Spiders are sure to elicit a passionate response from adults and children alike. Whether we’re learning about spiders for a spider theme or Halloween activities, I’ve found that my students either love spiders or hate them! Today we’ll use potato mashers and cardboard to stamp an array of spiders crawling in every direction as they create a silly spider art project.
Children will be highly engaged in the printmaking process as they use non-traditional art materials to create not-so-spooky spider prints. They will love the repetitive hopping motion as well as the surprise print left behind. Little fingers are sure to get a workout in this fine motor skill development art activity that introduces printmaking to young artists.
Printmaking with Kids
Printmaking is a wonderful art activity for all ages and ability levels. It teaches trial and error, patience, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skill development, while actively engaging all learners.
Many non-traditional art materials can be used in printmaking as well as items found in nature. Cause and effect can also be explored with each young artist as the printing process unfolds. Asking children to make predictions and assess why each print looks distinctive can also be discussed.
Materials for Silly Spider Art Project:
- Potato Mashers (The Dollar Store has a nice assortment)
- Black Tempera Paint
- Crayola Fluorescent Paint
- Construction Paper
- Glue Stick
- Black Marker
- White Crayon
Spider Facts for Kids
- Spiders are arachnids.
- Spiders have 8 legs.
- Spiderwebs are made from silk.
- Most spiders spin webs to catch their food.
- Most spiders eat bugs such as ants, mosquitoes, and flies.
- The largest spider is the Goliath Tarantula.
- Spiders lay eggs.
- A baby spider is called a spiderling.
Step By Step Directions for Silly Spider Art Project:
- Make the Spider’s Body
Dip the large end of a potato masher into paint and hop on paper to produce a circular shape to represent the spider’s body. You may wish to use a variety of potato mashers as the patterns and lines differ.
Apply an array of pressure while printing to achieve mixed results. Use any color paint you wish. For a realistic spider black and brown will work nicely. Use bright colors or even Crayola fluorescent paint on black paper to make more Halloween friendly spiders.
- Make the Spider’s Legs
Cut out a small cardboard rectangle and dip one edge into paint. Stamp four legs on each side of the spider’s body. Make sure to make eight legs in all.
I often wrap tape around one end of the piece of cardboard in order for children to identify the handle while printing.
- Add Details
Use construction paper to add eyes, a mouth and other details to the spider. Use a black marker or white crayon to add the eyeballs, eyelashes, and the silk coming from the spider if you wish.
Art and Literacy
I recommend the book The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle to accompany this art lesson. Through painted paper illustrations, a spider meets a variety of animal friends while spinning a web and capturing its prey.
Also, the book Aaaarrgghh, Spiders! by Lydia Monks tells a comical tale of a spider who desperately wants to become a family pet. Will the family embrace the spider and learn to love her? Maybe spiders aren’t so scary after all!
See the full spider book list here for more ideas.
Please tag your artwork on Instagram with @fantasticfunandlearning and @youngschoolartwithmr.g so we can see your spooky spiders. Each one is sure to be unique!
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GET A FULL SET OF HALLOWEEN THEME ACTIVITIES
The 132-page Halloween Lesson Plan Set includes hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) -at Word Family Bat Game (in color and b/w)
2) Candy Corn Science Experiment Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
3) Candy Corn Uppercase, Lowercase, and Beginning Sound Picture Puzzles for Letters C, A, N, D, Y, H, O and R (in color and b/w)
4) Candy Corn Counting Cards 1-10 (in color and b/w)
5) Halloween Costume Syllable Sorting Activity (in color and b/w)
6) Haunted House Colors Board Game-3 variations to work on color recognition or color word recognition (in color and b/w)
7) “Look at the Costumes” Emergent Reader-3 variations
8) 0-35 Halloween Number Cards (in color and b/w)
9) Halloween Roll and Graph Math Game (in color and b/w)
10) Halloween Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
11) Build a Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin Mats and Shape Pieces
12) My Jack-o-Lantern Recording Sheets-2 variations, one to focus on shape recognition and one to focus on writing
13) Spider Number Mats and Ways to Show Numbers 0-10
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.