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Monday, February 8, 2010

Rainy day activity #4: Shaving cream free-for-all

It's only cloudy and gray today, not pouring buckets, so I guess we're having a "nice" day. The forecast looks pretty dreary starting this afternoon and continuing for the rest of the week, though, so we'll keep plugging away at the Big Ole Rainy Day Activity List. Thanks for all your great suggestions, I think the girls have loved every single one so far. They wake up, look outside, then giggle and say "More rain, mama, what's da next rainy day project on da list?" The latest project was Shaving Cream Free-For-All, suggested by Brandi, Vanessa, and Tonggu Momma. With that many cool mamas giving the green light, I knew Ro and Ree would like it. I think I just underestimated how much they'd like it, plus I completely forgot to figure in the twinado factor. Rookie move, sigh... My friend Maggie came over and we sat the girls down at the plastic-covered art table. (You could just tape a big plastic tablecloth or black plastic garbage bag to the table.) Then I handed them a bunch of containers and utensils from the playroom and four cans of shaving cream and let them do whatever they wanted. (I just bet at this point that Brandi, Vanessa, and Tonggu Momma are gasping that I used FOUR freaking cans, and yes, those gasps are warranted. Not a good call on my part. Not at all. I don't know what I was thinking.) Things started off pretty benignly. There were some dignified little giggles, and some cute, restrained squirting. Ro is in the red, and Ree is in the yellow: DSC_1252LR DSC_1255LR DSC_1257LR The tuna can strainer was my favorite!: DSC_1259LR They loved stirring the goopy, gloppy mess: DSC_1265LR Then they started egging each other on (this should come as no surprise to anyone): DSC_1261LR And at some point, the damn cat accidentally dipped her tail in and started painting everything within a 12" radius before we could grab her: DSC_1278LR While we were occupied with the cat, the shaving cream started to spread. Hm, nothing to worry about, right?: DSC_1279LR And then, well, I don't know how else to put this, but all hell broke loose: DSC_1282LR They were practically diving into the stuff. It looked like a fraternity party gone bad. Or good, I guess, depending on your point of view: DSC_1286LR Maggie and I didn't really know what to do now. We were kind of committed at this point, and realized the bathtub was one really long flight of stairs away... So we agreed to let them finish: DSC_1287LR I think at this point I might have whimpered and Maggie told me to just buck up, or maybe it was the other way around: DSC_1292LR Finally they were done playing and it was time to attempt Project Cleanup: DSC_1296LR DSC_1298LR Do I even need to describe what a pain it was to get them upstairs and into the bath without leaving a trail of white slime everywhere? I herded them toward the bathroom, barking "no!" and "don't touch that" all the way up the stairs, and Maggie followed with a wet rag, wiping any unfortunate walls, carpet, or toys that happened to be in their path. Oy. Ok, so this was an incredibly fun rainy day project, but it took Maggie and I about an hour (with both of us working steadily) to clean everyone and everything up. We would totally do this again, but this time we'll put the kids in bathing suits and put them in the dry bathtub with the clear shower curtain drawn. That one tiny little change in locale would have saved hours of cleanup, without killing the fun factor. Oh, and next time only one can per kid for Pete's sake. Disclaimer: my guess is that you wouldn't need to go the bathtub-containment route if you only had one "artist" at work or if your little shaving cream enthusiast wasn't as, um, exuberant as Ro and Ree. Cheers!

40 comments:

  1. Think I might use that one as a rainy day activity where I can spray mine off with a water hose in the backyard.

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  2. OMG- thanks for the warning. I am thinking Bug will only get one can of shaving cream and it will be outside this summer.

    But I am sure the girls were loving it and they will begging for this activity.

    Love to you,
    Deb

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  3. that is, by far, the most hysterical moment i have read on here.

    I think it is so funny i feel GUILTY about it!

    maybe just one can a piece, or even 1/2 a can (you can save up from TD?).

    that is just so funny!

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  4. Anonymous2/08/2010

    Thank goodness for Maggie! Will she come again for a rainy day activity? :)
    wela

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  5. Elizabeth2/08/2010

    I've been a reader for awhile now but am FINALLY going to comment. First of all I absolutely love your blog! Now, I used to do this as a child and now I nanny for two kids that LOVE playing with shaving cream! Something we always do is give the kids food coloring and plastic forks to make swirly designs with the different colors. This doesn't really increase the mess factor other than needing to wear clothes that won't be TERRIBLE to get dye on and it's so fun to see the colors (before they get all swirled into a nasty brown color). Hope you enjoy!

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  6. Oh my word that's a lot of shaving cream! You are such a better mom than I because I'd have a heart attack if my table looked like that! Ha!

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  7. just 3 words--


    OH MY WORD!!!!!!!







    you are so much braver than me!!

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  8. All that mess is the sign of an excellent, excellent activity. Congratulations indeed! Looks like the girls had a blast!

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  9. Wow. You are a brave, brave woman. Thank god you aren't OCD.

    Wow.

    I bet it smelled nice in the house, right? I hope you took advantage of the situation and shaved your legs :-)

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  10. I used to do this with my preschool class, except I used only 1 can of shaving cream and gave each child 1 bowl with about 1 cup of shave cream in it, a paint brush, and a big sheet of paper. Then on the very top of the shaving cream, I would add a dollop of paint. Their paintings dried puffy, smelly and colorful!
    Lots of fun, but not too much mess! :)
    Krista D

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  11. You are a brave woman for doing this activity indoors. We have done this outdoors only :-)
    One word of advice: don't ever get any of it on the car, because it will ruin the paint.

    It looks like the girls had an amazing time :-)

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  12. I stopped doing this when my boys decided it was even more fun to put it in their eyes. Or at least they thought it would be fun. Not so fun to get out of their eyes amidst all the screaming.

