The Sticking Table

Much more than just loose parts and glue

Back in June, shape and structure created from loose parts became a shared interest, the children would make 2D shapes and arrangements with lolly pop sticks. Naturally this progressed into 3D shapes as the children explored the idea of building upwards with bobbins and corks added in.

We wanted to find a way of making these structures more permanent, a way of their models being able to interact with each other instead of standing alone on a shelf. From here the Sticking table was created!

An old repurposed cable reel became a platform for these structures and ideas to play out, and old objects took on new roles with the help of some glue, a lot of glue in fact.

‘Sticky sticky glue’

The glue is poured from squirty bottles from heights, or from close distance, the children watch it pour and dribble. They watch how it builds up and falls off certain surfaces onto a surface below. They practice their aiming skills and try again when the glue doesn’t land where they had in mind. Children love being able to access resources them selves, the joy and independence they get from unravelling tape and pouring glue can’t always be fulfilled at home due to mess and waste, so this was the perfect place for them to pour glue to their hearts content. We used PVA, clear glue, old pen lids destined for the bin, feathers, wool, bobbins and sticks and each week the sticking table carried through with a new story.

The sticking table has been a house, a nest, a city, and a dragon house. For now the sticking table is going though a seasonal autumnal phase as conkers and leaves are added to the mix.

Having a long term project along side other activities can be a great way to allow children to practice and repeat skills, by revisiting ideas from weeks before they are able reflect on their ideas and build confidence. Schemas are a repeated pattern of behaviour that a child will go through whilst discovering how the world works.  It is through this urge of repetition our children are given the time and opportunity to extend on their thinking and learning.

It can be hard as educators to have the chance to leave a project out, tidy up time is a necessity particularly in spaces where meal times take place. So the sticking table is the perfect place for them to come back to a scene that has not been tidied away from the last time they were in the Art Studio. The perfect opportunity for them to deepen their cognitive development. Because how else can our children reflect on their work and ideas when they return to a project that has been tidied away.

Only the children can predict where the sticking table will go next, but as each new group of creative minds come together to take ownership of it, it will, no doubt, take on a brand new adventure and identity over the coming weeks and months.