Why? Well, like many, I recognize it is a wonderful, inexpensive sensory "tool". But, whoever knew it could be an equally useful faith formation prop as well?
The other day at our Jammies School Morning Circle time, I was reading Luke and Nina some longer selections of the Mary books we have in our book basket right now in honor of the Month or Mary. Well, I sensed that even though they wanted me to read, they were a bit antsy, so I grabbed some Little People, trays and shaving cream, so they could get a good bite of tactile sensory stimulation by playing "Mary, Jesus and Company" as I read to them.
They loved this idea and went to town with the activity, renaming the Little People Mary, Joseph, Joachim, Anne, etc. while pretending to put their newly named Bible characters in all manner of environments - from Bible story ones to sheer imaginary ones. Then, Nina began dabbing shaving cream on the heads of hers, with Luke following suit. At this point, amused, I stopped reading in order to just observe and interact with them, but they protested. "Keep reading, Mama.". They were both very content to listen and play at the same time.
"I don't know Luke. Because you and Nina put it there."
"But, what is it?"
"No, I mean what is it... you know, like when Jesus died."
"Oh. A halo?"
"No, Mama, you know... With Mary and the, di... what's it called?"
"Yes. With Mary and the disciples. It came down on them."
"Do you mean the Holy Spirit?"
Oh, my boy! I was so pleased and proud. And, so encouraged... Luke may not sit through Mass very well. And, he often says awful things about prayer, God and Jesus in his worser moments these days. But, God is writing on his heart and Bible stories and catechism concepts are sinking in. As I watched him place the Holy Spirit on each little figurine's head, I smiled. Moments like this remind me that Luke and Nina's faith is forming every day in so many pre-k friendly ways. Truly, I had not even begun to focus on Pentecost this year with the kids and there Luke was having his dramatic play moment with it -- and teaching Nina, too. Faith formation through shaving cream. I love it and am so grateful for it!
And, I am also pleased as punch that the shaving cream fun continued with some outdoor play a few days later... Yes, yesterday, Luke and Nina remembered our "Holy Spirit" play and requested to play with shaving cream after lunch. Since, it was beautiful out, and I wanted to get the kids outside again so I could take down and fold some laundry, I suggested that we play with the shaving cream in their kiddie pool. Luke balked at this at first, since sometimes "different" reads as "not right" to him and he wanted to recreate his "same" as before Holy Spirit play experience, But, Nina was so excited by the idea that Luke soon caught her fever for it, especially after I said that, outside, they could play with their hands and their feet!
Oh no! They had other plans... Luke has been missing snow. So, with no provocation, he decided to make his own with Nina. Before I knew it, the two of them were giggling inside the pool, clapping shaving cream covered hands together to make it snow and, then, covering each other - literally head to toe - as they made themselves into snowmen.
Watching them get so messy as their little minds worked, creating sunny, springtime snow was such a delight. Laundry duty went on pause. I grabbed the camera. Smiled. Enjoyed the moment. Laughed. Encouraged more imagination and play. Generally delighted in their "snowy" discoveries.
Shaving cream -- springtime toddler fun in a can! Another simple thing to be thankful for.
To see what others are grateful for today, check out the Gratituesday links at Heavenly Homemakers.
Now, go grab some shaving cream and go to town with your kids!