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Learning About Spiders: Activities For Kids

Spiders. It is the season for spiders! These spiders activities for kids include nature study and so much more.

I’m not a huge spider fan but can tolerate them from a distance. This past week we had a couple unplanned opportunities to study spiders. I capitalized on that and we went on a little bunny er spider trail this week!

“Perhaps no structure made by a creature lower than man is so exquisitely perfect as the orb web of the spider…..There should be an orb web where the pupils can observe it, preferably with the spider in attendance.”

Handbook of Nature Study, page 44

Observing Spiders

This first spider lives right above our dumpster. It’s a pretty big spider which kind of freaks me out. My son and I happened to be outside one afternoon while it was building its web. It was fascinating to see the thin silk come out of the spinneretes. We’ve gone out several days in a row and watched this spider work. We even saw it wrap up a fly!

Observing this spider over the past week allowed me to introduce spider vocabulary words and facts:

  • spinneretes
  • fangs
  • arachnid
  • cephalothorax
  • abdomen
  • pedipalps
  • exoskeleton
  • spiders have 8 legs
  • spiders are not insects
  • spiders have 2 body parts –the cephalothorax and abdomen
  • most spiders have 8 eyes

Nature Study: Spiders and Spider Webs

“The great danger that besets the teacher just beginning nature study is too much teaching, and too many subjects.  In my own work I would rather a child spent one term finding out how one spider builds its orb web than that he should study a dozen different species of spiders.”

Suggestions for Nature Study, Anna Botsford Comstock, 1904.

Homeschool Nature Study members enjoy a detailed spider web nature study!

We are going on a spider web hunt this week! Have some fun and get outside with your kids and look for a spider web or two to observe. Use the suggestions from the Handbook of Nature Study lesson activities (Lessons 110-113) to prepare some specific things to look at and then follow up with a nature journal if your children are interested.

If you have rain or dew, look for droplets of water on a spider web, noting the interesting patterns. Challenge yourself to get a photo of a web! Use all your creativity to make this an enjoyable nature study topic. I guarantee that once you get started hunting for webs, you will start to see them everywhere…including in the corners of your house (speaking from experience).

Spider Web I Spy

On our last nature walk we played Spider Web I spy. We counted how many spider webs we could find on our walk. Did you know that abandoned spider webs are called  cobwebs?

Spiders Activities For Kids

Here are a few spiders activities for kids that we we have done in the past or that I hope to add to our spider learning.

Spider Sort: Use the spider printable in the Preschool course in membership for a sorting activity. For very young children, first have them sort between objects that are easy to distinguish which are spiders and which are not: plastic dog, cow, tooth, flag, spiders etc.  With older preschoolers have them sort spiders from insects. This is harder to do! Most children need to count the legs to be sure.

Itsy Bitsy Spider Story Disks: Print the following Itsy Bitsy Spider printable out on cardstock from the Preschool course in membership. Use while telling the rhyme or for retelling. What came first? Second?

Play-Doh Spiders: Use plastic googley eyes and pipe cleaners and have kids create their own custom spiders!

The Very Busy Spider Activities: A couple years ago we did a special craft to go along with one of our favorite books, The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.

charlotte's web homeschool art activities

Other Spider and Fall Activities You Can Enjoy In Your Homeschool:

Charlotte’s Web Homeschool Art Lessons and Tea Time Activities – The Spider art lesson is suitable for all ages and looks like Charlotte. Even your littlest of learners can join in on this one. Nana also has a colorful spider web art lesson. You can enjoy this one and even ‘weave’ in ‘SOME PIG’ and more of Charlotte’s words.

How to Draw a Garden Spider with Chalk Pastels – free art lesson!

Folk Tales, Art and History – Learn about Anansi the Spider with Jim Weiss, Nana and Amy Sloan in a special event!

More Spider Web Studies – and a cute t-shirt idea to make!

Cobwebs and how to draw a web – how Tricia’s family enjoyed the spider web nature study membership and followed up with a web art lesson!

What about bats too? Learn about bats in your homeschool: a comprehensive guide.

The fall homeschool – This is always an exciting time of year, full of happy and idealistic plans.

Not So Spooky Spiders from Teach Preschool — several cute spider activities showcased in this post.

Are You A Spider?

We love the Backyard Books (afflink) series for young children! Of course we had to read this book for our impromptu spider unit!

quote about spiders

The Outdoor Hour Challenges Bring The Handbook of Nature Study to Life in Your Homeschool!

For even more homeschool nature study ideas for all seasons, join us in Homeschool Nature Study membership! You’ll receive new ideas each and every week that require little or no prep – all bringing the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

By Maureen Spell, a long-time contributor to the Outdoor Hour Challenges. Maureen helps Christian mompreneurs operate their business from a place of joy, purpose, and excellence because they are clear on how their business is serving their family and others. As a homeschool mom, she believes success at home AND business without the mom-guilt, stress and burn-out is possible! Outside of work, she loves having good conversations over a hot chai or GT Gingerberry kombucha and spending time with her husband and seven children. Visit her at

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