This activity, which I've seen in various forms in multiple places on the web, is just genius for its simplicity.
It's just colored glue, dried on a smooth, flat surface! How easy is that?
Here's how we did it, as an activity to help reinforce the letters and sounds Taz is learning about:
- 1 bottle of washable glue (we used a small, partially-used bottle of school glue)
- Food coloring or liquid watercolors
- a smooth, flat surface -- glass, acetate and clear plastic boards work great. (We used a plastic wall hanging designed to hold signs, purchased at OfficeMax. Normally we use it as a dry erase board when I don't want to permanently mark up a worksheet in a textbook -- just slip it over the page and go!)
Put in coloring several drops at a time to achieve desired color intensity (remember, glue dries clear, so the resulting color will be fairly translucent and quite a bit darker after it dries). Shake or stir the glue bottle until the coloring is completely incorporated (a marble tossed into the bottle facilitates mixing nicely!)
I prepped the activity for Taz by outlining large capital and small letters onto the board in the colored glue, and letting it dry overnight. (Older kids can freehand their designs or trace more complicated pictures themselves, of course! Pre-outlining isn't necessary, but it made sense for our purposes.) I used coloring book pages as a template.
The next day, I let Taz fill in the outlines with more of the colored glue. Then we set it aside to dry (again, overnight seems to do the trick). When they're completely dry, the letters peel off the plastic easily. The back will be slick and smooth, but not at all sticky. I let him do this entirely on his own, only making sure he didn't leave any "holes" where there shouldn't be any (you'll want the design to be solid, so it won't tear easily.)
Because I wanted the letters to be completely recognizeable when they were used, I trimmed them of any misshapenness when they were dry, with a pair of scissors. If you were making an original design or picture, of course, this step would be unnecessary.
Then just let your child stick them to the window at will, shiny-side down! They won't leave any residue and are completely resusable. I store mine in a square Lock-n-Lock sandwich container, to keep them flat.
As he lay flat out on the kitchen floor, squirting glue with great care, he said, "Mommy, I love Kindergarten!" :)