Thursday, October 11, 2018


Spiders are a good substitute for scary things this time of year. These plastic rings are cheap, plentiful, and perfect for hands-on activities.

Ask children to sort the rings. What was their sorting rule?

Put different amounts of spider rings in bags or cups. Number the cups. Children count and then record their answers.

Draw spider webs and label with numerals or number words. Children make appropriate sets. 

Addition and Subtraction
Children can work out math problems with the spider rings.

Fill a plastic jar with spider rings. Children estimate how many and then write it on a sheet of paper with their name. At the end of the day count the spiders. Who guessed more? Less? Who was closest?

Give each child a spider ring. Can you put it above your head? Can you put it beside you? Can you put it between your knees? Etc.

Children can use spider rings to sing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Sing “The BIG FAT Spider” with a loud voice. Sing the “Teensy Weensy Spider” with a high, squeaky voice.

Nursery Rhyme
Let one child be little Miss Muffet. Tie a string to a spider ring and let another child dangle it as you say the rhyme.

Cut notches in a paper plate. Children can weave yarn through the notches and then tie a ring to the end of the yarn.
Children can dip spiders in paint and then use them like paint brushes.

Can children continue a pattern with the spiders? Can they create an AB, or ABB pattern?
Children draw a spider web on a paper plate. They can write a story about a spider on the back of the plate.

What’s the difference between a spider and an insect? How many legs does a spider have? How many legs on 2 spiders? 3 spiders?

Sticky Drippy Spiders 
Your students will also be delighted with this bottle. Pour about 1 cup of clear corn syrup in a plastic bottle. (The amount you need will depend on the size of the bottle. I really like to use larger round containers, but this was the only one I had on hand.) Add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring and swirl around to make orange. Add a few plastic spiders and watch them do their thing. (I used spider rings and cut the ring part off. I also put in a few bats.)

Spider Puppet
You will need paper plates, construction paper, an old sock, markers, and a stapler to make this project. Decorate two plates to look like a spider’s body. Cut eight 8” x 1 12” strips for the spider’s legs. Glue 4 legs on either side of the body. Staple the plates together around the sides where the legs are glued. Draw a face on the sock and then stick it through the center of the plates.

Spider Soup
This was one of my favorite Halloween activities! Get a large industrial size can of chicken noodle soup. Remove the wrapper and cover with construction paper. Write “spider soup” on the label. Take two packages of ramen noodles and crush. Put in a paper lunch sack and write “spider webs” on the front of the sack. Explain to the children that you’ll be having spider soup for snack. Show them the can and just LISTEN to their comments. Open the can and put it in a crock pot. (Someone will be sure to comment that they see spider legs and meat!) Show them the sack and explain that you will end crunchy spider webs to make it better. Dump those in and slowly cook until it is warm. Serve in paper cups.

Spider Applause 
Bend down thumbs and touch four fingertips from each hand. Tap gently! That’s the spider applause you get for using these ideas!


Bats in a Cave
Make a cave from a disposable bowl by turning it upside down and cutting an arch as shown. Display a certain number of bats. Put some in the cave and ask children, "How many do you see? How many do you think are in the cave?"

I Spy Bottle!
Several years ago we were eating in a Mexican restaurant in October and there were little Halloween toys in the spice bottles. It was interesting to watch adults, children, and families at every table trying to identify the objects. I guarantee this bottle will capture your students' interest!

You will need a clear plastic bottle or jar, salt or sand, and small seasonal toys.  Fill the container 2/3 full with salt or sand. Insert the toys and then screw on the top.  Shake.
*How many objects can the children find?
*Pass around the bottle and let each child make a complete sentence starting with "I spy a..."
*Have each child repeat what the previous child says and then add something they see. 
First child: I spy a spider.
Second child: I spy a spider and a bat.
Third child: I spy a spider and a bat and a cat.
*Ask younger children to draw what they see in the bottle.
*Have older students make a list of everything they find in the bottle.
*Can they write a story using the objects in the bottle?
*Use the bottle to reward children who are working quietly or children who are resting quietly.