Oh don’t you just Love Spiders? I can’t say that I do… but we should… Right? Do this fun science activity and learning center with your children to teach them all about spiders and how we Need Spiders! What a great time of year to be playing with Spiders and spider webs!
Spider Science Activity
Prep: Purchase spider and insects at dollar store, and a container (the one shown is from the Target dollar section).
Science Lesson: Start the discussion showing the spider. Ask the children what they know about spiders. Let them respond. Ask, “Are spiders insects?” After the students have answered, explain that insects only have 6 legs. Then ask, “How many legs does a spider have?” Let the children count the number of legs on the spider. After they have counted the legs explain that spiders have 8 legs not 6, so it is not an insect. A spider is an arachnid. Talk to the children about why spiders are important to the world. Spiders help control insects so they are useful. We need spiders. Next, talk about some simple spider facts with the children. Make this discussion age appropriate for your students.
-All spiders have fangs and venom but not all spiders are poisonous to humans. Only 6 kinds of spiders are poisonous to humans in North America.
-Ask the children, “How many eyes do you think a spider has?” Some kids will say “2”. I like to say, “Well, we have 2 eyes so that is a good guess but spiders have more eyes than we do! Can you imagine having more than 2 eyes? We would look silly.” Tell the children that most spiders have 8 eyes.
-Show the back of the toy spider to the children. Tell them that all spiders have spinnerets. Ask the children what they think the spinnerets are used for. Place a piece of the white yarn next to the spinneret on the toy spider. Tell them that the spinneret spins silk. What do you think the spider uses the silk for? Let the children give answers. Then discuss that the spider uses the silk to make webs, to wrap their food, as draglines (show them with the spider and the yarn) and to make egg sacs.
Activity: Let the children choose an insect out of the bucket and give them a piece of yarn. Have the child pretend to be a spider and wrap the insect with their silk, the yarn. This is both a fun science activity and also uses fine motor skills.
Books: You could also provide different books on spiders for the children to explore. Here are a few books we love! Click to view on Amazon; National Geographic Readers: Spiders, The Very Busy Spider, Be Nice to Spiders, and Please Don’t Step On Us.
This activity might change their views on spiders and why they are important. And maybe, just maybe you’ll learn to appreciate the value of spiders more too… I’m still trying too.
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