Friday, October 11, 2013

sometimes you just need to squeeze

If you have ever worked with small children you may be familiar with their fondness for glue. They will use as much as you give them and then some. Often, you will have an idea for an art or craft project that involves liquid glue and pretty pieces of paper or other colorful bits and pieces. You have a gleam in your eye as you imagine all the beautiful arting and crafting the children will do and then you hand them the glue and well.....everything changes.

And it is all good. Adults present an art opportunity to well...create art but really what happens is the magnificent exploration of the supplies at hand. Be it beads, colored pasta, strips of paper, play dough, or glue, children need to figure out how it all works on their own.

My three-year-olds had their first art project that involved liquid glue in a bottle. I wanted to give them an opportunity to use a variety of adhesives and so we worked with glue sticks first, then our white glue that comes from a brush bottle where a paintbrush is built into the lid, and then the squeeze bottles came out and sure enough, all other adhesives were abandoned.

The very act of squeezing that bottle is so enticing and exciting, how can we really expect a young child to stop and why should we? Art with young children really is about the process and squeezing a bottle of glue silly is one fantastic process.

I do have a trick involving the glue however and that is that each child receives their "own" bottle of glue. They can use as much or as little but when the bottle is empty and all squeezed out, the glue shop is closed for the day and we move on to another project of their choosing which often involves the washing of some classroom item with oodles of soapy bubbles and plenty o colorful sponges that need to be squeezed out.

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