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Spiders make the most amazing fall decorations. Their webs just fascinate me.  So intricate and delicate - get strong. And beautiful in the morning dew.

The kindergarten kids and I decided to make like spiders and create webs.

• coffee filters
• black jiffy marker
• eye droppers
• liquid water colour paints

1. Watch spiders create webs. It is amazing.

2. Draw a web on a coffee filter.

We chatted about how the spider makes the radial threads first, and then creates the spiral threads. Not all the kindergarten spiders followed the traditional spider web formula.

The kids drew on the coffee filter with pencil, and I traced over their lines with a jiffy marker.

2. Add colour.

I absolutely love liquid water colour paints. They are easy for the kids to use, and produce such beautiful, vibrant results.

We put a bit of slightly diluted red, yellow, orange, blue and purple liquid water colours in plastic cups (recycled snack size apple sauce containers are perfect).  We did not put too much in the cups, since the kids did not need a dropper full of paint - just drops. A little goes a long way on a coffee filter.

The kids were delightfully thoughtful about where they wanted different colours.

They dripped the colour until their spider webs met their artistic approval. 

3. Admire the spider web artistry.


You can sing about the Itsy Bitsy (Eensy Weensy) Spider.

You can make play dough spiders, handprint spiders, toilet roll spiders, egg carton spiders, even display supercuts printables.

We like to do all those things - aaaaand we like to add some waterspouts, and some science exploration to our spider fun.

Since we are in the northern hemisphere, and spider time is in the fall, and the weather is getting a bit chillier, our spiders encounter sand rather than water in the water spout.

Luckily for us, the exploration and learning works as well with sand as water. And we stay a lot warmer and drier.

For the spider to go adventuring in the waterspout - you need a waterspout. I use PVC piping from my local hardware store. (Yes, I know about the danger of PVC piping; I tell the children that kindergarten kids do NOT lick PVC pipes.) The fun part is all the connectors.

While I was at the hardware store checking out all the 3" connectors, the nice hardware store man asked me if I needed any help.  I explained the project as he gradually stepped backwards and let me know that I was probably doing fine without his assistance.  Poor man. No scope for the imagination.

We have a variety of spiders. Big, little and in between. Common variety dollar store spiders.

A few extra bits and pieces rounds out the exploration equipment. The funnels and the plastic tube part of a turkey baster are standard equipment in the sand table. If I take them out, the kids let me hear their displeasure.

The PVC pipes and connectors are excellent tools for exploring the physics of angles and velocity. 

What angles are necessary for the spiders to come out of the spout?
What happens when the PVC pipe turns 90 degrees.
What happens when the PVC pipe has a 45 degree angle.

Does the kind of spider make a difference in going down the water spout? 
Does it change if it is a hard plastic spider or a hairy rubber spider?  Learning about friction ...

The dollar store spider bowls provide spider "homes" that seem to be the necessary item to instigate spider stories. Spider homes. Spider families. Big spiders. Little spiders. Lots of fodder for spider stories. 

This year, the kids have been fascinated by spider silk. Sand makes an excellent substitute for spider silk. Fill up a spider, 

and then let the "silk" stream out.

Itsy bitsy, eensy weensy, and great big spiders - and a variety of water spouts - a great way to extend the traditional nursery rhyme.

wishing you days of sunshine that dry up all the rain :)

Halloween and the myriad of attention grabbing, imagination inspiring bits and pieces that are everywhere just beg for sensory bin creation.

Halloween sensory bins are quick and easy to put together - there are just so many possibilities.

It just isn't Thanksgiving without making a cute turkey to take home for the family to cluck over. 

Our shape turkeys start out as a collection of squares and rectangles. Quick and easy to prep with a paper cutter.  (No cutting lines for the kids...)

Each child needs ...

head  - 4.5 x 4.5" (11 cm)
body -  7 x 7" (18 cm)
tail - 9 x 9" (23 cm)
These need to be cut into circles by cutting "curvy corners". That sounds easy, but putting spatial thinking and fine motor skills together in the same action, can be tricky for 5 year olds.

legs - 2.5 x 3.5" (6 x 9 cm)
Legs are cut in half lengthwise.

feet - 3 x 3" (7.5 cm)
Feet are cut in half diagonally to make two triangles.

beaks - 2 x 2.75" (4.5 x 7 cm)
yellow diamonds

handprint feathers
construction paper cut in half lengthwise and then folded in half
students need three folded papers to make six feathers

There was lots of planning what colours would go where, 

Handprints were traced.

Lots of cutting.

Gluing everything in the correct place.

We learned that 3 circles, 2 rectangles, 2 triangles, a diamond and 6 handprints can make a turkey.

Skills practiced
• planning
• shape identification -- square, circle, rectangle, triangle, diamond
• spatial awareness - front, back, on top, underneath, how to divide a square into 2 triangles, cutting a rectangle in half, removing the corners to change a square into a circle
• fine motor skills - tracing and cutting

being thankful for small children, their laughter and their ability to live in the moment ...


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