Procedures: Learning to Use Glue

Teaching young children how to use glue can be as simple as a song and strong visual instructions.   Just click on the image to download a copy of this song.  My co-teacher, Patty, has a wonderful additional line I have never heard – “It is strong!”   The children love it!  We make a strong gesture with our arms.Glue Song

I call the glue bottle “Mr. Glue” and use these terms the first time I show the children how to use the bottle.  (See photo below.)

  • To open the bottle, twist the orange cap until the “white tongue disappears.”
  • Do not twist Mr. Glue’s neck.
  • Softly squeeze his tummy.  One small squeeze will make one little dot.
  • To close the bottle, twist Mr. Glue’s cap until you see the white tongue.

I break it down to three simple steps (the best number of steps for memory):

  1. Twist the orange cap.
  2. White tongue disappears.
  3. Squeeze one little dot.

Giving these visuals really helps young children picture what they need to do.

Anatomy of a Glue Bottle

Be Researchers!

I love this first glue project from Patty.  This is a wonderful way to practice using a “little dot” and seeing if it really is “strong.”    The class checks to see if a little dot of glue will actually hold a lot.

IMG_9554Set out an assortment of pasta.

Give each child a bottle of glue and a paper plate.


The children use a little dot and place a piece of pasta on the dot.

They may glue as many pieces of pasta as they wish.  Let it dry overnight.
The next day – let the children hold their paper plate and see – did the little dot of glue hold the pasta?

It is strong!!

A Little Dot of Glue Practice:

A Little Dot of Glue Practice

This can help the children control the squeezing of the glue bottle.

The children make a little white glue dot on each black dot.

Practice a second time and let them glue little tissue paper squares on each little dot.


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  1. Ritu says:

    What a great song! Love it! I’m going to link to this awesome idea in an upcoming post I’m writing for my blog! I haven’t used liquid glue with my son yet, but I think I will try it out now.

  2. Karen says:

    Wonderful tutorial, but I wanted to feedback on the use of pasta. Hopefully the pasta used was past its use by date, as the use of food for play is not sustainable .

    • Sally says:

      Absolutely – we collect old pasta from a local grocery store.

  3. Donna Massucci says:

    I love the glue dots!!! 37 years of teaching, finally I am taught the simplicity of glueing. I shared this with my team. Hugs

  4. Nancy says:

    Children can practice fine motor skills, while learning a technique they can use in many, many projects.

    • Sally says:

      Absolutely! So many skills, so much glue! Also, we might feel a little better about using the glue more often if we know our children know how to use it appropriately!

  5. Gayle Forrester says:

    I really like the visuals and the little song attached to the exercise. What a great way to get a point across.. Thank you

  6. susan says:

    This is a great little song and technique for teaching kids how to use the glue. Although, I heard someone say, at a conference, to manage the classroom not the kids. So instead of the squeezable glue I use liquid glue and paint brushes or those little plastic glue stick with the flat paddle end. I work with some young children and some children that would just squeeze the bottle anyway because, let’s face it…squeezing it is fun!! 🙂

    • Sally says:

      Haha – I have actually set up squeezing trays for that very purpose!!

      • Mary says:

        Squeezing trays? I am interested to know more… Have 2 year olds that would probably Love the idea!!!

        • Sally says:

          I just get a few metal or plastic trays, darker plastic cafeteria trays work best, and let the children squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! I keep my eyes open for a good glue sale. I can usually find bottles of glue on sale at the beginning of the school year and I buy a TON! The children get lost in the task of squeezing the bottle and watching the glue come out of the bottle. It’s so much fun!


  1. Procedures: Learning to Use Glue

    Teaching young children how to use glue can be as simple as a song and strong visual instructions. Just

  2. […] the paper IN the lines. I usually use glue sticks at home, but if you have liquid glue, check out this great little rhyme from Sally at Fairy Dust […]

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