Are you tired of your toddler or child wasting glue or creating a huge mess when you make crafts? A glue sponge is the solution for tidier art projects.
When you’re making crafts with toddlers and small children, using glue can really be a challenge. Learn how to make a glue sponge to make crafting with kids easier.
How To Make gluing easier for kids
A while back, my cousin Kate who’s an art teacher for children recommended I create a glue sponge to use for art projects with my son. Kate explained “pouring glue is two-fold challenging. Opening and closing the glue bottles is hard, as is knowing how much to use.”
Though experimentation can be good for learning, it often leads to a big mess and a lot of wasted glue. Kate uses a glue sponge in her classroom so her students can easily add glue to objects for their projects and crafts. The glue sponge is especially helpful when they’re trying to glue small pieces of paper. Kate finds the glue sponge is useful for her students until at least third grade.
What you need:
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- 1 cup of white Elmer’s glue or school glue
- 1/4 cup of water
- A large, thick sponge
- A large sealable container
Note: Kate says “ideally the goal is to have the sponge be the same size as the container. So you want your container to be the same height as your sponge or really close. Then you can cut your sponge down to the length and width of the container. The height of the sponge matching the height of the container is the tricky part, but it works best if they match, so you can drag your large shapes across.”
- Put your sponge in the container. Cut it to fit if necessary.
- Pour a cup of glue on the sponge.
- Add 1/4 cup of water or less.
- Keep the container covered when the glue sponge is not in use.
Tips for Making Your Glue Sponge
- When the top of the sponge no longer feels sticky enough, carefully flip the sponge over.
- When flipping the sponge no longer seems to bring fresh glue to the top, add a little more glue and water to the sponge.
- If you have trouble finding a large enough sponge for the size of your container, try cutting down the giant sponges meant for washing your car. I found ours at a dollar store, but you can also find them in the automotive department at most stores.
- I wrote the ratio of glue to water on the lid of my container, so I can easily remember when it’s time to add more glue or create a new glue sponge.
How Long Will a glue sponge last?
Kate says the glue sponge lasts a while as long as it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the container. The ones she uses in her art classroom get a lot of use, but she probably only adds glue quarterly. She replaces them annually at the beginning of the school year.
We’ve been using the glue sponge for our art projects since my son was two years old. He’s almost four now. It works amazingly well with very little mess. I highly recommend it.
Do you have any tricks like this that make crafts or art projects easier for your child? Please comment below and share.
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While you’re here, be sure to check out other kid ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –
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Originally published March 2014. Updated March 2019.