First, the polka dots....... I LOVE polka dots! There is just something fun about these little dots and I think they bring a brightness to any DIY or classroom project. Many of my kiddos like polka dots, too, and because of that, I have plenty of sticker dots around. But, sticker dots can be expensive, so I came up with a fun way to add them to a project with very little expense!
I got this idea when I was cleaning my classroom in May and had to throw away old, dried up glue sticks. I just kept feeling that surely there was something that I could do with them. So I rescued a few of them and they have been sitting in a box in my house all summer. A few nights ago, I was tossing and turning and just could not sleep. It was during that time that I had my "Ah ha" moment! Could the old glue sticks be used as paint dobbers? When I got up in the morning, I tried them out and they worked! Woo hoo! The only thing, though, is that the paint that is used must be smooth and creamy. If it is thick and lumpy, the dots do not come out as well. The glue sticks clean up nicely with a wet paper towel and can be used again!
To take this idea a bit further, I was contemplating how this could be expanded to a math or literacy center and I came up with this idea........the kiddos can make their own Five Frame cards using dots and index cards. This is an inexpensive and hands on way to practice decomposing numbers. After the cards are dry, kiddos can use them to decompose numbers and create number combinations.