After building a spider web obstacle course last week, I decided it would be a shame just to use it as an obstacle course alone. So, I thought up some activities that would incorporate the web in a few play (and learning) opportunities.
Making a Spider
We went to our trusty wildlife guide book and looked up some of the spiders that we might find locally. Miss Possum loved the garden orb spider and you know us, we like craft, so we made one. We can’t have a web without a spider!
We talked about the parts of a spider’s body and what they like to eat. Miss Possum already knows a lot about spiders because a couple of weeks ago we found lots of wild ones with our lay a sheet and shake a tree activity.
We used two paper plates for the body, a recycled peanut butter lid for the head and toilet rolls for the legs.
Predator Prey Spider Play
What better way to learn about spiders and their webs then to become part of the action yourself. I created this fly/butterfly mask to help us (and you and your children) with some insect role play. And like all good insects, we learnt that we had to stay away from that big spider web!
The children loved the masks and zoomed around the backyard, avoiding the web and pretending to be flies and butterflies. There were a couple of good little actors that, I suspect, got caught in the web intentionally too.
This game was too easy for them though, I had to make it harder.
I explained that our spider web is very colourful and easy to see but most spider webs are almost invisible. Now, the children needed to get through the spider web without touching it. If they touched it they were eaten by the spider. It was hard work, especially for Miss Possum because she is only young and hasn’t developed much self-awareness. This was a great activity to improve her skill in this area.
Catch a Prey Play
Miss Possum and her friends didn’t want to just be insects; they wanted to be the spiders too, so I had to go with their enthusiasm. A game of hide and seek and then tiggy was the perfect opportunity to introduce that not all spiders make webs but some hunt their prey instead.
Feed the hungry Spider
I tried to think of another activity that would help them understand how a web is used and how effective it is to catch insects. I made a printable of spider’s favourite food. I cut them up and stuck them on some cardboard to make them stronger.
Then I bought some velcro and attached one side of the Velcro to some soft balls that we had in the house. I also attached the bugs to the balls.
I made targets with some cardboard and the other side of the Velcro. I cut out a range of target sizes as to test their skills.
The kids loved this game. We found that sometimes even the balls would get stuck in the web even if they didn’t hit the Velcro target. This was a perfect opportunity to show them how well a web can work.
We could continue on spider activities forever but there are so many animals to explore! Do you want more? Here are some more activities you can do on spiders.
More Spider Activities and Fun
A web making activity for children – This activity does quite make the web the way a spider does but if you follow the same sequence with the spider obstacle course but using these materials it’s perfect!