Glue Sponges…they are worth the HYPE!

Glue sponges...they are worth the hype
 Missing glue tops, piles of drippy glue on desks, worksheets stuck together…can you relate?   I want to share with you about something that I have been using in my classroom that has been a huge lifesaver for me (and my patience)!  🙂  Introducing…GLUE SPONGES!

I use my interactive notebooks in my classroom for math and once my kids started using these glue sponges, we no longer had the mess of drippy glue puddles and stuck together pages!  It’s amazing!  Here’s how to assemble the tubs…

First, you need some plastic containers with lids that snap on to keep the glue from drying out.  I use one sponge for each container.  These are just the dish sponges that you can pick up in the soap/detergent/cleaning aisle of Target/Walmart/K Mart/etc.

Next, pour a bottle of Elmer’s “drippy” glue onto the sponges and let it sit for 24 hours to allow the sponges to soak up the glue.  Make sure the lids are snapped on.

That’s it, they’re ready to go!  They will last you the entire year!  You may need to add more glue, depending on how often your students use them.  You may also need to spray them with water a couple of times to prevent them from drying out.  When the kids need glue on a piece of paper that is being applied to a project or worksheet, all they do is take that piece and rub it on the sponge.  Then they stick it on their worksheet or project.  Super simple, right?

Feel free to use the image below to pin to your Pinterest board for future reference!

52 Comments

  1. Cathy Hoffart

    How does the glue get on the paper? Do they rub their pieces to be glued on the sponge?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Yes, they rub that piece on the sponge. The sponge soaks up the glue so it's not so wet and drippy. I added this explanation to the blog post. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  2. Amber O.

    I'm with Cathy…how do your students apply the glue from the sponges to their paper? I haven't seen these yet, and now I'm gonna have to do a Pinterest/Google search; I'm intrigued!

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Did you do a Pinterest/Google search? The piece that you want to glue gets rubbed onto the sponge and then applied. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  3. Debbie K

    I pinned this idea about a year ago and didn't use it, but I'm determined to do it this year! Thanks for the reminder and step-by step instructions.
    Always Primary

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      You are very welcome Debbie! I hope you find success with these in your classroom this year!!!

      Reply
    • TONYA F VANVOORHIS

      I also do this! It is awesome! No glue messes and easy for Kindergarteners to use! I give them a bottle at the beginning of the last nine weeks to help prepare them for grade 1. I use plastic containers from the dollar store, 1 per 2 kids. This year will be different because they each need their own because of Covid.

      Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Isn't he sweet? And yes, you are the next on the list! 😉 I'm getting excited for that giveaway of yours! I just have a feeling that it's going to be AMAZING!

      Reply
  4. Trisha

    Do you wet the sponges first? Someone on Facebook said not to.

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      I did not have to wet the sponges at all. I would say that they were a little damp coming out of the package but I did not need to add any additional water. Thanks for your question!

      Reply
    • Buena

      I did wet mine first…then squeezed as much water out as I could. I then put the sponges in the containers and added glue. The next day I turned the sponges over and they were good to go! As someone else pointed out, you will need to spray the sponges with water occasionally and “reload” them with glue. I also turn my sponges over every now and then.

      Reply
  5. Tara Murray

    Oh My Word!!! I have been using glue sticks this whole time and have going through them like water!!! I am so glad I found this post! Thank you thank you! I am RUNNING to the store right now!

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Yay Tara! That is exactly how I felt when I discovered these for the first time too! I can't believe how much glue this has saved me this year. Not to mention how much of a mess that I am no longer dealing with! I'm glad you found my page and post!

      Reply
  6. Fleur

    This looks fantastic! Would PVA glue be similar to Elmer's 'drippy' glue?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      What is PVA glue? I guess I'm not familiar with this.

      Reply
    • Sandy H

      Yes, PVA glue is the same as Elmer's 'drippy' glue.

      Reply
  7. Mariam Zaman

    Wow ,nice angie….This sure will make the art activities easy for the children.can we rub our finger on the sponge and glue it on paper

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Yes, exactly Mariam! No more sticky fingers and a mile long line at the sink to wash the mess off!

      Reply
  8. Jen Young

    I would like to try these next year. Quick question. Has any of your kids ever dropped one on the floor? I was just wondering if all of the glue was absorbed into the sponge /and or /how big the mess is if someone accidentally pushes it off the table? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hey Jen! Yes, I have had them dropped on the floor and as far as the mess goes, it all depends on how much glue is in the container. If it is dropped on the floor, tipped over, and sits there for awhile (with quite a bit of extra glue in the container), then yes, you will end up with some glue on the floor. The sponge sticks to the container pretty well and there really isn't too much of a need to have that much extra glue outside of what the sponge soaks up. I hope that makes sense. I think that they are far less messy than glue bottles!

      Reply
  9. Norma Singleterry

    Hi I love the glue sponges. Do you make new ones very year or can you use them again for another year. I'm trying to decide what to do with all the ones I have. I'm not sure if they would still be good for next year. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Carrie

      I want to know this too!

      Reply
  10. kindergeek

    Would love to see images of the sponges with the glue soaked in and the kids using them. The creation of the sponges is easy to picture in my mind even without your excellent step by step images, but the utility of glue sponges is hard to imagine.

