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Inspired by the Museum: Shaving Cream Calligraphy

This post was written by Children's Museum Blog Ambassador, Pete G. Follow Pete's posts on the blog or find him on Twitter @adadinfluence.

On our latest trip to The Children’s Museum, the Blonde Bomber (age 4) and I stopped by Take Me There: China. Once she stopped calling it the Va-China exhibit (her mom is a gynecologist), we had a grand old time. She served me a stuffed fish at the "restaurant" and made me eat it with a single chopstick—not an easy task. She also played a panda cub simulation video game, and, several simulated-dead pandas later, clearly has no future in zoology. Finally we went to the calligraphy part of the exhibit and learned how to write certain Chinese letters using calligraphy.

BB dipped her brush in the ink well (water) and wrote on her silk paper (cloth). After the water dried the "ink" disappeared, ready to be used by the next person waiting for a turn. It was a really cool way to practice writing without wasting a bunch of paper.

Since BB is practicing writing her letters at home—and going through reams of printer paper in the process—I thought we could set up something at home similar to what we did at the museum. At home, however, we changed it up a bit. We used shaving cream in pie pans as our paper, and our fingers instead of pencils.

My bigger kids had a blast teaching BB her letters. Each of them took turns writing with their fingers in the shaving cream. All three of them were completely on task for about twenty minutes, a record for our house.  After that, they started to lose a little focus, and things got pretty messy. 

In the end, we all had fun, and maybe even learned a little something along the way, right here in Indy, a long, long way from Va-China. 

-Pete

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Categories: Blog Ambassadors, China
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