Halloween Spider Fun and Learning!

Halloween Spider Fun and Learning!


By Brenda Hyde

During Halloween everywhere we look we see spiders! Everything from plastic spider rings to those messy spider webs for under a dollar. Why not take advantage of this to have some educational fun with your kids and grandkids? Go to the library and ask the librarian for a book that will show what spiders are in your area. Read it together then go on a search in your yard for spiders. I'm sure you won't have a problem finding at least a couple of them. Look them up in the books from the library or other nature guides. (You can also find new and used books on spiders at Powell's Online Bookshop)

Talk about how the spiders eat the "bad bugs" that chew on our plants and flowers. That's why you'll find them in the garden. Discuss how we shouldn't be afraid of them, but should admire the details of their webs and leave them alone. If you have poisonous spiders in your area be sure to talk about this too.

Buy a bag of spider rings, which are very inexpensive, and a bag of plastic spiders for the craft below. You can also buy one the inexpensive webs and string it up on the porch together, discussing how intricate the spider's is compared to yours! Your kids will learn some new things about the nature that lives around them and you'll also make a neat Halloween craft too!

Spider Web Posters

You'll need for each poster:


8x10 or larger piece of black construction paper

non toxic glue that dries clear

glitter (silver is fine)

small orange plastic spider (usually these come in packs)

Practice making a simple spider web on regular paper with a pen or pencil. Help the little ones do this. After practicing, use the glue to make a web on the black paper. When finished, but while it's still wet, sprinkle quite heavily with glitter. Allow it to dry, then shake off the excess into a bag or large bowl to collect it and reuse. Glue on the plastic spider and hang your poster! Notes. If you have a large piece of black poster board you can make a fun Happy Halloween sign by doing this same thing and writing the words under the spider web in the glue. Glue on several orange spiders and hang! You can also make a homemade card by folding the piece of construction paper in half.

Below are two easy treats to make. Let the kids do the decorating after the craft activity or before.

Spider Cookies

You will need:

Oreo or other sandwich cookies

Black string Licorice

Small tube of white icing, or homemade icing

tiny cinnamon candies

Cut the licorice into 2 inch pieces. Open up each cookie carefully so it doesn't break. Place the "legs" on the frosting so they will be sticking out past the cookie. Replace the cookie top and press gently. Put two drops of frosting on the cookie, and place a cinnamon candy on top of that. You can also draw a face if you wish! I just make my own icing with confectioners' sugar and a little milk. It doesn't harden completely, but the cookies don't last long anyways!

Spider Web Cupcakes

Ingredients: 1 box cake mix, prepared

Frosting:

8 ounces cold cream cheese

6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick), room temperature

2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

16 ounces confectioners' sugar

Webs-2 ounces chocolate chips

Small plastic spiders

Prepare a box cake mix. Divide the cake batter among two regular sized muffin pans (dozen) to make 24 cupcakes. Line with Halloween themed papers. Bake according to the box directions. Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Beat cheese and butter in bowl until smooth. Add juice concentrate and extract. On low speed, beat in sugar until smooth. When cupcakes are cooled frost each one with about 2 tablespoons of frosting.

To make webs: Melt 2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth. You can also carefully melt them in microwave by heating one minute and stirring, continuing 10-20 seconds more until melted. Spoon chocolate into a plastic bag. Cut off small piece from the corner to make 1/16-inch hole. Starting in the center of each cupcake, draw a spiral with chocolate. Using knife tip, draw 6 lines from middle to edge, making a web. Place one plastic spider on each cupcake. I found a bag of small black spiders in the toy department. Be sure to wash in soap and hot water and rinse before using. Also make sure the kids know they are plastic.

About the Author:

Brenda is a wife and mom to three kids living in the Midwest United States. She's also a freelance writer and editor of Old Fashioned Living.

You can also find more great Halloween Craft Ideas at Craft Town.

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