There’s one insect that gives me the “creepy crawlies,” but kids seem to LOVE:
Though I get the heebie jeebies over them, spiders are such a fun topic to bring into the classroom. Kids seem to love it! They tend to have a decent amount of background knowledge on them, and since there always tend to be spiders in everyone’s backyards, basements, classrooms (!) children love to spill their knowledge they just learned once they see one!
Here are some of my favorite spider activities in the classroom.
I made these cards with flies on them. On the back I had the letter F (to make an association with /f/ and Fly). Some of the flies had spiders on the back of them. Students took turns swatting the flies with a fly swatter and flipping them over. If they got an F, they kept it. If they got a spider, the spider caught their fly on their web and they lost a turn. The student with the most flies at the end, won! Such a fun, hands on learning experience for the kiddos!
You could definitely do this with sight words, numbers, uppercase/lowercase match. Comment below if you’d like me to make some with those options. I always love creating resources.
Continuing with the word FLY, we practiced identifying the letters F and L. I made F and L spiders with magnets on the back. We put them under the parachute and took turns crawling under to pick a spider. Then, I projected F and L webs on our board, and students had to stick their spider on the proper web. This would be a great activity to do if you had a web for each uppercase letter and had a spider with each lowercase letter to match. Hmmm… I should get to creating that! 🙂
Spell with Spiders!
At Halloween time, the dollar store or party stores seem to always sell bags of spiders in bulk. I used them for my kiddos who were still working on Name Recognition. You could also use these to spell out spelling words, sight words, or letters and numbers. KIDS LOVE THEM!
My inspiration for the hats came from Fantastic Fun and Learning. I loved it because it involved one-to-one correspondence (counting out 8 eyes and 8 legs), fine motor practice (folding out those legs!), and Science spider knowledge (did YOU know they had 8 eyes?!). It didn’t hurt that they were TOO cute!
Spider Count Playdough Mats!
You can download them here.
I love these play dough mats! The visual spiders on the bottom help create independence for the kiddos. They’re able to count the spiders if they cannot yet identify the numeral on their own yet. Plus, the hand strength for rolling balls of play dough is an added bonus. You could even make it a one-to-one correspondence center by counting the mini spiders used for spelling in the earlier photos. I love being able to use a center in different ways. It’s an awesome way to see if students can generalize their skills across manipulatives.
Next year, I hope to incorporate Little Miss Muffet and do a cooking activity making “curds and whey.” What are your favorite spider activities in the classroom?
Keep your head in the clouds!