Sticky Situation

I am a glue stick girl. On occasion I've dabbled in glue dots and double stick tape, but in the end, I always come back to deodorant's little cousin, the twist-up glue stick. Even though the actual stick factor of liquid glue is superior,  the mess that comes with it is the stuff of nightmares. (Although who among us hasn't made a peel off Elmer's glue glove?)  However, I came across some amazing resources this summer that may just change my mind. Welcome guest blogger Carolyn Wilhelm of The Wise Owl Factory. Be sure to check out her incredible blog chock full of free resources and don't miss the additional resource links at the bottom of the post!

By Carolyn:

Oh, how young students enjoy their new glue bottles, along with all the other wonderful school supplies they have for the new school year.  If you teach grades K-2, you know children need some directions to use glue well.  The directions need to be repeated often the first weeks of school.  Maybe you are a teacher who collects the glue bottles and passes them out only for making projects.  Maybe that is because a glue bottle or two have been stored open, and maybe even tipped over in a desk before!  So, here are some thoughts about using glue bottles.  First, the class needs to have a little talk about this fun school supply. 

One thing teachers can say is that glue bottles need to stand tall like toy soldiers and ballet dancers.

Then, discuss how sometimes clothing is too big.  Has that ever happened to the children before?  Did they know you can use too much glue that doesn't fit what you are gluing?

Then discuss how small ladybug dots or spots on a butterfly could be.  Have the children ever noticed things like these?  Have they seen ladybugs?  Could they try to make glue dots this tiny when they glue?

Another comparison that could be made is to say the glue bottle could do bunny hops or make magic want tip tap drops.  This is just to encourage the children to make dots and not pour the glue. 

Sometimes teachers might need to say children don't need to use the entire Mississippi River (or some local body of water's name) or make a Tsunami wave of glue!  That is glue that doesn't fit the project, and the paper takes forever to dry.  Not only that, the paper is stiff and thick.  That is not a nice kind of paper to take home. 

  At the end of the glue use time, this saying gets the attention of the children and encourages them to close their glue bottles:  "Snap, crackle, pop!  Turn the cap until it stops!" 
Well, alas, some children never get the point and over-glue.  Then the desk top is bumpy and difficult to write on.  Have you heard of the shaving cream solution?  Children love to clean their desk tops with a dollop of shaving cream.  They spread it around and write in it, similar to finger painting.  Don't worry, the shaving cream vanishes, and the children can then wipe the desk off with a semi-wet paper towel, and then dry.  How fun for the children and easy for the teacher! 

Carolyn Wilhelm, MA Gifted Education, MS Curriculum & Instruction, NBCT 2004-2014
Author of The Wise Owl Factory


Don't miss this awesome freebie from Kindergarten Monkey Business as well - Top Secret Gluing Techniques!
And, check out this art teacher who made her own version of a game show for the Smartboard. This would be a great way to review glue rules! (Can you tell I'm nervous and want to be sure they REALLY understand HOW to use liquid glue!?)



  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! :)
    This is soooo helpful this time of year! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  2. I just came across this, and what a great idea! My class has terrible manners with their glue!


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