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Spider Art Projects

It might sound too ridiculous for a person with Arachnophobia to believe, but October is a month for spiders, at least in some parts of the world. Many pre-school teachers are even inclined to give activities that would help their students to learn more about spiders and perhaps shake off their fear on these little creatures. The goal of the celebration is to correct the common misunderstanding that we all have about spiders. It is so easy to assume and believe that spiders are nothing but harmful and hairy crawlies; blame that mentality to Hollywood because of their non-stop depiction of spiders as monsters that eat live humans and to people who have Arachnophobia who make up stories to make spiders appear more dangerous than they actually are.

The truth about spiders is that they might have venom but the amount of venom that they can excrete is too little if compared to the venom released by other animals like snakes. Thus, it is safe to say that in select instances when their bite indeed pierces through the skin (majority of the spiders have fangs that cannot penetrate the skin); the venom that they inject into the body is far from being lethal. The most that the venom can do is cause itchiness and reddening, apart from these two, spider bites cannot harm you more.

To help pre-school teachers convey this message to young children, they need to use methods which children can relate to. For example, they let their students do spider-related art projects and get involved in cooking spider-inspired children's food. This article is all about art projects, so if you are curious as to how you are going to teach kids about spiders without frightening them, and then read until the last sentence. Have fun!

Spider-related Art Projects

Children love to use crayons, construction papers and pencils to express themselves. When properly guided, making art projects is a very effective way to get across your points to children.

1. Spider handprints

While many parents might disapprove of the idea of their children having anything to do with spiders (especially if they have Arachnophobia themselves), the teaching of proper spider knowledge during the month of October has become tolerable to most of these parents. During this month, you can actually assign kids to make their own stationery with spiders as the main design. The procedure is simple, simply ask your students or the kids who you are teaching to bring with them a construction paper which measures 7 by 10 inches, or you can provide your students with the paper if you can afford it. You also need to prepare poster paints (poster paint is a good choice because it can be easily washed away by water).

Now, paint each of your students' palms and fingers (except the thumb). You can let the kids pick their favorite color. Once everybody has their palms and finger painted, ask them to press their right palm on the centre of the construction paper, do no forget to instruct them to spread their fingers outward and to not move their palms while they press. Let them count up to five and then ask them to slowly lift-up their palms. Now, ask them to do the same with their left pal, with the palm overlapping the print left by the right palm. The resulting imprint is an 8-legged spider design. To make the "painting" more realistic, let each student cut-out colourful small circles which will serve as the eyes of your spider.

2. Spider Web Painting

This project is quite messy but the fun that kids will have through it will be priceless. So, if you are ready to deal with the mess, prepare sheets of white construction papers measuring 8 inches in each side. Find a suitable stout open box that can contain the paper properly. Ask your students to dip a piece of marble in black paint and let them drop their painted marbles into the open box with the white construction paper resting on the bottom. Let each student tilt his or her open box to make the marble roll over the paper. Make them do circular motions to imitate the shape of a spider web. You can also use white paint and black construction paper, depending on your preference. Once your students are done, let them pull out the marble and ask them to wash their hands while they wait for the paint to dry. Once dry, give each of them a spider sticker to stick on their spider web.

3. Spider Paper Plates

Teach your students how to make fun spider paper plates. The materials needed are: black paint, paper plates, and sheets of construction papers (pre-cut to 1 by 18 inches), a stapler and some staples. Student participate is limited to the painting of the paper plates but when it comes to stapling the construction paper sheets to the paper plate, I think that you should just do it yourself. The construction paper sheets will serve as the legs of the spider. The fun part of this art project is during the testing part where you ask each of your students to line-up and bring with them their plates. You need to have some snacks ready so that the kids get to try using their paper plates.

4. Spider Webs Made from Spaghetti

This project is best for 1st graders because at this stage, kids are already capable of handling things gently and cooked spaghetti has to be handled quite gently in this specific project. Group your students into 4 or 5 and have them sit together in a table. Place a bowl of cooked spaghetti in each table (about a kilogram of spaghetti will be enough for 5 groups) and a small bowl of white glue. Now, ask the students to mix the white glue to the spaghetti bowl as they would do with spaghetti sauce. Let them have some fun mixing the spaghetti with their hands. You can then ask them to pull spaghetti stands and use these strands as "spider silk" to start constructing them own spider web.
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