Monday, March 26, 2012

Bending lines and making shapes on a sticky table

By Laura Eldredge

Inspired by other "sticky table" ideas that I've seen around the web ... I thought it would be fun to use the sticky table idea to have our preschoolers create shapes from thin foam rectangles and some large shiny "twist ties".   We referred the rectangles as "lines" and read the book "When a line bends ... a shape begins" by Rhonda Gowler Greene.

Then the children took the foam and twisty tie "lines" and experimented with shapes they could create (and objects they could make from those shapes) on a table covered with clear contact paper - sticky side UP.   The children loved sticking the lines to the table and making their shapes ... turning squares and triangles into houses and buildings.

When they decided they wanted to make a circle .. they quickly learned they could turn the foam pieces on their side and make a circle/oval shape by curving two foam pieces together and sticking them to the table.  It was great watching them problem-solve how they could make a curved shape with the straight pieces of bendable foam.

The large shiny twist ties were also interesting, because you can bend them in various ways and they could make more 3-dimensional objects with those.

This is a wonderful open-ended activity (as you really never know exactly what the children will come up with!).   You could use other types of straight (yet bendable) collage materials, such as pipe cleaners, construction paper strips and yarn.  Break out the clear contact paper ... and let the creating begin!

Laura Eldredge is a teacher and curriculum coordinator at a NAEYC accredited early childhood program in Connecticut. She also co-founded the website
The SEEDS Network, as a way to provide early childhood professionals with ideas and resources that support them in their quest to provide quality care and education to our youngest learners. She blogs at


  1. I absolutely love that book!! Cute idea!!

    The Daily Alphabet

  2. Thanks Angela! It is a wonderful book that talks about shapes!

  3. Very creative use of the sticky table concept! Love this!

  4. I LOVE this, Laura! What a great extension for any work with geometric shapes! I pinned your post to my DIY Sensorial Extensions board at


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