Does your child love play dough? This easy no-cook foam dough made from shaving cream and cornstarch is quick to make, fun to play with and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who love to explore new textures!
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When you’ve tested as many sensory recipes as we have, you eventually realize that you can add pretty much anything to cornstarch to turn it into play dough.
Frosting. Marshmallows. Baby lotion. Bubble bath. There are SO many ingredients you can use to make play dough, and each one creates a totally unique texture for kids to explore.
We’re no strangers to using shaving cream for crafts or to make DIY bath paint, but it’s also great for sensory play. And in the spirit of finding easy no-cook play dough recipes, we found ourselves asking: what happens when you mix cornstarch and shaving cream?
The result of our experiment was this fun, airy foam dough that’s not quite like any of the other doughs we’re made before. So if you have a toddler or preschooler at home and you’re looking for new textures to explore with them, this homemade foam play dough is definitely worth making at least once!
How to Make Shaving Cream Foam Dough
Here’s what you’ll need to whip up a batch of DIY shaving foam play dough for your kids:
- Shaving cream (we buys ours at Walmart for under $2)
- Liquid food colouring or liquid watercolours (I prefer liquid watercolour paint because it’s washable and doesn’t stain hands as much)
1. Measure Out Shaving Cream
Start by spraying some shaving cream into a large measuring cup in order to measure its quantity. I used 1 ½ cups of shaving cream for every ½ cup of cornstarch, but feel free to modify the quantities to suit your needs as long as you follow the same 3:1 ratio.
2. Add Colouring
Add a few drops of liquid food colouring or liquid watercolour paint to the shaving cream and stir with a spoon until the colour is visible throughout.
The colour will get a bit duller once the cornstarch is mixed in, so feel free to add a little extra if you want the colour to be nice and vibrant.
3. Add Cornstarch
Add some cornstarch and stir it in with a spoon. I used ½ cup of cornstarch and 1 ½ cups of shaving cream.
4. Adjust Consistency
Once you’ve gotten as far as you can with a spoon, use your hands to continue combining the cornstarch and shaving cream. This will not only allow the ingredients to mix better, but it will also give you a feel for the consistency of the dough and allow you to adjust the quantities.
Shaving foam play dough has a unique texture that feels like a mix between cloud dough and moon sand. It can be rolled into a ball, but it has a crumblier texture than regular play dough.
The batch I made for this article was initially too dry and felt almost exactly like moon sand… making this foam dough recipe a great alternative to moon sand for kids with gluten sensitivities or coeliac disease!
But unlike moon sand, foam play dough should be wet enough that you can roll the entire thing into a ball. So if your shaving cream play dough turns out like mine and you’re only able to press a little bit together at a time, you’ll need to add more shaving cream.
This isn’t an exact science and the exact quantities may depend on the brand of shaving cream you’re using, but I kept adding shaving cream and working it in with my hands until I was able to shape all of the dough into a ball at once.
Then, I gave the foam dough to my five-year-old and let her play with it!
She had lots of fun crumbling it between her fingers and then gathering it all up again to shape it into a ball.
And while this foam play dough will eventually dry out, you should be able to extend its life by storing it in a sealed sandwich bag until it’s too dry to play with. You can also try adding a bit more shaving cream to make it last longer.
I hope your kids enjoy this recipe as much as ours did!
Shaving Cream Foam Dough
- 1 ½ cups shaving cream or more as needed
- food colouring or liquid watercolour paint as needed
- ½ cup cornstarch
- Place shaving cream in a large measuring cup or bowl.
- Add food colouring or liquid watercolour paint and stir with a spoon.
- Add cornstarch. Stir with a spoon for as long as you can, then knead the ingredients with your hands until well combined.
- Try pressing the dough into a ball to test its consistency. If the dough is too dry, add more shaving cream; if it's too wet, add more cornstarch.
- Start playing immediately. Store in a sealed sandwich bag when not in use.
Related Low-Prep Sensory Recipes
Looking for more easy sensory recipes to make for your kids? Check out these articles:
- 2-Ingredient Dish Soap Silly Putty
- 5-Minute Soap Foam Sensory Play
- 2-Ingredient Fake Snow
- Edible Frosting Play Dough
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