    Reply
  11. Unknown

    I'm interested in this. I almost always use the regular Elmer's glue and try to teach the kids about "baby" dots, but inevitably, some kids drip big blobs clear until the end of school. I didn't see where it said how much glue to use? 4 oz, 8 oz? Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Christie Millar

    Thank you so much for the detailed description. I'm thinking about hot gluing the sponges to the bottom of the container. I'm also curious if you can use them year after year! Does mold ever start to grow? The glue I have in my classroom has caps that really don't seal, so the glue always dries. I find myself soaking another couple of glue caps every single day! I'm hoping this will work for my students and me. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I have used glue sponges for a couple of years and LOVE them. I add a tiny bit of Listerine to the water I use to spray on mine every once in a while and I have never had mold.

      Reply
  13. Amanda

    Glue sponges are life changing!!! This is my first year using them, and they are amazing! (Especially for kindergarten!)

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Thank you for sharing that! I think this might be a game changer for my classroom! I teach Kinder too and we did interactive alphabet books and the glue was a nightmare! And I’m pretty thorough about procedures. It just never failed you would have a handful using waaay too much!

      Reply
  14. Sci5Techr

    This 5th grade teacher thinks you Kinder teachers ROCK! Thanks for the glue sponge idea.

    Reply
  15. Sci5Techr

    This 5th grade teacher thinks you Kinder teachers ROCK! Thanks for the glue sponge idea.

    Reply
  16. Alyssa

    I've had the same set of glue sponges all year. No mold problems at all. I take those almost-empty glue bottles, add a little water, and use that solution to recharge them when they start to dry out. So much less waste.

    Reply
  17. Alyssa

    I've had the same set of glue sponges all year. No mold problems at all. I take those almost-empty glue bottles, add a little water, and use that solution to recharge them when they start to dry out. So much less waste.

    Reply
  18. Leslie

    Does each student get one or do you have a glue station?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Leslie. I have enough glue sponges for each pair of kids to share one glue sponge container. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  19. Linda

    you could cut up the sponge and use smaller pieces for little jobs and little hands.

    Reply
  20. Deb Jacobe

    Which size Elmer’s Glue bottle do you use? Thanks! Preschool is looking less messy now!

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Deb. I actually purchased a large bulk container of Elmer’s glue and reload the glue sponges with that as needed. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  21. Tina

    What if they have a large piece of paper they have to glue?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Tina. The large pieces of paper we still use a glue stick or bottle of drippy glue.

      Reply
    • Laurie

      Hi, Tina, My little firsties are clever. For the larger pieces of paper, they just invert the container so the sponge is on the lid, and gently press the paper to the sponge, lift it, move it, and press again. (I had considered teaching this, but one of the kids figured it out and shared with the others first!) I don’t have lots of extra glue in the bottom of my containers because, well, they’re kids, and I can just see the messes happening. So I spray/reload frequently. This will be my third year with the same sponges. (I have had some get a little mold, so I toss those, but to help combat that, I spray the sponges with Listerine. That seems to help and it leaves a nice scent!)

      Reply
      • KD

        Wow! Impressive! Thanks for the added info (and listerine tip) too!

        Reply
  22. Vanessa

    I made these yesterday! Thanks so much. I have a quick question, though. The bottoms seem to have a puddle of glue under the sponge. Is this normal or did my glue not soak up enough? Thanks! You have been a wealth of knowledge for me as I get ready for another school year…Brag Tags and Glue sponges – my life is changed:)

    Reply
  23. Lori

    In the words (word) of my 2nd graders, this is EPIC! I am making some of these for my groups. Now can you help speed up the cutting process? 🙂

    Reply
  24. Theresa

    I saw this post last year but never implemented the idea. This year I found some great containers at the Dollar Tree and I’m going to get brave and do it. We do a lot of gluing in First Grade and this year I hope to add a Math Interactive Notebook to our Grammar Interactive Notebook.

    Reply
  25. Jeanne Johannes

    Can’t see myself using this without getting glue on my fingers while getting the whole piece covered with the result of piece sticking to my fingers, getting my sticky fingers on my card where I don’t want it and having to wash my hands constantly with a large gluing project—or all of the above. But “don’t knock it before you try it” is my motto, so try it, I will

    Reply
  26. Theresa

    I love this idea. I can’t wait to see how it works in my k/1 classroom.

    Reply
  27. Elizabeth Pellegreen

    WoW! I teach middle school and we use Interactive Notebooks in Science. My students always stick the pages together or spend more time putting glue on their hands so they can peel off a layer when it dries.

    This will really work to cut down on the mess! It will be intriguing to watch them figure a way to get a thick layer on their hands now!

    Thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  28. Bonnie

    What is “drippy” glue?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Bonnie!
      “Drippy” glue is the white liquid Elmer’s glue vs. a glue stick. Hope that helps!

      Angie Olson
      Lucky Little Learners

      Reply
  29. Wendy Kimmel

    I’ve been using this idea (and sharing it with colleagues) for a number of year. I teach 3rd grade, and we use a variety of lapbooks in our classroom in place of interactive notebooks. This is the greatest tool to use when making the lapbooks (or really in any gluing situation). I just love, love, love it. Kids who come to my room from a room that doesn’t have them love to use it as well. I no longer have problems with paper that had been stuck on projects falling off (as the glue stick doesn’t hold as well). I don’t have projects glued fast to each other because of careless/over gluing. And… I don’t have glue spread wasted and spread over things that aren’t meant to be glued. It’s been a great help.

    Reply
  30. Renee Murfitt

    Game changer! Made these to use in my elementary art class room with 3rd – 5th graders. It makes gluing so much faster and easier. No more dried out glue sticks, clogged bottles, or huge glue puddles making messes. My students and I love, love, love glue sponges.

    Reply

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Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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