’ll give some of our suggestions a try.
It’s a great way to get in some pretend snow play too if you’re short on snow in winter time or missing it during the summer months.
Nicole Black is a recovering elementary school teacher, a mom to three super busy kids, and mostly survives on strong coffee. She shares her best parenting tips and tricks for intentionally raising kind kids, creating a stronger family connection, and bullying prevention at Coffee and Carpool. Follow her at www.coffeeandcarpool.com or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coffeeandcarpool