Shaving Cream Finger Painting

Swirl, mix and sculpt with all your colors! Your preschooler’s hand-eye coordination and divergent thinking makes these simple finger paintings one-of-kind every time.


This is a delightfully messy activity. Remember, food coloring can stain fingers and clothes, so prepare your space, your preschooler and yourself. Also, some young 2’s like to put everything in their mouth, so be aware. Shaving cream is not toxic, but it doesn’t taste very good!

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Aerosol can of white shaving cream or foam. We like to use shaving foam for sensitive skin like this kind found on Amazon. Shaving gel like this with a blue or green color will not work for this activity.
  2. Washable tabletop. You can also protect your work surface in a washable cover like this (reusable!) plastic tablecloth or an extra large cutting board found here. Check out our FAQ for more quick cover-up tips.
  3. Liquid food coloring, a set of 4 primary colors. You can also use water-based, liquid tempera paint from jars or tubes like these.  It will not spread as easily as food coloring, but it will do in a pinch. Use the colors of your choice.
  4. Paper towels, a sponge or rags for clean up
  1. Skilly Spark: I’m going to make something that looks like a pile of snow when I squirt some of this shaving cream onto my hand. What does it look like to you? What does it feel like? What different shapes could it make? And what do you think would happen if we add different colors and paint with it?  Let’s see!
  2. Adults, squirt out a big blob of shaving cream directly onto your covered surface for your preschooler. About a half a cup is a good start.
  3. Then, sprinkle a few drops of one color of food coloring onto the blob.
  4. Now it’s your child’s turn, ask them to go ahead and mix the colors into their shaving cream blob.
  5. Encourage them to continue mixing and moving the shaving cream around and around, finger painting with it.
  6. If desired, add another color for more painting possibilities. You can mix colors, like adding red and blue together to make purple. Or red and yellow to make orange.
  7. Start with another blob of shaving cream when the cream gets watery or flat
  8. Continue until your preschooler’s interest wanes and then ... enjoy cleaning up together!
Keep the fun going
  • Place a piece of construction paper like this over the shaving cream painting and rub gently. Let your shaving cream painting-prints dry, remove any left over shaving cream, then use them for placemats or unique wrapping paper.
  • Older children, ages 4 years and up can practice shapes and letters directly into their shaving cream paintings.