Last week, we did one of my favorite science experiments: we made glue. The kids love this, too!
In this experiment, we use the scientific method to determine what materials we can combine to make a glue that will stick paper together.
Water in a pitcher
Paper cups (3 per child)
Water droppers (medicine droppers)
Clipart (3 pictures per child)
Recording sheets (a printable version is available below)
To prepare the Recording Sheets, fold a piece of construction paper so that it has 3 equal sections. Using a ruler, draw a line across the top (with paper turned landscape style). On the line write: “What will make paper stick?” Draw lines on the 2 creases that were made when you folded the paper. In each of the 3 sections, write numbers 1-3. Label the 3 sections: water, salt water, and flour & water.
There is now a printable version of the recording sheet below to save you time!
Place a small amount of water in each paper cup (1 per child), place a small amount of salt in each paper cup (1 per child), and place a small amount of flour in each paper cup (1 per child). (You want approximately equal amounts of each substance.) Place Q-tips in all of the cups. Keep a pitcher of water nearby.
Cut out the clipart pictures in advance. We used clipart of reptiles because my class has been doing a reptiles theme, but you can use any pictures.
1. Pass out the cups of water (with Q-tip in the cup). Ask children to predict whether they think the water will stick paper. Give them each a clipart paper, have them spread water on the back of the paper with the Q-tip, and stick it on the number 1 on their construction paper. Have the children hold their paper up and see if the paper falls off or sticks. (It might stick initially, but as soon as the water dries, it will come off.) Doing this establishes that the water by itself does not work as a glue.
2. Pass out the cups of salt (with Q-tip in the cup). Have children pour their water from the first cup into the salt and stir with the Q-tip until it dissolves. Make your predictions first, then give them a second clipart paper, spread the mixture on the back, and stick it on the number 2. Check to see if the paper sticks.
3. Pass out the cups of flour (with Q-tip in the cup). Refill the water cups (you want the water and flour to be approximately equal amounts). Have children pour their water into the cup of flour and stir with the Q-tip until it is mixed well. Make your predictions first, then give them a third clipart paper, spread the mixture on the back, and stick it to the number 3.
Compare the results of the experiment to your predictions. Since only the flour and water combination worked to make paper stick, you can let the children use the flour mixture to stick the other 2 clipart papers onto the third area (just make sure they don’t stick it in the areas labeled “water” and “salt water”).
Download the Recording Sheet
Note: This is a free printable, just click to download.
This file includes the recording sheet, plus some clipart pictures you can use as pieces to glue on the page. It includes a set of farm animals, a set of bugs, and a set of wild animals clipart in case you are doing one of these themes at the time you do this experiment.