The Nature Friends program is for 4- or 5-year old children with an adult. Maximum group size if 20 child-adult teams. Programs are outside unless weather does not permit.
Story: Be Nice to Spiders
It is fun to use the spider puppet to help tell the story.
Discussion: “How are spiders and insects different?”
Not all spiders build webs, some are hunters.
Show how those spiders that do build webs, construct their web. See Background lnformation.
Activity: Web Sensation!
- Boards with 5-6 strings attached to center of board
- 1 blindfold per board
One person sits blindfolded with hands touching all the strings in the center of the board. She is the ‘spider.’ The other people sit in a circle around the board holding a sting tight. The leader points to one ‘bug’ at the end of the string. The ‘bug’ gently tugs on the string. When the ‘spider’ feels the ‘bug’ tugging on the string, he must crawl up the string (web) to catch the ‘bug.’ Now this bug becomes the spider and the game continues until all have the chance to be the spider.
Parent/child team go on a spider hunt.
Craft: Dangling spiders
Materials needed: pipe cleaners, pom-pom balls, elastic string, dowel rods, glue gun, extension cord
- Glue the pipe cleaners legs onto the pom-pom ball
- Glue the string to pom-pom
- Tie the string to the dowel rod so spider dangles
- Glue on eyes
Snack: Spider cupcakes and beverage
Each child can make his/her own cupcake spider. Use licorice for legs, and gumdrops or M &M’s for eyes
Finger Play: The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider (Wiggle fingers as you bring hands up in the air)
Went up the water spout.
Down came the rain, (Move hands down, wiggling fingers to show rain)
And washed the spider out.
Out came the sun (Touch hands above head; then Open arms down to show sunshine)
And dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider (Wiggle fingers as you bring hands up in the air again.)
Went up the spout a gain.
Song: Sneaky Spider (To the tune to “Frere Jacques”)
Sneaky spider, sneaky spider
ln a tree, in a tree
Waiting, waiting, waiting
Waiting, waiting, waiting
Spiders have 8 legs and most have 8 eyes (insects have 6 legs and compound eyes). Spiders have 2 body parts, insects have 3 body parts. Spinnerettes (usually 6) issue strands of silk through tiny spigots Prey is paralyzed or killed with poison. (All spiders have poison in their bite.) Some spiders are web weavers others are hunter spiders. Web weavers have poor vision but very sensitive feet. Hunter spiders have excellent vision, examples are wolf spiders and jumping spiders.
Bugs to Bunnies – Hands-on Animal Science Activities for Young Children
Activities provided by:
Polk County Conservation Board
Nature Tots is funded by Polk County Conservation Board, West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.