Summer is a great time to study spider webs. Some webs, such as those of the orb weaver spiders, are incredibly complex and beautiful.
The spider uses its spinnerets to produce the silk. If you are interested in spiders, the Anatomy of a Spider has a great deal of technical information about the parts of the spider and about spider silk. Note: this site has lot’s of big photos of spiders, if you are squeamish.
Activity: Make a Spider Web
- Cardstock, poster board or a file folder
- Hole punch
- Small spider clip art (optional)
Have older children watch this cool animation of how a spider makes a web. (Requires Quicktime).
Next, cut a square out of the cardstock. Make the size appropriate for the age of the children you are working with. Cut out the center of the square, leaving a frame about one inch wide. Cut holes in the frame with a hole punch. Now have the child weave a web by placing yarn through the holes.
For young children, this may be simply a lacing exercise. Encourage older children to create an art project. When they are done, leave a tail of yarn and tie or glue on a spider picture.
For giant fun, place some kitchen chairs in a circle in an open area, hand the kids some skeins of yarn and let them connect the chairs with their own human-sized web. Note: This project is loads of fun for the kids, but not always that fun to clean up. Be prepared with some scissors.
For more information about spiders, check the spiders category of this blog.