Monday, November 1, 2010

Spiders in Webs

Another creepy crawly craft that Jonah and I did this past week was "handprint spiders."

We've been working really hard on using a pencil grip on crayons, and pressing hard enough to leave a mark, as well as drawing a variety of marks like circles, horizontal lines, and vertical lines. By "working hard" I mean that we've been doing a lot of play activities to incorporate different aspects of drawing/writing.

So, for the first step of this craft, I thought I'd have him draw the web with a white crayon on gray paper. I also gave him black and dark gray so that he would have different contrasts to work with, and because he kept asking for purple, I gave him that crayon too. I was very happy to see that he has not only mastered the pencil grip on the crayon, but he was also pressing hard enough that I could see the white marks on the gray paper. He also scribbled in circular motions for the first time! So we hit a lot of "milestones" with this project!

After he was finished making the spider web, I helped him dip his hand into purple paint (black would create a better illusion that it is a spider, but the kid insisted on purple!) and he put his handprint on the spider web. I then helped him dip his other hand in the paint, and guided him to put this handprint so that the thumbs of both prints are overlapping. Younger children will need a lot of help and guidance on this. Where the thumbs are overlapped is the head, and each finger is a spider leg. You can add googley eyes to polish off the look. Here is our spider before I added a face. Daryl said it didn't look like a spider at all, but he has no imagination.

With the face drawn in (I just drew some eyes and a smiley face with a sharpie) it looks like a spider.

I paired this with an activity called "tickle spider," a book from my preschool teaching days called "Don't Squish the Spider!" Which apparently is no longer available anywhere (it is a british children's book) but I'm sure that your local librarian would have something up her sleeves if you asked for a children's book about spiders. And of course, "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."

We counted the spider's legs when we were done making it, which is something Jonah enjoys doing a lot. Sometimes he'll stand in front of the fridge and point, saying syllables as if he is counting the legs on his spider!


  1. You're giving me all kinds of activity ideas for the days when we have Finn's buddy Harper staying with us. Thanks!

  2. I find that as the weather gets colder, and the days get shorter, we do more arts and crafts just to keep me sane while we can't go outside. It's either that, or chase Jonah aimlessly between the kitchen and living room all day (you were witness to that, unfortunately) Plus I like having my fridge doors full, it makes me a proud mama :) Hope you, Finn, and Harper have fun with them too!