Ever come across activities that seem like loads of fun? Then the parental voice in your head argues that the cleaning up is not worth the effort? This shaving cream car wash was one of those activities for me. We were stuck indoors due to the weather and I pictured shaving cream all over the walls, floors, bookshelves, etc. Out of desperation, I gritted my teeth, ignored my ‘parental voice’ and hastily set up the play, praying for all to be well. God was most gracious!

For messy play, this activity is surprisingly almost as clean as it can get. The clean up itself is already half way there as the shaving cream is very easy to wipe up and with the set up of this play, the kids are actually cleaning throughout the whole play. There’s also the wonderful scent of shaving cream. Lovely!


Shaving Cream Car Wash


What you need:
shaving cream
large trays
toy cars
large bowl of water
table cover

Here’s how we played:

Squirt shaving cream onto trays.
I did this for them at first, but then realised, it would be more fun for them to do it themselves. I was right. N enjoyed squirting shaving cream from the can immensely. The whole can of shaving cream was finished within the one session of play (which lasted about 30 – 45 mins).

Drive car toys through the shaving cream car wash.
M formed race tracks and was happy driving cars around. He made some interesting tracks.


Rinse off cars in a large bowl of water.
This made this messy play manageable for N & M. N because he kept piling the shaving cream onto his tray, so much so that he couldn’t even see his cars. I found him rinsing off his cars just so he could squirt more shaving cream onto his tray. M doesn’t generally like messy play, so the bowl of water and towel close by to rinse and dry off any uncomfortable mess was a helpful scaffold for him to enjoy this activity.


Free play.
Lots of potential for imaginative free play with this activity.

We had a tub of various vehicles including boats. Boats belong on the water, naturally.


Finger painting.

Not sure what the technical term is, but I refer to this as “mooshing with the hands”.


Scooping and pouring.



Lesson learnt: the most pleasant surprises happen when we are willing to step out of our comfort zones.


When have you been pleasantly surprised in the area of play?


Check out our coloured shaving cream car wash too.


N & M: 3 y.o.

October 2011

Lessons Learnt Journal

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About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.