I've done this before and have even bought some special inks/dyes a few (maybe 5 craft fairs ago) but seeing it again in Pinterest reminded me about how lovely the prints can be.... and messy holiday fun for the boy? Why not!
There are more detailed instructions here and here....but basically you just squirt a whole lot of shaving cream (a couple of bucks from the cheap shop) into a tray.
Add a few drops of food colouring and give it a mix. We used a wooden skewer.
I'd recommend an eye dropper or pipette or something similar if your little one wants to add the colour themselves.....We didn't have much yellow left in the bottle after Mr 4-and-a-half wanted a go at adding the colour.
Lay the paper over the shaving cream and gentle push down for 10 seconds or so and then slowly peel it off.
Let it sit for a minute or so while you make some more prints off the same pattern, or add some more colouring or mix it around a bit more.
Using anything flat, even the side of your hand if you want to get messy too, scrap away the layer of foam. I used a flat bladed butter knife from the kitchen. I also wiped the foam back into the tray to be used again. Actually very little of the foam is used and you can keep using it over and over again. I did notice that towards the end that the foam didn't stick the the paper as well as it was drying out on the top layer, but giving it a mix around helped.
It only took a few minutes for Aden to ask to mix it with his hands rather the the skewer. Of course I said yes! He loved it!
He ended up with shaving cream to his elbows and the food colouring has stained his hands a little, but look at the joy on his face!
I suggest the wearing of old clothes as the food colouring can stain. And yes I also recommend that you check that your son has shirt on the right way before you start taking photos of him!
The writing was fun. Just using the end of a skewer and dipping it back and forth in the colouring I was able to write Aden's name in the foam, mirror writing of course so that it is the right way round when you make a print of it.
I'll show you in a few days what we plan to turn these into!
Number 10 in my list of Pins that I'm actually doing. Join in here if you want!