Make a fun activity bin to introduce glue sticks to your toddler.
What is it about glue sticks that makes them magical to kids? Obviously, they are pretty cool when you step back and think of it: here’s a wand that can make two things stick together. Ok, maybe kids are right: glue sticks are magic…
Teaching your toddler to properly use a glue stick can be a really fun and simple to set up toddler activity that introduces a pretty solid life skill (aka: this is something they are going to need to know and do for the rest of their lives). I love life skill type activities – Pouring Station and Scoop & Transfer are two of my popular. This glue stick activity is now one of my son’s favorites.
Creating a glue stick activity bin is so easy!
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- Glue stick
- Various glue-able items (wrappers, tissue paper, ribbon, torn paper)
- Construction paper
I promise you I put this whole activity together in mere seconds for my son. I took a bowl and went to the craft/messy art supply area of our house and started to fill it with things I knew would be easy to glue to a piece of construction paper: wrappers, some tissue paper, bits of ribbon, etc. There’s no exact science here – just grab what you know is “glue-able”.
You will want to spend a little bit of time introducing a glue stick to your tot. Show them the features: the cap, the stick, the wheel at the bottom. Give them some tips on how to hold it. And make sure to give them the biggest gluing tip of all: put glue on the paper not on the teeny tiny object. This will ensure they are far more successful than they otherwise might be.
Next up, model it. Demonstrate exactly what you just explained. Don’t go overboard: glue one, maybe two items. Then step back and let them start to figure this out.
And they will! And they will love it! My son sat at this gluing station for well over 20 minutes just gluing small items to paper. He went nuts for this!
He went so nuts for this that I left this gluing station up for a week. Every day, I’d find him spending at least 5-10 minutes gluing. He quickly became addicted.
A few words of advice, if I may: Know your audience. My son isn’t going to eat glue (anymore) so I knew he was safe to work with this. If your toddler is still putting things in their mouth all the time, maybe hold off until they graduate from the “see it, taste it” phase.
This glue stick activity was an absolute smash hit for us. We couldn’t have loved it more. Teaching my son to use a glue stick at age 2 is such a valuable life skill for him.
Interested in more activities that introduce life skills? Try a Nature Cutting Tray, Montessori Practical Life: The Spooning Exercise, or Scooping Station.
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