At two and a half years old, young B has fallen in love with a cheap and cheerful collection of mini plastic animal figures. …That, and anything squishy, squashy and interesting he can get his hands stuck into. This invitation to play was so simple, and by following the little one’s lead, I enjoyed watching more than 2 hours of deeply engaging messy play unfold! Seriously – more than 2 hours!!
A table covered with aluminum foil, an ice-block tray, a pile of shaving foam and the famous animal friends ready to go, B started by tentatively exploring the soft, fluffy shaving foam. I just love shiny aluminum foil as a base, which looks fabulous, reflects in the sunlight, and makes a great sound too.
Patting, finger printing, hand stamping, and swirling the foam around in circles. Curiosity, enthusiasm, a big grin, and lots of happy, surprised sounds and giggles – “oooh!”… “wow!” Shaving foam on foil was one of our first sensory play activities, when B was very young – and it remains a hot favourite.
Then it was time to give the animals a splash about and play in the foam! The sponge crocodile and monkey made great prints on the foil, and the plastic animals sank and hid well in amongst the foam. Finding them again was fun, and really worked the little fingers which had to feel out the animals, and hold tightly so they didn’t slip out of grip with all the slippery foam covering them! It was great to see the animals in a new setting too!
Getting dirty and covered in a strange texture doesn’t appeal to all kids, however, no encouragement was required here for B to become totally immersed in the shaving foam… in about 1 minute flat!
And then the cute imaginative scenarios – conversations and movements of the animals, took over. … This was followed by some pretty dramatic and flamboyant (*rough) splashing and crashing of the whole foamy animal mix… (our floorboards were included in the fun too!)
Once we migrated to the bathroom to clean up, a whole other activity started up! Oh the water play – we cannot get enough of it these days! So the animals all had baths…
…and another hour or so later, once the basin, table, floor, and bathtub all joined in on the fun –
…and the whole activity was spontaneously transferred into the bathtub itself – and back again
…and when FINALLY, young B announced he was too wet to continue, and started stripping off his clothes…
… Mama stepped in, ran an actual bath filled with warm water and sweet smelling bubbles, and the tired toddler together with his very cooperative and sparkly clean animal friends lived happily ever after!
Thanks for visiting Kids’ Play Space!