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Must-Try Glue Practice Tips for Pre-K & Kindergarten


Introducing new and basic skills, like cutting and gluing, can be tricky, require lots of trial and error, and take lots of practice. Sometimes, as teachers, we make the mistake of thinking it’s “easy” for kids to just start using school supplies – especially glue bottles! The reality is – they need to learn how through modeling and practice. So I’m here to share some Must-Try Glue Practice Tips for Pre-K & Kindergarten that will help your students and save you some stress along the way!

*For even more teacher tips and how to create a playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

These Must-Try Glue Practice Tips for Pre-K & Kindergarten are sure to help your students strengthen skills and save you stress along the way!

Must-Try Glue Practice Tips

In Pre-K and Kindergarten it can be tough to teach the seemingly “simple” things and to remember that our kids don’t yet have the fine motor skills to use things in the same way we do. As kids are often very literal, we need to be explicit and break things down for them. Remember that often school supplies, like scissors and glue bottles, are brand new to our students!

So let’s dive in and check out these tips to maximize independence (and lessen the mess) of glue bottles!

Tip #1 – Opening the Cap

The first step to teaching students to use glue is to instruct them to twist the orange cap.

Using glue bottles begins with what we often think is the “easy” task of opening the glue. But this is far from easy for kids that are seeing a glue bottle for the very first time.

First, instruct students to twist the ORANGE cap. Yes, I am stressing “orange” for a reason. The last thing we want is for the kids to open the white cap and have glue spill everywhere. Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before. So be sure to say the color and model exactly which cap they need to twist.

Tip #2 – Holding the Glue Bottle

Next, model holding the glue bottle upside down to allow time for the glue to settle in the tip.

Next, model holding the glue bottle upside down. Just holding, no squeezing yet!

Show the kids how to count to ten BEFORE squeezing. This makes it easier to get the glue out as it allows the glue to settle in the tip of the bottle. Bonus – it’s great counting practice!

Tip #3 – Time to Squeeze!

Lastly, teach the students to dot the glue using the chant, " Squeeze, dot, move!"

In my classroom we use a simple chant that the kids can repeat to themselves as they practice. “Squeeze, dot, move! Squeeze, dot, move!” There will be some extra glue and that’s okay!

The kids do try to dot but when we, as adults, dot glue we use one hand which allows us to hold the paper with our other hand. Kids often need both hands to squeeze as they strengthen their hand muscles. This means the paper gets bumped and moved by the bottle which makes it harder for them to control where it goes. But I’ll say it again, it’s okay!

The kids will be excited to show off their final projects using their new glue skills.

Learning to use school supplies is definitely an ongoing process that takes lots and lots of practice. As early childhood teachers, or parents of small kiddos, we get to watch the children learn to master these skills. And with just a few simple tips, we’ll remember the excitement and pride more than the messes!

Want to stress less with even more “must-try” tips while learning how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?

(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)

If you’re wanting to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, effective routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you’ll definitely want to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

This P.L.A.Y. course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom!

This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom. Be sure to request an invitation so you’re the first to hear when the virtual doors open!


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