08 December 2006

Shaving cream: kid fun + clean bathtub

Both Anne (winner of the funniest Parent Hackfire: Diaper Genie Debacle) and Lisa suggested this fun, foamy diversion. Lisa wrote up her shaving cream hack on Lil' Duck Duck, and Anne's is here:

Get yourself a cheap canister of shaving foam. Make sure it is non-toxic, although I have yet to see any that is toxic (durr. It goes on your face, so toxicity would be a pretty major design flaw). Get yourself some waterpaint and some squeeze bottles. Put a chip of watercolor paint in the squeeze bottle with warm water and shake until you have some funky colored water in there. Do not use food coloring, or you will likely be cleaning your grout and cursing a lot. [Melissa! Note dire grout warning! -- Ed.]

Now toss your toddler in the shower with the canister of shaving cream and the watercolor squeeze bottles. Make sure s/he knows how to use both. [i.e. not in the eyes. -- Ed.] Spraying the foam into strange shapes is half the fun. The other half is then dyeing the shapes and mixing colors.

If they are anything like my kid, they will be totally absorbed in creative wackiness for at least 20 minutes. Then you just turn on the shower with them in it, and zoop! Clean kid, clean shower. It’s like it never happened.

(Lisa suggests avoiding the menthol kind, and I want to remind you that shaving cream canisters leave rust rings when forgotten on the tub ledge.)

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re: rust rings. Look for shaving cream canisters w/ stainless bottoms. Most advertise this openly.

Rust rings? Many kids foam/soap foam products have the same problem.

Teacher trick: pull out cans of shaving cream on Friday morning. Spray it on the desks for practice of spelling words before the test. Then, after wiping it off, the desks are spotless for the following week!

My mom put me in the tub with a mixing bowl, a hand-crank eggbeater, and some Ivory Snow detergent and just a drop or two of food coloring (enough to make a pastel color). I would "cook" and then play with my mound of foam until forced to leave the bathtub.

I don't even know if you can get hand-crank eggbeaters anymore, but you could definitely use a whisk if you helped them get a head start on the foam.

People have told me that they do this in classrooms to clean the desks also ;). Too funny! Thanks for the link!

Well, I wish I would have read this an hour ago. The kids and I just finished cleaning the bathroom. I guarantee it would have been more fun your way. My favorite new products for cleaning and having the kids help are Method. They are non-toxic and smell good.

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