I am not a fan of plastic, and I try to avoid it as much as I can. But there is one plastic toy I am willing to make an exception for: the Schleish's animals. I like how realistic they are, and they are always enticing for E (2yo).
I stumbled upon a Polar region set, and this inspired me ideas for open ended play that was very much in the season.
Although it has been looking like winter outside for the last few weeks, it hasn't for the last 48 hours. I was planning on making an ice field for X to play with, but after 24 hours outside, the plastic bin I had filled with water was still not even close to be frozen. So I decided to go with plan B: the shaving cream.
Well I am glad I did. I was not expecting this to be a tactile activity, but shaving cream kinda change the deal. I didn't know whether E would be as interested to it with the dislike he currently has for tactile stuff.
I guess there is a hidden power to shaving cream. After a few minutes of not being sure, and wiping his hand almost every minute, he ended up just embracing the whole thing and get dirty.
M couldn't pass up an opportunity to play. SHE is into whatever tactile thing there is.
I tried to interact with E during the activity. I asked him how the cream felt on his hands, and if it was smooth of rough. He said that it was"cold but not cold". He was expecting it to be cold, but it wasn't. He built a house for the Bear family and asks M to help him make a "road to walk on".
While he was building, I could see that he was taming the feel of his hand being dirty. Many times I pointed out how his hands were full of shaving cream, and he said" look mommy, hands are dirty!" with the biggest smile ever. He even took the time to rub some of the cream on himself, something he would have never done before.
This experience has really pushed him over something he hadn't crossed before. I can't wait to see if this will also apply to finger paint. I'll give it a try later this week.
Here is the set up:
I used the sensorial table, and installed the light table on it. The shaving cream was put into a plastic bin that I use regularly for these types f activities. I also used the wrapping as "backdrop" to set the mood. The tub on the right is full of cold water. I didn't know how they would use it, but it ended up being the sea. The animals all went swimming in there, and M had the penguins hunt for fishes in there. It was also very practical to have a tub for a quick washing during the activity.
Beside the table, I had another bin, our cleaning bin, that contains old prefold diapers, a roll of scott towels, and a supply of plastic bags.
The room where this happens is adjacent to the bathroom. Right after this, both M and E were sent to a much needed bath.