Pin Me

Dramatic Play in your Preschool Classroom: Spider Theme

written by: Tania Cowling • edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi • updated: 6/6/2012

Spin a web of learning as children participate in spider activities for preschool. Read on for ideas on teaching about this amazing and helpful creature.

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    Discussion

    Children love spiders. They love to count their eight legs and look at the webs they weave. Read books and show pictures to the children to present these spider theme facts.

    • Spiders, unlike insects, have two body segments, some have eight eyes, and eight legs. They are called Arachnids.
    • Explain to the children that spiders have a very special opening in its body called spinnerets. The silk thread the spider uses to spin a web comes out of its spinnerets looking like milk, and then dries to a very fine, but strong thread.
    • Teach the children these concepts about spiders that fit into an early childhood curriculum. The shape of a spider is a circle. The number of legs a spider has is 8. The word spider starts with the letter S. The color of spiders are mostly black.
    • Spiders have a reputation of being scary, but most are very helpful to people. These creatures help us as they eat insect pests and keep the insect population under control.

    Suggested non-fiction books about spiders:

    Are You a Spider? by Tudor Humphries [Kingfisher, 2003]

    Spinning Spiders by Melvin Berger [Collins, 2003]

    Time for Kids: Spiders! by the Editors of Time for Kids [HarperCollins, 2005]

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    Playing in the Learning Web

    Learn about spiders through movement and song.

    Move Like a Spider

    Sing the song "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and invite the children to lie down on the floor on their backs. As you do these actions to this song, encourage the preschoolers to copy you. Show them how to use their hands, feet, arms and legs as if they were climbing into the air like a many-legged spider. Demonstrate how to wiggle their fingers and toes to spin their web.

    Spin a Spider Web

    If possible show the children a spider web outdoors before doing this activity. Make sure the students look but not touch. Notice how the intricate web is woven. Back in the classroom, give each child a small chair and a ball of yarn (or partner kids up to do this project). Help the children to string the yarn around the chair to form a giant spider web. Invite them to move in and around the web, naming their actions as they move. Ask the children to tell you how they got into certain positions, using words such as under, in, and on top of.

    Sing a Spider Song

    As the children are busy spinning their webs, sing this song together to the tune "Farmer in the Dell".

    The spider in the web,

    The spider in the web,

    Spin, spin, oh watch it spin,

    The spider in the web.

    ________

    The spider eats a (bug name)

    The spider eats a _________,

    Spin, spin, oh watch it spin,

    The spider in the web.

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    Make a Spider Headband

    The children will enjoy their dramatic movement about spiders much better when they are wearing their very own spider headband.Spider Headbands 

    1. Begin by cutting a black paper strip to fit around the child's head. Staple the band closed. Place tape over the staples to avoid scratches and the pulling of hair.
    2. Give each child eight strips of black construction paper (3/4" by 12") and show them how to accordion-fold these. Glue four on each side of the headband.
    3. Each child can design facial features for the front of the headband by using one of these art materials; construction paper, colored glue (dries colored, shiny, and textured) or dimensional paints.
    4. Attach this spider face to the front of the headband with school glue.
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    Access

    Present a picture of a spider to each child. Ask them questions about the spider's body, what the spider does, and how it moves.

    Use these spider activities for preschool to help children learn about this creature in nature. After this theme spiders may not be so scary anymore!

    Photo Credit: www.flickr.com; Albert Lea Public Library