I love teaching art to kids. Children are always excited to create something new especially when it involves unique materials, and maybe getting a bit messy. For our art class today, we created some beautiful art using paint and shaving cream. This art project for kids can be done in many ways, and is simple enough to do in a classroom or at home.
The materials for this art project are simple, and inexpensive. It is easy to set up and there is very little prep work needed ahead of time.
- Shaving Cream
- Cardstock Paper
- Eye Droppers (Optional)
- Large Tray
- Bowls (For each paint color)
- Popsicle Stick / Stir Stick
You can use as many colors of paint as you want for your fluffy paint. I used red, yellow and blue for our art project.
Add a bit of each color of paint to a bowl. I mixed in some water so that the paint was not as thick.
If you are using runny paint, you don’t need to add water. I then put an eye dropper into each of the bowls.
If you don’t have eye droppers for kids, you can do this art project without them, but they work well for kids to be able to control where they want the different paint colors to go. The droppers also control how much paint is being used.
The eye droppers are also ideal if you have a large group doing this art project. The children that I did this activity with had used the eye droppers many times before for various activities and science experiments. So they know how to add only a drop or two.
Art Project for Kids – Adding the Paint
To start, fill small trays with shaving cream. Kids love this part, so if possible, let them watch as you spray out the shaving cream (or let them do it). I think for many kids this was their favourite part!
Next, give each group a variety of paint colors and eye droppers. Food coloring can be used in place of the paint, however, I prefer the paint because it is washable – which is always good when working with kids!
Once groups have their tray of shaving cream and paint, children use the eye droppers to drop paint all over the shaving cream. They can add as much, or as little as they want.
Children had fun creating designs and dots all over the shaving cream. They loved watching how the shaving cream seemed to soak up some of the paint, and in other places the paint ran down the sides of the hills of shaving cream.
Children also noticed how when the paint touched other colors of paint, they sometimes mixed and created a whole new color.
Once children have added all of the paint and colors they want, give everyone a popsicle stick or something to stir and mix the colors with.
Kids mixed and created swirls and designs in their shaving cream with the paint.
Art Project for Kids – Paper Print
Once children are happy with their designs, hand out small pieces of cardstock paper.
You can use regular paper, but I have found that cardstock works best because it is thicker then regular paper so it does not break apart from the moisture in the shaving cream.
With the paper, kids place it on the shaving cream with the paint, and gently push the paper into their colorful shaving cream and then lifted it off. You can do several prints one after another.
Once you lift it off, there will still be a lot of shaving cream on the paper. You can use the popsicle stick to scrape the excess shaving cream off. Most of the paint color will remain on the paper. The fluffy paint leaves a beautiful marble kind of look on the paper.
Once children have done a print, they can use the popsicle sticks again and swirl more paint through the shaving cream to create new designs. They can then use another sheet of paper to create another picture.
Once the paper dries it is perfect for a card or even a picture. We ended up using the prints once they dried as a background for another future art project.
Art Project for Kids Extension Ideas
Beyond this being a great lesson in color mixing, I also love this art project for kids because it is also a sensory activity. Kids loved the feel of the paper on the shaving cream and it feeling fluffy as they pressed the paper down to get their print.
If you don’t have eye droppers for children to use, you can simply use the paint bottle and drop or pour paint onto the shaving cream. I like to use the eye droppers because it allows children to create their own art, but in a structured, less messy way.
Several of the children that I did this activity with asked what would happen if they left the shaving cream on the paper instead of scraping it off. So we tried it and when it dries the fluffy paint is a bit 3 dimensional on the paper.
Another idea for the fluffy paint is to mix the shaving cream into the bowls with the paint. You can use paint brushes and paint pictures using the fluffy paint.
If you have the materials for this project it is a great opportunity for kids to explore the materials in different ways. From pushing the paper into the fluffy paint, to painting with the fluffy paint, the possibilities are endless.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more activities and ideas to do in the classroom, or at home with kids, below are some of my favourite and most popular learning activities.
From arts and crafts including quiet book activities, to escape room puzzles and printable activities there are lots of things to keep kids busy and learning.