This was an impromptu boredom buster in our house. During all the DIY in our living room, the messy arts and crafts supply box became visible to Eldest and he was merrily pulling out pots of paint, packets of jelly and a thousand blooming unpacked pipe cleaners out (agghhhh). Then he stumbled across a can of shaving foam, one that I’d purchased about a year ago with the intention of messy play and just never got round to setting up.
I’m not sure why it took me so long, as it was really no time at all. We used the empty sand and water table (still awaiting this years purchase of sand…) and took great delight in piling mountains of fluffy pillowy shaving foam. For the first ten minutes Eldest took much joy in clapping, digging and scooping the foam with his beach spade.
However then he wanted to hide things in the foam and we agreed upon his bucket of miniature animals, perfect for all sorts of messy play. These poor animals have survived being buried in sandtrays, set in to gloopy green jelly and now today encased in an avalanche of foam.
We then decided the animals would need to wash their foam off and filled the second half of the table with some water… and voila, the zoo animal wash and go station was created. Animals would be dug out from the foam, encased in bubbles, we would try to guess which animal it could be and then dunk! In to the water they would go to be washed and scrubbed clean.
It was actually quite sweet to see my son role-playing as a parent role as he showed love, care and nurturing to these little animals as he washed them. I could hear him muttering away to them “That’s it, close your eyes and we’ll wash away bubbles” … ” One, two, three, well done – all done” and “it’s OK my baby, all will be finished soon and you’ll be squeaky clean in no time” – I realised he was saying all the things I often tell him and his sister as we go through the sometimes hysterical hair wash (both absolutely despise having water poured over them!)
The foam station kept my 3yr old entertained for well over 2 hours. He was quite upset when I told him we had to go and clean up for his football lessons but quickly cheered up when he spied another tub of foam in the box, ready to go on another day!
We used a simple basic value foam that cost no more than £2 but I think if you headed to a local pound store, you could do this activity even cheaper.