Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Play-Doh Alternative

I hate Play-Doh. I hate how it gets stuck into the crevices of my kitchen table. I hate how it dries into my carpet, leaving crusty flecked pieces of purple, orange and green. I hate all the little parts and pieces that come with the Play-Doh kits. The only thing I like about Play-Doh is the smell. I thought about bottling it and selling it, but apparently that's already been done.

The worst part is that my kids LOVE Play-Doh. They ask to play with it all the time and I constantly find myself directing them to other activities. "Are you sure you don't want to color? How about a puzzle? I'll even do stamps but please, NOT PLAY-DOH!"

So you can imagine my extreme excitement when last week I found a suggestion (I can't remember where, sorry, but it was not my idea) to use shaving cream as a Play-Doh alternative. It doesn't stain, it wipes off easily, it cleans your table, annnnnnnnnd it also smells good! Score! Sure it isn't exactly like Play-Doh, but it fulfills all of those sensory desires that my kids have to use their hands and make a mess.

So this weekend I sent Matt on on a reconnaissance mission to the Dollar Store. He came back with 5 gigantic cans of these:

Nice hand modeling.

We lugged the play table outside and put a dollop in front of each kid.

As I suspected, it was love at first touch.

Meanwhile, I just closed my eyes, inhaled, and imagined myself in the middle of a business meeting with several well-coiffed and nice smelling businessmen (that, of course, all looked like my husband).

After playing in the white stuff for a while, Matt thought it would be fun to teach the kids how to make "snow" with the shaving cream.

Step 1: Get a handfull of shaving cream in your hand

Step 2: Hold arms wide open with hands as far away from each other as possible.

Step 3: Bring hands together as quickly as possible with blinding force, therefore creating a preponderance of foamy shaving cream bubbles that shower you and all those standing near you.

Step 4: Repeat.

The results?

All in all, it was glorious. Everything washed off easily and I had some nice smelling kiddos for the rest of the day. And it's a good thing we stocked up on the shaving cream because we used an entire bottle in one session. The only thing we forgot was to tell the kids not to wipe their faces while their hands were full of shaving cream ...

I  guess some lessons are better learned through trial and error.


  1. Gooblek, just cornstarch and water. It allows for a lot of fun and cleans up well!

  2. Thanks Carrie, I'll have to look into that one. I've also heard of something called floam?? Have you heard of it? I'm wondering how hard it is to make?