Sensory Play: Kool-Aid or Shaving Cream Handwriting Practice

This year my son has struggled a lot in the handwriting department. He’s a bit of a reluctant one when it comes to using a pencil. He gets frustrated, then I get frustrated—and that’s never a good combination when it comes to learning.

Part of the struggle is the fact that sitting around with a piece of paper, writing numbers and letters over and over, gets really boring for him (and for me). In our household, we’ve found that giving him a bit of shaving cream or Kool-Aid turns a boring session of handwriting practice into a solid hour of fun.

Here’s my trick to helping my son improve his handwriting the fun way. Even better, he’s using his fine motor skills and getting ahead of his classmates (they’re all entering the first grade next year). My son has such a great time doing this that he hardly recognizes this activity as “homework” at all. We love both the shaving cream handwriting practice and sand handwriting practice methods; I ask my son to pick which method he prefers for the day and we stick with that.

This is a great sensory play activity, and it’s likely you already have everything you need for this activity in your cupboards already.

RELATED: Sensory Play: Kaleidescope Rice

Method 1: Shaving Cream Handwriting Practice

This method feels creamy and cool to the touch.


  • rimmed baking sheet
  • spatula
  • shaving cream


Step 1: Grab your baking sheet and spread out some shaving cream with a spatula.

Step 2: Have your child practice writing with his fingers

Step 3: To “reset” your palette, use a frosting knife or spatula to smooth everything out so you can start over.

spatula shaving cream


Method 2: Kool-Aid Handwriting Practice

orange powder abc


  • rimmed baking sheet
  • 2 cups Kool-Aid powder and sugar (alternatively, 2 cups sugar mixed with cinnamon or even hot cocoa powder)


Step 1: Grab your baking sheet mix and dump your Kool-Aid or sugar onto it.

Step 2: Ask your child to use their fingers to write letters in the “sand”. 

Step 3: Shake the pan gently to reset your palette.

More Learning Ideas for Kids:

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