May 6, 2013

Baby-School: Exploring Spiders

After a couple days off from our bug theme, I was itching to get back to it! I am still very much a bug hater, but I have been having fun introducing Kingston to the concept regardless. He will sit with me for quite sometime gazing at the Big Book of Bugs and pointing at all the creepy crawlies! After doing a general bug day and a ladybug day, I wanted to cover another biggie - Spiders. Spiders are not my friend, but I do love me a good round of Itsy Bitsy! So much so in fact, that "Itsy Bitsy Spider" was the first fingerplay I ever did with Kingston way back when he was a month old (stay tuned for a cute surprise at the end of this post!). I was surprised even then how well it captured his attention.

We have a few "Itsy Bitsy" books. Here are our current favorite spider books:

The top left is a soft, furry stuffed animal book that I purchased at Costco (one of my favorite stores!). It has jingly bells in the feet, a piece to hang it from a stroller or carseat, and the inside is a soft book! Kingston loves it. We gave it to him for Christmas, and he has been a fan every since. I talked about the rest of these books in my Bug Book post. We have read all of these books the past few days. Kingston never gets sick of them. Dada continued spider day when he got home from his first day at his new job by reading the Finger Puppet Book to K.

After lunch, I put together a simple contact paper craft for Kingston to do. I wanted to let him explore the concept of making a spider web using black yarn and contact paper.

Once Kingston was in his chair, I handed him the ball of yarn to explore. He made silly faces as he stretched the yarn out and rolled it around the tray. He had a good time dropping some of the yarn onto the counter and waving "bye bye" to it! 

When he was done with the yarn, I taped a piece of contact paper to K's high chair. I let him explore the stickiness of the contact paper first and explained to him that a spider's web is sticky. I told him his fingers were the buggies and that the spider was going to catch them and eat them up! Of course when I said this I tickled him, which made him laugh and shake his head back and forth.

Then, I put a handful of cut up yarn pieces on his tray and modeled how to put a piece on the paper. He wasn't interested in my explanation of how the spider web was formed. He was more interested in feeling the strands of yarn, dropping them off his chair, and pulling the yarn taut to examine! He did manage to get the yarn to stick while he was handling it. He made a great sensory activity out of it though, which was great. I told him that the yarn was black, but that a spider web spins a clear web. Then I put a pile of yarn on his head which delighted him! He squealed and picked it off one by one.

He made the cutest inquisitive faces as he examined the yarn!

After he was done, I put a second piece of contact paper over the top and he was finished. I could have cut it into a more "webby" shape, but I like how his art looks in its original form. Kingston is only 7 months old, so I wasn't expecting this to be a traditional web. I figured it would be pretty abstract, and I just liked the idea of explaining the concept to him!

As we were finishing this project up, Kingston began to play with the skein of yarn again. An idea struck me while I watched him play. In order to let K explore the concept of webs further, I decided to make him his own baby-size spider web! I took the skein of yarn and an empty laundry basket and begun stringing and entangling the yarn around to form a web inside of the basket. I popped the furry spider book in there and we were in business - Kingston's very own spider web!

As soon as Kingston saw the basket, he got excited! We do a lot of fun activities in laundry baskets, so he usually knows that it will be something great. The first thing I did was put Kingston into the basket on top of the web. This allowed him to move freely, but he was still able to explore the yarn which was pulled taut underneath him. He snapped the yarn and listened to the sound it made. He reached his hands through the tangles. Then he played with the spider for a little bit. He looked like a little buggy stuck to the web!

When he was used to that, I decided to make it even more fun for him. I cleared a space for him and sat him in the basket with his legs underneath the web. He was still able to move freely, but the yarn was surrounding him more, and made the concept more exciting! He had a great time trying to grab his piggy toes through the web of yarn. I explained to him that he was caught in the spiders web. I had the book pretend to catch him and tickle him. He loved that. Then, I just kicked back and watched him explore his environment.

We played a game where I hid his sock underneath a series of tangles and he had to dig it out. This held his attention for awhile. This activity can be done with kids who are too old to sit in the basket also! If you have an older child, have them lean over the basket and practice retrieving things from underneath the tangles!  I think that would be really fun.

It was adorable to watch Kingston try to figure his way out of the web. He thought it was really funny too!


When I took Kingston out he was still interested in playing with the web, so I tipped it on its side and we played "Rescue Itsy Bitsy"!!

K had a ton of fun with this activity!! I would definitely recommend trying this with your littles. It was simple to put together and held his attention for a REALLY long time.

Now for your viewing pleasure, here is Kingston at a month old doing "Itsy Bitsy" spider for the first time! (please do not mind my high pitched baby voice or the little monkey spitting up at the end!)


  1. How do you come up with these ideas?! They are absolutely brilliant! You are an amazing momma!

    And I will be pinning this :)

    1. Thank you so much! That means so much to me! Thanks for pinning. I usually start with a simple concept and then it escalates into something completely different. lol I pin all kinds of things to do on Pinterest and then never do any of them! I come up with something else. :)

  2. Aww, this is amazing Burke Mamma, Love this. Im gonna try this out today with my bebzi boo too. Thanks

    1. Thank you! Let me know how the activity went! :)

  3. I absolutely LOVE your ideas. I did this one with my 6-month-old today, and your paper one a few days ago. It's always so wonderful watching her expressions. I would really love to repost some of your ideas on our site. Please let me know how I can get hold of you :)

    1. Thank you so much Marion!! I'm so thrilled that you had fun doing these with your little one! :) All of my contact information is on the top right side of the blog under the header. You can contact me via email or Facebook! :)