Water Beads and Shaving Cream in the Play Pool

Make a really BIG sensory bin and put your materials in the play pool!

(E was 32 months old.)

You’ll need:

  • Water beads.
  • Shaving cream.
  • Play pool {or by all means downsize and use a plastic bin}.
  • Ladle, spoon or other tools (optional).


How it worked for us:

I expected this to get really really messy.

E LOVES shaving cream and has covered herself with it on more than one occasion when we were using it for art projects {like our Marbled Hearts and Shaving Cream Puffy Paint activities}.

This time, E decided to focus more on the water beads than the shaving cream, and it turned out to be quite a low mess activity. {Read about our Toothbrush Painting activity that I expected to be SO messy, and then it wasn’t at all.}

I set out the shaving cream and water beads on a tray in the play pool.


Set up with water beads and shaving cream.

E climbed right in and reached for the water beads.


Sitting in the play pool.

Next thing I knew, she asked for some water – well, there should be water in a play pool, duh Mama 😉 And while I was at it, she wanted a spoon, as well.

She dumped the water beads into the shaving cream, then got to work on it with the ladle I’d brought her in a addition to a spoon.


Water Beads in Shaving Cream.
Stirring the water beads around.
Loading up her ladle.

She informed me that she was cooking and offered me a taste.


Yummy shaving cream soup.

She played with the shaving cream a little bit but never really got into it as much as I’d thought she would. She was more interested in the water beads.

{I ended up dumping the contents of the tray into the play pool when E started to lose interest.}


Sticking her hand in the shaving cream.
Exploring the shaving cream a bit.
Found a water bead!
More exploration.
Digging for water beads.
There's one!

She wiped her hands on a towel a lot, or washed them off in the bowl that still had a little bit of water in it.


Washing her hands.

E did end up taking her clothes off and asking for her swimsuit when her clothes got a bit of shaving cream and water on them but that was shortly before she was done with this activity.


Mixing the paint some more.


What I learned:

  • It’s a lot more relaxing to be prepared for a major mess, then have your toddler decide to not make it than the other way around 😉
  • Presentation does make a difference, and the initial set up on the tray may have been a bit too tame.


Additional suggestions:

  • Add more water.
  • Add more tools and/or containers.



I loved Learn Play Imagine’s Outdoor Shaving Cream Play Pool activity  and added some water beads because E loves them.



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