Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Setting Up a Classroom Glue Table


One of the children's favourite table centres is the Glue Table which we set out regularly. Sometimes it's intended for children to create a personal collage piece and other times it is a group activity. For example, occasionally we set out a dedicated glue table that sits there for a few days inviting children to come and work on the collage piece during their explore time. 

In December the children used leftover fabric scarps, christmas glitter, pom poms, feathers, recycled water colour paintings cut up and coloured pasta. As our art values the process, children become masters at cutting, layering, making decisions, expressing ideas, sharing ideas, helping each other and being creative. 

During January we will offer both experiences; a personal collage and a group collage and I can't wait to see what they create.

If you are setting out a glue table here are a few expectations:

Clean the glue lids every day and refill the bottles regularly. Teach the children to be independent opening and closing the glue bottles. Make sure your bottles are a good size for little hands.

The paper at glue table can get very wet with big glue puddles, so we recommend using an art tray for your littles. Our older children have a lot of experience with glue so they self monitor how much they need but the littles are still experimenting and learning.

Let even the smallest children make their own decisions and work at their own pace. I usually print their name on a dry space when they are done. For older children I often put a label to create space for printing their name.

Vary the materials that you offer. I like to use a large sorting tray (old drawer tray) found at a thrift store and place complimentary materials in it. The tray includes a wide variety of materials which you should switch regularly. But I have often use the veggie trays from a local grocery store just as successfully.

Make sure that you have a place for the work to dry as it can take up to a week for some.

Invest in lots of white glue so that teachers don't get stingy with the children. We buy big bottles and refill the children's bottles regularly, sometimes daily!!!

We usually keep the collage piece for several months, putting it out regularly for children to add onto. Once it is dry it hangs on a prominent wall but when asked comes down for more glueing.

This month children have access to donated art panels, but often we just use cut up cereal boxes or cardboard, offcuts of wood, etc. The collage sorting tray includes wintery colours: purple, pink, green, blue, orange and white. However the children always have their own ideas and shop the adjacent atelier shelf for inspiration.

Here is a list of January materials:
  • coloured tooth picks
  • white soft feathers
  • re-cycled buttons variety of colours
  • scrap recycled water colour paintings
  • embroidery thread
  • cut up paper doilies as well as tiny ones
  • cupcake liners
  • pom poms (we have million left over from the sensory bin)
  • coloured small beads
Have fun creating your own glue table and remember let the children learn to self monitor the amount of glue they use.


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