I’ve been saving this week’s theme for a rainy day – spiders and fine motor development…the itsy bitsy spiders, that is. I love singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider with my little girl because she gets so excited about it and it’s so cute to see her version of making a spider with her little hands. Songs like this are a great way to build early fine motor skills/development. So, our crafts for this week are other spider activities that practice fine motor skills, working with your hands in small ways. Fine motor development is an important building block that helps with learning to use utensils and tools, as well as learning to write. Songs with more specific or detailed motions are a great way to practice these types of skills without causing frustration for early progress. Crafts are also a great way to work on fine motor development, but I recommend going with the flow for younger ones, letting them put their own version on an activity so that no one gets frustrated trying to get things “just right.” Creating should be fun and unique to each kiddo. The process is more important than the end result when it comes to toddler and preschool crafts!
CRAFT/ACTIVITY #1: “Sewing” a spider web (inspiration source: RedTedArt)
Instead of gathering sticks from the backyard and finding a hazelnut, I just used skinny craft sticks I had left over from cupcake decorating, and then I just held the three sticks in place by wrapping the yarn diagonally between the sticks several times before knotting it off. This way, it was ready for my toddler to weave how she desired. If you have an older child, the correct way to weave it is to loop the yarn around a single stick, then move over to the adjacent stick and loop the yarn around that one, and so on until you run out of yarn.
We also cut out little black construction paper spiders to go with our webs. We used white yarn for more spidery-looking, and pinkish yarn for all the little princesses we knew would love that when we got home!
CRAFT/ACTIVITY #2: Coffee filter spider web (by artful parent)
These are so fun and easy! Fold the circle in half, and half again, and half again, and half again, until you have a sort of flat cone. Then, the trick seems to be to leave the larger folded side uncut – this will provide the spokes of the spider web. To make this craft a toddler version (my toddler hasn’t mastered scissors yet, but this would be a fun way to start teaching that skill with safety scissors), I cut skinny v’s along the more layered side of the cone, just stopping short of actually cutting completely. Then, with her, I held the cone in a way to let her easily pull out the “v” with her fingers. She had to work hard at first, using her strength to pull out the darts of coffee filter, but she really got into it! Then, she had a web for the paper spider I had cut out for her.
CRAFT/ACTIVITY #3: Spider handprints
BONUS CRAFT/ACTIVITY #4: Snack time spider! (by Kids Activities blog)
BONUS CRAFT/ACTIVITY #5: Weave a spider web on paper plate
My little girl came home from mother’s day out at church, having had an itsy bitsy spider day too! They made these cute spider webs with paper plates cut with slits all the way around for wrapping with yarn; plus a spider made with pipe cleaner legs (googly eyes have already been pulled off by the time I took this picture) was attached by more yarn.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd, is a fun read full of chances to practice motions like shaking your hands, nodding your head, clomping your feet, and having a lot of laughs. This is traditionally a Halloween book, I’d say, but it’s a fun motor development opportunity anytime. I first heard it on “Reading Rainbow” back around 1990, ha! Thanks, LeVar Burton!
The Itsy Bitsy Spider – video of song and motions