Friday, October 28, 2011

Simple Spider Fun!

With winter quickly approaching, and cool weather (for some of us) inevitable, it's time to load up on indoor,  "ENERGY OUT" activities.

Spiders are something every child can relate to and web fun can supply some much needed movement as well as large and small motor coordination!

There are many ways to build spider webs with young children.  Here are three ways I KNOW are fun!!

1) The first is a one demensional web.

Here's the break down:

You start with the skein of yarn.  Tape the end of the yarn to the floor (super strength packaging tape works great).  Pull out a fair amount of yarn, and toss the skein to a child.  Have them pull the yarn tight, assist them with taping it to the floor, then have them toss the skein to another child.  Continue this until a spider web appears on the floor.  Tape down the web as you desire.  It just depends on how long you want the web around.  If you want it there for a week, I suggest running tape over each part, if not, then bits of tape here and there will be fine.

Here comes the movement.  You can play with it two ways: as spiders, or as bugs.  Spiders want to be ON the web, bugs want to AVOID the web.  Bugs can jump from opening to opening, spiders must walk right on the yarn.  Both are great large motor activities.  The number of children on the web at one time depends on how big your web is, and how much energy your crew has.  You be the judge.

UGH!  I know I have photos of this, but I can't find them!!!  When they pop up, I will post them!!

2) A 3-D web:

Like the 1-D web, you need a skein of yarn and either tape or chairs, shelves and toys to anchor the web.  Give each child a turn being the spider and taking the web where ever they please, you assist with anchoring before another "spider" gets to continue the process.

Once the web is built let the fun begin!!  Crawl under, over, around and through the web!  Don't rush to give directions.  When given some free time in the web, the children will know what to do.  Soon the play will evolve and characters will appear.  There will be dragonflies and bumblebees.  Soon there will be spiders.  We added balls to our web as spiders too. 

Each child took a turn to help build the web

This little one decided to make it "tricky" and climbed under another
part of the web!

Let the PLAY begin!  At first, the children were bugs, and tried
not to touch the web.

For a while, I was the spider, but that was a bit too frightening for some.  Apparently,
I do a bang up job as a spider!!  Do I smell an Oscar in my future?!

See the green spider in the middle of the picture?  After I was the spider,
we threw some balls into the web area to be spiders....but soon enough,
the kids divided themselves into bugs and spiders!  The process of play
at it's finest!  There was cooperation, consideration,creative thinking,
problem solving and just plain fun going on!!
When the spiders and bugs are all done playing, it's time to take the web down.  I use BLUNT ended scissors and let the kids cut down the web.  By the time they are done, there are eensy weensy pieces of yarn all over the floor.  Picking up eensy weensy pieces of yarn is FANTASTIC for small motor strengthening and coordination, as well as gives children and opportunity to learn caution.

For NEXT time (don't ya just love it when you think of something grand AFTER the activity is finished!?)While talking to "my Jenn" (a dear family childcare provider friend and idea-bounce-offer friend....I highly recommend everyone gets a Jenn).  She had hung a clothes line that day and her daycare buddies were having fun hanging things on it.  SO....NEXT time (which will be this winter when it's too cold to be outside) I'm going to add some paper spiders and clothes pins to the play -- so they can put actual spiders on the web to try to avoid!!
3)  Small Motor Webs

The final web idea requires a paper plate, scissors, yarn and plastic spiders.

Cut about 8-9 1"-2" slits in the paper plate

Cut a piece of yarn about arms length.  Tie a small knot in one end.  Tuck the
knot through one slit and demonstrate how to pull the yarn across to another slit.
When the child is finished give them another piece of yarn to continue their web.
I learned that giving them smaller pieces and doing it several times was easier
for them to handle then a really long piece of yarn.

This is very difficult for little have the praises ready to roll! :)

Whenever they decide their web is complete, snip the ring part off of
a spider ring, and let them tuck him into their web!