What animal can you think of that has 8 legs and weaves webs? If you said a spider, then you are correct!
Here in Oakland Park, we are lucky to have a lot of spiders around. You might say “Ewwww! I don’t like spiders. They are scary!” I am hoping that by learning some interesting facts about why spiders are so important for our environment, you might not think they are so gross or scary. Although you should always be mindful of spiders and their webs, so that you or the spider don’t get hurt.
- The material that spiders used to make webs is called silk. Some other animals can make silk too, but spiders are the only animals that create silk for different purposes.
- Spiders webs are not naturally sticky, they create a polymer that they coat the web in so that they can use it to catch food.
- Spiders eat bugs that we find pesky, like flies and mosquitoes.
- Spider silk is the strongest known natural fiber and has been used by doctors for many years.
Do you want to try to make your own spider web or pretend to wrap your food up like a spider does?
All we need to pretend to be a spider and make webs is string and some sticks. I prefer yarn but any string will work. Our string will act as spider silk.
Spider Web Craft
First you’ll need to find three sticks (all around the same sails) and any color yarn or string that you like best. You can even use different colors if you prefer.
We start by tying the sticks together in the middle. It does not have to be a perfect knot and it might be a little wobbly. It’s about the process not the product!
Once your sticks are stuck together, we can start to weave our web. Try to do an under than over pattern as you weave.
- If you’re doing this activity with toddlers, show them how we weave by going under than over and then allow them to do it feels right to them.
- If your children are preschool age, encourage them to try wrapping the yarn around each stick as they go.
- For school-age kids, I provided an example of a craft called it God’s eye. It’s the very same concept as the web but with only two sticks that are perpendicular to each other.
Spider Food Activity
For this activity will need any kind of yarn or string and an object to wrap. The object can be small toys, books, or even nature treasures you find outside like rocks or shells.
To prep this activity all you have to do is wrap whatever items you find in layers of yarn. Tip: The more yarm the longer the play!
- If you’re doing this activity with toddlers, unwrapping and sorting objects is a fun game to play! You can sort by shape, color or size.
- If your children are preschool age, unwrapping and counting objects would be a great way to work on beginning math skills or you can write a letter on the object to practice letter sounds.
- For school-age kids, having a race to unwrap objects with letters on them and seeing who can spell the most words in a given time is fun!
If you have some extra yarn left at the end of your projects, I encourage you to go outside and make some webs around a couple of trees or wrap a tree up in different colors!
Please remember not to touch spiders or spider webs in nature. Some spiders could bite you and make you sick, so it’s best to look at from far away.
Here are some awesome spiders I found in my yard:
Don’t forget to check out a video of me reading one of my favorite spider books, The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle.
Please take some pictures of the crafts you did or the spiders in your yard and share them with us today on Living in Oakland Park Group on Facebook.
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About the Author
Annie Knott is a South Florida Native and is proud to call Oakland Park her home. She is the mother to 4 young children. Annie has taught gymnastics, dance, art classes, and directed summer camps for over 15 years. She currently teaches nature-based guided play classes in the community. If Annie isn’t attending one of Oakland Park’s fun-filled events with her family, she can be found gardening in her exotic fruit orchard, paddle boarding on the Middle River, or photographing nature & wildlife.
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