OT Activity of the Day
Shaving Cream Fun
Target age range: 2 and up (honestly, you can start to expose your child to this activity whenever your child won't eat the shaving cream)
Hand strength and hand manipulation are so important for children. If your child has a weaker hand, or is unable to manipulate and move their fingers well, then most fine motor tasks will be completely unbearable down the road, for your child's teacher, for you and most importantly your child. There are so many fun ways to improve, or target, these two skill sets I don't even know where to begin. While I thought long and hard, I decided on shaving cream. This is such a fun activity and most of the children I work with love when this is on the schedule for the day.
In the picture above the lion and the car are both getting a "bath". In this activity, the child is working hard to improve their hand strength and manipulation by squirting the shaving cream, squeezing the squirt bottle full of water (because cleaning up shaving cream without water is a total bear), and then using their hands, or any other manipulative you want, to "wash" the toy. I've added paint brushes, scissor tongs and regular tongs, though don't feel limited in any choices. These manipulatives are great because if your child is hesitant to touch the shaving cream, they don't actually have to do so. I've also placed this activity on a tray to "contain" the mess, though you can be as free with the mess as you dare. Another tip if you would like to manage the amount of shaving cream or water being used, count to 5 for each: 5 seconds to squirt the shaving cream and then 5 squeezes of the water bottle, or more or less!
Another reason shaving cream is pretty amazing, is because your child can get messy and the shaving cream won't stain anything, clean up is relatively easy as long as you use water, and the only real lasting affect is your child will smell like a man for the rest of the day. I also like that this entire activity costs next to nothing, the shaving cream is less than two dollars and the squirt bottle was found for a dollar at Target. Everything else you need can be scavenged from around the house!