Teaching about anything creepy and crawly really isn't my forte. Truth be told I kind of freak when I see any critters running around (let's not even get into my fear of mice!). But I do my best to suck it up and teach about things like bats and spiders every year and we had a really fun week getting into the Halloween spirit!
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Here were our plans for Bats & Spiders Week:
And here is what we actually did:
Each day we read a spider or bat themed book. I also pulled out as many other bat and spider books as I could find to read throughout the day. Here were our favorites:
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Miss Spiders Tea Party by David Kirk
Aaaarrgghh!Spider! by Lydia Monks
There Was an Old Lady Who Swalowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Spider Ring Stacking:
Madelynn loved stacking, sorting (and wearing) these little spider rings. I loved that this activity was cheap and easy to set up! Start with a few blobs of play dough, stick some straws in, pour out a bag of dollar store spider rings, and let your little one explore!
Sticky Window Spider Web:
I've been seeing lots of sticky window and sticky wall set ups from other tot schoolers I follow so I decided to give it a shot. Let me tell you that this was probably the most engaged I've seen Madelynn in any new activity we've tried since the first day she discovered water beads. All you need to do for this fine motor activity is tape a sheet of contact paper sticky side out to a window or wall. Give your little some string and small felt spiders and let them explore. It's like a sticker book that just keeps on giving. We will definitely be doing more activities like this again!
Spider Web Rubbing:
This activity turned out to be a little trickier than I thought it would be but we made it work with lots of hands on help from me. I started by creating a web with hot glue on a sheet of cardstock. After that cooled I gave Madelynn a white sheet of cardstock and an unwrapped black crayon to rub over top. Well the paper slid all over and she was quickly frustrated. I tried taping both pages together and that helped a little, but it was still a little tricky so we ended up doing the rubbing together.
Bat Bead Bracelet:
I found these cute bat beads at the craft store and added a few Halloween colored beads to the mix for Madelynn to use. I taped a piece of elastic to our tray for Madelynn to thread the beads on to and she created this cute little bracelet to wear for Halloween.
Spider Web Balance:
This was such a fun activity for a variety of gross motor practice. I started with white electrical tape and created a web on the floor. Then I asked Madelynn to balance on each line to cross the web. After she did this a few times, she got down on he ground and pretended to be a spider crawling on her web. Then we practiced hopping on one foot, jumping, sliding and rolling on the web.
For this throwing game, I took some of the cheap Halloween cobweb material you can find at the dollar store and strung it across our staircase. Then I gave Madelynn some glittery plastic spiders to throw. The web is so sticky that even if the spiders barely touched it they stuck, so it was easy for Madelynn to feel successful.
Spider Web Obstacle Course:
While Madelynn was sleeping I used white streamers and created a huge spider web in our dinning room. I choose to make it there because the chairs were really useful for making the web zig zag up and down and all over the room. I told Madelynn that she was a bug that had to fly through the web without getting stuck or the spider would eat her. Honestly Madelynn thought this game was fun, but actually enjoyed tearing the streamers down more than crawling through them.
Fruit Spider Snack:
Madelynn helped make this snack by threading the raisins onto the toothpick legs. Then she proceeded to decide she doesn't like raisins and just ate the grapes. Sometimes you just can't win with a toddler, haha.
To make our spider webs I laid pretzels out on a plate and used melted white candy to connect the pieces. I also found these cute little wafer spiders to sprinkly on top.
For this bat snack I filled a snack baggie with Halloween themed grape gummies and added a clothes pin that I colored and glued eyes to.
Chocolate Bat Snack:
This snack was my favorite because I had to eat a bunch of leftover chocolate ;) I started with a chocolate HoHo in the middle. Then I broke apart chocolate bars for the wings. Next I used a Hershey kiss for the head, added mini chocolate chips for ears, and candy eyes to finish off the face.
Spider Web Sensory Bin:
Our first sensory bin this week was made with the same web we used for the spider toss game. Getting the spiders unstuck from the web was quite the challenge and great for building those little hand muscles.
This activity was really messy but a lot of fun for Madelynn. I spread some shaving cream webs out on our tray and then added black ice spiders that I made using a shaped ice tray I found at Dollar tree and black food coloring.
Save the Spiders:
This bin was all about fine motor practice. I wrapped our sensory bin with yarn, then dropped the spider rings inside. Madelynn had to rescue the spiders with her tongs by reaching through the webs.
Bat Sensory Bin:
This bin was made with orange ring and black bow tie pasta shapes. The bow tie pasta made such perfect little bats. I planned to make counting sheets for this one but ran out of time, so we just had free time with this one.
Bat Light Box:
I don't really have an official light box, but I found these battery powered LED lights in the Target Dollar Spot so I threw them in an empty Sterilite container and put our clear IKEA tray on top and it actually worked pretty well. I wasn't sure what I wanted to use since this was our first attempt at using a light box, so I started out with a few bat cut outs on top. When that really wasn't holding Madelynn's attention, I poured our bat sensory bin on top too for her to play with. She had fun making the bats fly through the night sky and pretended to give them all eyes too.
If you'd like any of the printables we used this week you can grab them here:
That's it for this week. We are busy with more Halloween fun for now. Here is what we have planned for the next 2 weeks:
And the themes that will be coming soon:
And if you want to catch up on our past Tot School Plans, you can find them all here: