Show us a kid who doesn’t like to stick things together… we’ll wait. Glue is one of those ever-popular craft essentials that fascinates children. As it should: a substance that adheres one thing to another is pretty magical for little people! As kids get bigger and advance from glue sticks and regular craft glue, give them a new challenge by introducing them to a low-heat glue gun. The temperature is really important as the hot versions can get very hot. But by selecting a low-heat version, like the Kadink Low Temperature Glue Gun especially designed for kids, you’ll know they are safe. The glue still gets nice and warm but not too hot to touch. This also means it cools quite quickly which is great for impatient crafters! As it’s an electrical tool, it’s best for adults to stay close and supervise, and our bet is that you’ll be so inspired, you will be whipping up your own DIY glue gun crafts right alongside them.

Transform a Rock into a Glue Gun Creature

Turn rocks from your garden into amazing creations with a glue gun

Turning regular rocks into cool creatures is always popular with kids and can be a fantastic sensory activity. If you don’t have any rocks around, they can create their own out of a big lump of air-dry clay. Once the clay is dry (give it a couple of hours or leave overnight), they can add all sorts of fun textures to the rock using their glue gun. Think big spiny backs, horns, teeth or antenna.

Try using long wiggles that curve around each other to give a creature-like look to a rock, then a little pink paint will add the finishing touch. Get them to play around with how much glue they need and even overlap parts to make their rocks extra 3D. The glue dries nice and fast, so they can move straight onto painting, colouring in or adding extras like pipe cleaners, googly eyes or even sand and dirt for added texture.

Step 1 Find some rocks or create your own using air-dry clay. Simply take a big chunk of clay in your hand, roll into a rough ball and leave to dry overnight.

Step 2 Take the glue gun and create cool textures, squiggles and patterns on the surface of the rock. Leave the very bottom smooth so that it sits evenly on a table or shelf.

Step 3 Once the glue is dry, paint or colour in the rock using brushes, a sponge or markers. Paint tends to adhere to the glue well and markers will also draw over the paint.

Step 4 Using more glue, add any extra accessories to your rocks like pipe cleaners, googly eyes or even sand or dirt, depending on the kind of creature you are creating.

What You'll Need

Make a Paper Plate Glue Gun Pond

Create a miniature swimming pool with the help of a handy glue gun

When warm glue dries, it can look like water or ice, so why not play on that by encouraging kids to create their own little ponds or pools? After painting the base of a paper plate blue, they could add anything they like, from little fish cut from construction or crepe paper, to tiny people swimming and inflatable pool toys made from clay. Once the paint is dry, kids can add a thin layer of their glue “water”, press on their accessories, then add some more glue water over the top of rocks and fish so they look like they are under the water.

Hot Tip: The key is not to add too much glue in one spot, as it can start to get milky and hard to see through.

Step 1 Take a paper plate and paint the base blue to create the bottom of the pond.

Step 2 Create the “underwater” details first, like little fish, rocks or anything that will sit flat onto the plate, then glue in place.

Step 3 Now add the “water”. Cover the base of the plate using the glue gun glue, pulling the trigger to release it and using the pointy tip to spread it around.

Step 4 Add final touches like greenery around the edges of the pond, and then apply more glue over the top to the rocks to make them look wet. Don't forget to add some clay people, too.

What You'll Need

SEE ALSO: Fun DIY Craft Projects With Blackboard Paint

Spin a Delicate Spider Web

This delicate spider web is a great glue gun craft idea.

The kind of nice, stretchy glue that you get from a glue gun is simply begging to become a spider web or snowflake! As kids begin using it they will notice that after they press down their blob of glue, you’ll often get a super thin strand as you pull the gun away, like a fine spider web. They’re easy to brush away on other crafts, but on this activity these strands look great if you leave them intact. You’ll need a shiny, heat resistant surface like glass, a ceramic plate or even a whiteboard. Do a test first to make sure that once dry, you can “pop” or pry the creation off the surface with ease. Then kids can either draw their spider web, cut it out and apply glue over the top – the paper can be left attached as a base – or simply freestyle one right onto the surface and allow it to dry. As an optional final touch you could add a spider to the web by twisting black pipe cleaners into shape and gluing on googly eyes.

Step 1 Hand draw or print out a basic spider web design and cut around the edges.

Step 2 Place the web drawing on a shiny, heat-resistant surface and use the glue gun to follow along the spider web lines.

Step 3 Allow to dry and add a second coat if it needs strengthening. The thicker each line is, the easier is it to lift it up.

Step 4 Then cut out the inside paper parts of the web, which will really work those scissor skills.

Step 5 Attach a thin thread connected to a pipe cleaner spider if you like! To make the thread, add a big dob of the warm glue to the back of the web, and gently pull upwards. Allow the thread to cool in the air before detaching it from the glue gun.

What You'll Need

SEE ALSO: 5 Fun DIY Paddle Pop Stick Craft Ideas

Make a Bedroom Name Sign

Creating a special sign for your kids’ bedroom is a great way to use a glue gun

Now kids can create their own perspex-style name sign for their bedroom door out of glue. They may like to print out the letters using a font on the computer, trace stencils or hand-draw the words. Once they have an outline in place, they can follow along the lines with the glue gun. Make the letters nice and chunky and it looks great when you go over them a couple of times, giving the sign a real 3D look. Kids can then create a background for their name tag on a piece of cardboard, decorating it with whatever they love, whether it's stickers, pom poms, rocks or trinkets from around the house. Add a little string and it can hang on a door handle or the front panel of a door with a little sticky hook.

Step 1 Start by either printing out the name on a piece of paper, using a stencil or hand drawing the letters, initials or words onto a piece of paper, then cut them out.

Step 2 Using the glue gun, trace over the letters and allow to dry, then add another coat for strength and impact. The paper does not need to be removed. Or, if the child feels confident, they can write their name freehand.

Step 3 Prepare the base of the sign, by cutting to size a piece of shiny cardboard.

Step 4 Glue the name to the centre of the card, then decorate with a sparkly border, pom poms or stickers, or even cut a design into the edges.

Step 5 So you can hang the name tag, add holes at the top and thread through the string, making a thick knot so that it doesn’t pop out. Then tie the sign around a door knob or onto a hook.

What You'll Need

This article was originally published in 2021 and has been updated.