The “writing spiders” were missing this summer. I didn’t even count one. Perhaps it was too hot for them, but maybe they'll show up now that the southern sauna is cooling down.
Normally, their elaborate webs appear overnight, slung under the eaves of my house. The garden spiders’ artistry would catch me by surprise as I sipped my coffee and peeked out my windows at the new day. Early morning sunlight would catch the heavy night dew, bejeweling the webs in an array of sparkles. The spiders were bright yellow and black and large, so they made quite a statement.
I may not wear bold colors or be as productive and clever as an Argiope aurantia, but I can watch and appreciate them. I’ve looked them up on the Internet, but have also found information closer to home. Big Universe has several online children’s books about spiders. I like Weekly Reader’s “Why Animals Live in Webs” in particular. Its pages are full of facts, vocabulary words and pictures. The book has an online reading quiz, too. (F&P GR: K, Lexile: 800, ATOS: 4.1)
Keeping with the theme… I recently found a cute counting game for K-5 and older. It’s called “Trap the Spiders” and would make a nice resource for a math station. It’s also a good rainy day activity for when it’s too soggy to go outside to play.
The activity, which I spotted on the “Math Salamanders” website, involves a game sheet, dice, spider counters and score sheets. There’s a little preparation involved – mostly cutting – but it’s an inexpensive numeracy project. Laminate the pieces for durability and store them in a Ziploc®.
The rules are simple: “catch” as many spiders as possible. One to four children can play at a time per game board. While having fun, they will practice counting the spots on the dice as well as the spiders that are removed from the web on the game sheet. The following three links will take you to the game’s instructions, board game sheet and spider pieces.
Spider Counting Game
* Do you have a child who is fascinated by insects? There is a “Swarm of Bug Books at Big Universe” and a bunch of other high-interest topic books, too.
* Are you interested in other file folder activities? Check out the Big Universe blog “Fun with File Folder Games,” written by Dawn Little.