I absolutely abhor spiders with every ounce of hot blood running through my body.
However, my young children love all things that creep and crawl, so a spider thematic unit was a perfect impromptu learning week!
Even if my own skin was crawling while making the printable pack and teaching them the fun, awesome, and really absurd facts!
Build a fake spider web with your young learner
When my mom was here in the summer, she and my oldest daughter used some scotch tape to build a spider web. We tried to use it as an educational time that was also very fun.
So we pulled out some scotch tape and started building.
You can give your kids a roll themselves to build and weave their own web for open ended play or you can instruct them to make it more educationally correct.
If you’re looking for fun spider facts, don’t forget to download our free spider unit theme printable pack for pre-k through 2nd grade learners.
For instance, we made sure to face our anchor threads sticky side down to show that those are normally not sticky, while my daughter wove her sticky strands with the tacky side of the tape facing out.
Then we made our own model spider out of wikki stix. This allowed for learning comprehension since making it indicated she knew there were 8 legs on a spider. Otherwise, you can get a small plastic spider to hang in the web.
Finally, we gathered up some small puffs of cotton (small pom poms would also be great for this activity) to simulate flies and other insects getting trapped in the spider web.
Our favorite children’s books to learn about creepy, crawly spiders
After our web was completed, my mom and oldest sat down to read about spiders. Some were tales, some were silly, and many were also very informative.
Our favorite spider books for kids include the following:
The Roly-Poly Spider
This is a cute story about a a spider that is always hungry. It has elements of reality in that it talks of spinning a sticky web and catching other critters inside of it. Likewise, you can discuss how some spiders eat even other spiders because the book mentions that the spider eats a lady bug friend after lunch. (While I know it sounds creepy, it’s not in the book.)
The Very Busy Spider
Of course, you can never go wrong with a great Eric Carle book. In this great illustrated story, not only is there a story line of a spider spinning its web all day, but it also shows the steps towards completing it.
While I can’t find the specific book we read (apparently we have a random, little known book), there are many tales of Anansi. While not educational in terms of spiders and the studying them scientifically, they are fun legends to read. Many come from Greece and Africa. The one we read was about how Anansi got invited for food and each time he had to be on his way so they tied a string to him to tug when the food was done and it’s the story of how spiders got 8 legs.
If you’re interested in starting a read aloud time with your kindergartener, Charlotte’s Web is a great addition for this week of learning and of course a classic most all kids will read before they’re grown!
Other resources to learn about spiders
With halloween around the corner and my two little ones simultaneously being fascinated by bugs, insects, spiders,we’re expanding on this topic to make it a part of our kindergarten and tot school curriculum.
- Free Printable Pack for learning about Spiders and Arachnids (pre-k to 2nd grade). This also includes a hands-on activity guide inside of it.
- Preserve a real (abondoned) spider web with this idea from Inner Child Fun.
- Easy spider web craft with yarn and popsicles to work on fine motor skills from Buggy and Buddy.
- Have students draw their own webs with this scratch art idea from Childhood 101.
More learning activities you’ll love
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!