This spider hat activity challenges your child to learn about spiders while improving his fine motor skills! Using simple household items, help your child create his own spider hat with paper plates and pipe cleaners. Your child will get great practice cutting, tracing, and stapling. Kids will also get a little scientific practice categorizing the different types of spiders. This activity is a fun year round, but it's an especially spooky project for Halloween.
A plain white paper dinner plate—the simple kind with the scalloped edges
One 9" x 12" sheet of black construction paper
Two ⅜ inch or ½ inch googly eyes
Nontoxic, washable school glue
What You Do:
First, encourage your child to tell you what he knows about spiders (they have eight legs, make webs, eat bugs, etc).
Then take out the picture book on spiders and go through it with him. Explain the way spiders help the earth and comment on the different kinds of spiders, habitats, etc. Perhaps even take a walk around the neighborhood looking for spiders, spiderwebs, or places a spider might live.
Once you're home from the walk, let the crafting begin. Put your plate on the table. There will be a flat, inner-ring about 6 inches in diameter in the center of the plate. Mark that ring with a marker or pencil.
Then help your child cut along the line until the circle pops out. You should end up with hole in the center of the plate, about the size of a kindergartener's head.
Next, take out the black construction paper and use a ruler to mark out eight strips approximately ¾ inches wide by 9 inches long.
Help your child cut out these strips. They will become the eight spider legs.
Fold each strip accordian-style at ¾ inch intervals. This is good practice for little hands but can be tricky, so assist as needed! You should end up with eight springy, zigzag strips.
With the remaining black paper, mark a crescent about 6 inches long and 2 inches at the widest point.
Help your child cut out the crescent. This will become a visor at the front of the hat (the spider's face).
Glue two googly eyes onto the crescent shape about 3 or 4 inches apart.
To assemble, help your child use a stapler to attach the visor/"face" in front.
Attach four legs to each side of the plate.
Once finished, pop the hat on your kindergartener's head and take a picture!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.