Third Grade Activities: Learn How to Make Homemade Glue With Your Students

The Science Behind Making Glue

pencil cup

Using creativity in the third-grade classroom is great for keeping children engaged in their lessons. You can teach students how to make homemade glue for an art project and give them a science lesson in the process. Although making glue is very simple, there are scientific chemical reactions involved. Vinegar, milk, and baking soda are needed to make the glue. When the vinegar is added into the milk and heated, it separates the milk into two substances. These two substances are whey and curds. The curds can easily be separated and dried, which then produces a cheese-like substance. Adding the baking soda to this substance causes it to become sticky, resulting in glue.

Materials Needed

The following materials will be needed in order for the students know how to make homemade glue.

  • 2 plastic cups (per student)
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Skim milk
  • Plastic funnel (per student)
  • Skim milk
  • Coffee filter (per student)
  • Paper towels

You will need an electric burner and a pot as well.

The Process

All the ingredients involved are safe to use, and most of them can be found in a basic kitchen. To prevent sensitivities to the children, it is best to make the glue in a well vented area.

To begin this activity, you will need to heat the milk and vinegar on the electric burner. You will need one cup of skim milk per student and one tablespoon of vinegar per student. Slowly heat this mixture, stirring it constantly. The mixture will separate into two layers.

After this is complete, have the students insert a funnel into one of their cups and insert the coffee filter into the funnel. Pour one cup of the mixture into one of the cups that each student has.

Next, have the students filter the mixture by pouring it through the filter and funnel. After the liquid has completely drained into the second cup, have the students collect the remaining residue left on the filters, which will need to be placed into the third plastic cup.

After the residue is in the cup, the students will need to use the paper towels to pat the residue dry as much as possible. After this is complete, have the students measure one teaspoon of baking soda and mix it into the residue to make the glue. The glue is now ready to be used for arts and crafts.

Read on for information about making your own super glue.


“How to Make Your Own Glue”

“Making Homemade Glue” By Mike Calhoun

“Homemade Glue”