    Oh and 4 cans?
    You are a brave, brave woman.

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  13. OH. MY. WORD.........that is one huge pile of shaving cream, but it certainly looks like they had fun!! I think you are right, it would be a lot less messy with one child...... but I still don't think I am brave enough to give it a try!

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  14. Anonymous2/08/2010

    Glad s was you and not me.

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  15. I love this! As a kindergarten teacher, I get out the shaving cream and put in on the student's desks. They write their names, letters and words on their desks. They LOVE it. It does take some time to clean up 20 five year olds, but it's not nearly as bad as the all out shaving cream craziness like your sweeties had.

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  16. I have been reading you for years, and this post made me laugh so much that I just had to comment! This was absolutely hysterical!!!

    Thank you for sharing, for helping us become better moms through your example (and sometimes sheer courage!), and for sharing the joys of double parenthood with us!

    (Oh, and if you ever get the shaving cream on a mirror (fun!!!), make sure you clean it up with cold water if you don't want streaks for years to come... a little trick I learned as an OT...)

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  17. Umm... yeah... I never said use FOUR FREAKING CANS. Heh.

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  18. OMG, I could hardly read this blog post without having palpitations. I used to teach preschool and we would do this with the kids. I found out the hard way that some brands of shaving cream actually bleach clothing, please tell me that all the girls clothes came out okay in the wash....
    *gasp* *gasp* *gasp* (Can you tell I have laundry issues? I'm totally laundry OCD.)

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  19. Fun times!!! I can only imagine the squeals of delight that came from your girlies!

    Is it wrong that I'm hoping for more rainy days to see what fun you come up with? :o)

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  20. Will you be my mom?

    You rock.

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  21. Brave, brave Mama!!!

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  22. I always use the bathtub with this one. My son makes a huge mess and he is just one child. It is just so messy!

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  23. Anonymous2/09/2010

    Thats funny they must have had a lot of fun. I use to buy the cheap shaving cream and let my kids do that in the bath tub on the wall. Quicker to clean up.


    Erika

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  24. This is a great outside activity also when you can just hose them off:)
    We do this at school to practice writing letters also but not as much shaving cream as you used...lol

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  25. You are a SUPER mom! I have been a huge fan of your blog for 2 years, but I laughed so hard this morning I had to post a comment!

    We do this as an outside activity at a huge open field with about 80 summer campers! The kids always have a blast, and the hair styles with shaving cream is my favorite part!

    Looks like Ro and Ree had a blast! Once, again you are a freaking SUPER mom!

    Love your blog, thanks for the laughs!

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  26. I've done this with rooms full of preschoolers, and they always have a ball. I only use one can for a whole class, though. For the record, the shaving cream will take crayon and marker off of tables, so if you need to clean your art table, it works well. :-)

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  27. How fun!! Well, not the cleaning up part. I have a feeling that our twins are going to be just as "exuberant" as R&R. :)

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  28. OMgosh this is great I can hardly wait for rain...thanks for the tips

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  29. This is the funniest post I've read of yours in a long time. ha.ha. I think 4 cans was the perfect amount. ha.ha. I laughed out loud about the "fraternity party gone wrong". I will admit to having attended a "foam party" at a bar back in college. ha.ha. And that was about how messy it was!

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  30. Andrea2/09/2010

    Love the pics and the insanity of it all! And HUGE thanks to you for posting the compiled rainy day list. It has saved my life in the last week here in So Cal. : )

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  31. YOU ARE THE COOLEST MOM EVER!

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  32. That is soooooo funny! I was laughing out loud looking at the photos. I think I did this once. about 10 years ago with my first two. My little two don't even get play-doh. (oh once or twice 'cause some naughty children told them about it!)

    I might try this - outside near a hose :) Great fun!

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  33. I think I would have done this outside too. Come to think of it, maybe we will plan it when it is finally summer here.

    You are brave knowing how intense the girls are at their play. And I'm betting that Wela abd BobBob were really glad they weren't there to aid in the clean up.

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  34. M3, I put your list of Rainy Day Activities (Snow day around here) on fb for my friends to enjoy as well. We are snowed in here in the midwest. I gave you & your readers full credit and put up a link to your blog.

    Just letting you know. Thanks for the info. We're sure using it at our house.

    Traci in OH

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  35. I so don't have the patience for such a cleanup. I can see playing with shaving cream in the back yard or in the bathtub where I can hose things down, but... there's no way I could sit and watch that mess. I'll just enjoy your photos!!!

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  36. I do not know how I missed this. I love it. You go! My daughter is younger and therefore not as helpful in the clean up process but thanks for your inspiration :)

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  37. Well if there is going to be a "next time" Ro and Ree might enjoy adding some food coloring to the mix. But, then you would definitely need to do this in the bath or outside where you can hose it all down.

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  38. For my little one (she's 2), I've also put a couple drops of food coloring in the shaving cream she can use different colors...to change it up a little bit! But, yes, my DD loves shaving cream, too!!!

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  39. OMG, you are a great MOMMY! I'm all about having fun but I don't think FUN like that would be in the house...the bathroom maybe. KUDOs to you!!! I'll work on being braver!!!

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  40. i'm just now catching up here.

    ahem.

    DUDE, I REFUSE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS AMAZING MESS!

    hahahahaha.

    i know i suggested this, and yeah, we do this in the twos room, with six kids at a time, BUT holy crap, never four cans of shaving cream! just one, or maybe one and a half, among all of them! a big ol' pile in front of each kid and some tools or toys to work around in it with. we refresh the pile once or twice if it starts to dry up.

    those pictures...are amazing.

    i admire your bravery, and it looks like they had an awesome time! maybe next time, just...you know, scale it down a bit? :o)

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