Getting a Grip on the Right Glue
by Betty Bose
Paper, scissors, crayons and glue are the basic building blocks of most craft projects for young children. The success or failure of a craft project can often be traced back to the glue you select for the job. In the old days schools only used a glue that came in a bottle with a rubber stopper with a slit where the glue was squeezed on the page. Today there are many different types of glue and we are going to try to help you select the one that is best suited for your craft project.
Glue Sticks: This type of glue is best for preschool and paper crafts. You can use white school glue too (Elmers) but it is messier and harder for the youngest crafters to control. The Alphabet Paper Chain is a good beginning craft that teaches Preschoolers their alphabet and the basics of working with paper, scissors and a glue stick.
Tacky Glue: Tacky glue is the best product to use on foam. Because it can be hard to squeeze out of the bottle, pour a little into a Dixie cup and give the kids a craft stick to use to apply the glue to the foam. Extra Tacky Glue is even better and dries faster, but can be more expensive. A great foam project for scout leaders teaching sign language to their troops is the I Heart You Sign Language Heart. It is not just for Valentine’s Day.
Glue Dots: Glue dots are one of the newer innovations in the family of glues. They are great because there is no clean up involved, but they can be expensive when working with groups with a limited budget.. You can use glue dots on foam, plastic, wood, paper and many other materials. Terri of MakingFriends.com recommends using glue dots for this Friendship Bracelet, a favorite craft for all kids.
Fabric Glue: If you are working on a felt craft project, Fabri-tac Fabric glue is the product you need to have on hand. Regulars glues just do not work when it comes to bonding felt. Take a look at these cute felt Ocean Finger Puppets and create creatures that provide hours of puppet fun.
Glue Guns: You can use a low temp glue gun with kids age 10 and up with adult supervision. Wearing gloves will keep stray glue from burning the skin. High temp guns should be relegated to adult projects and used with care. Even adults can get burns if they are not careful. Terri from MakingFriends.com has designed this CD Holder which makes good use of a glue gun.
These are the basic glues that kids will need for successful craft projects. There are more out there in the marketplace, but they are usually specific to specialty crafting and are primarily used in adult projects.
So stock up on a variety of different glues and get out your craft box and call the kids around for hours of crafting fun.
Please visit my blog artprojectsforkids.org to see my classroom-tested lesson plans. I'm happy to post them as an aid for teachers, homeschoolers, parents and enthusiasts of all ages.