The Very Busy Spider Spins A Very Pretty Web

So, no joke- the illustrator most represented in my boys’ home library is very likely Eric Carle. Board books, paperbacks, hardcovers- we’ve got them covered. Lift the flap, coloring books, audiobooks? You’ll find those in my home as well. Understandably, there was no way I could pass up a chance to participate in this month’s book club. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, The Very Quiet Cricket… Yup, we’ve got them all. Truthfully, my biggest challenge was narrowing down which book I wanted to use as my inspiration!

ERIC CARLE THE VERY BUSY SPIDER
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The Very Busy Spider | Eric Carle | Kid Lit | Kid Lit Art | Crafts for Kids | Reading Extension | Storytime The Very Busy Spider | Eric Carle | Kid Lit | Kid Lit Art | Crafts for Kids | Reading Extension | Storytime The Very Busy Spider | Eric Carle | Kid Lit | Kid Lit Art | Crafts for Kids | Reading Extension | Storytime

After much deliberation and debate, for this month’s craft I eventually settled on The Very Busy Spider. We actually have this title in a few formats- we like it that much! The board book edition has been perfect for chubby toddler hands. Our lift the flap format provides a lot of interactive reading fun for slightly older audiences.

 ERIC CARLE THE VERY BUSY SPIDER

The Very Busy Spider Flashback

When #thebigone turned four, I became a stay at home mom and began a year of preschool fun at home with him. In conjunction with a pretty serious Spider-Man phase, I turned to The Very Busy Spider for some hands on activities I hoped would pique his interest. (Spoiler alert: he loved it!) We kept things pretty simple and laid-back, which should make them simple to reproduce for your kids as well.

ERIC CARLE THE VERY BUSY SPIDER

[Outdated cell phone photos ahead, so image & filter quality are less than ideal. My apologies!]
[Oh, and I swear, he doesn’t usually go shirtless this often. But at age four, anything potentially messy – paint, glue, slime – we generally minimized the risk to his clothing!]

THE VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB THE VERY BUSY SPIDER BUGS THE VERY BUSY SPIDER SLIME THE VERY BUSY SPIDER GLITTER GLUE

  1. We spent a morning stringing yarn all around our playroom to spin our very own spider web. Then #thebigone laid down under it for a rest. (Spinning webs is hard work!)
  2. Once we had spun a giant web, we set about catching some ‘bugs’. I cut some amorphous blobs out of black construction paper to represent flies, and #thebigone had fun ‘catching’ them in his web with clothespins. (Great for fine motor!)
  3. For some sensory fun, we created a simple white slime. We added tiny black spider confetti to tie it to our theme- and up the ‘ick’ factor a bit!
  4. Glitter glue was a major obsession for #thebigone for a while, so he created a glitter glue web on black paper. (Adults can draw a web with white pencil or crayon first, and kids can ‘trace’ with the glitter glue.)

The Very Busy Spider fast forward

ERIC CARLE THE VERY BUSY SPIDER

This time around, I was particularly inspired by the board book edition of The Very Busy Spider that we own. Throughout the book, the silk threads of the spider’s web are all raised. This brings a little bit of a touch and feel, sensory component into the reading, and makes it extra engaging for young readers. I wanted to recreate that three dimensional aspect at home.

As I’ve mentioned previously, squeezing tubes of paint or glue is a great hand strengthener and fine motor exercise for little hands. Activities like these can help prepare children’s hands for the important task of efficient, legible writing in the future.

Materials:

SPIDER WEB CRAFT SUPPLIES

  • Piece of paper.
    • We were inspired by the final illustration of the book, so we chose darker shades- black and blue. Your child can choose what they prefer- white is also a great choice as it mimics Carle’s illustrative style well. Patterned or textured paper will best resemble the images in the book, but flat works fine also- no need to buy something special.
  • Puffy paint.
    • Colors are flexible as well. Silver, glow in the dark, or white work best on darker shades of paper. If using light paper, a wide range of paint colors will work.
  • Brown paper.
    • Patterned or textured paper is a great choice, as Carle’s illustrations have a lot of distinct detail in them.
    • Crumpling the paper before use, or creating an abstract texture with paint, crayons, markers, or colored pencils is another great option for imitating the artist’s distinct style.
  • Scissors.
  • Glue stick.
  • Star stickers. (Optional, but fun! Bonus points for glow in the dark.)

Spin Your Web:

  1. If you need to add interest to your brown paper, complete this step first. If using paint, allow the paint to dry completely before moving on.
  2. Cut 4 strips of brown paper, to represent the 4 sticks the spider used to frame her web.
    VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS
  3. Glue the 4 strips to your base paper. Trim off any extra.
    VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS
    VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS
  4. If you are adding star stickers, attach these now.
    VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS
  1. Alternatively, drawing stars with white or yellow crayons or colored pencils is another great option.
  • Use your puffy paint to create a spider web on the paper. Use the illustrations from the book as reference if you need inspiration.
    1. If kids need a little extra guidance with this step, feel free to draw a simple web on the paper first for them to ‘trace’ with the puffy paint.
      VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS
  • Allow the puffy paint to dry completely.
  • If you used glow in the dark puffy paint or stickers, be sure to let them set in the light for a bit. Then duck into a dark closet or room to get a glimpse of your very busy spider’s web at night.VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT FINISHED VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT FINISHED VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT FINISHED

VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT IN PROGRESS VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT FINISHED VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT FINISHED


Do your kids have a favorite Eric Carle book? Do you? Let me know in the comments!

VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT FINISHED VERY BUSY SPIDER WEB CRAFT FINISHED


Come join us for the Monthly Crafting Book Club. Each month we focus on a different book and encourage early literacy by pairing it with a craft.

Interested in joining us next month? Join the Facebook group for updates HERE and feel free to participate whenever you can.

 

6 Comments

    • Kate

      Thanks so much, Tracy. That’s so sweet of you!

  • Meredith from Mommy in Leggings

    This is such an awesome activity!!!! I love spider webs too–they’re so pretty!

    • Kate

      Thanks Meredith! I agree- spider webs can be gorgeous… from a distance!! Haha.

  • mommyingmaars

    This is so neat! I love this! It’s so fun. I love your posts, they’re such great, engaging activities for children. I love that you’re always sharing these wonderful books and how they can be so fun at home. Contributing to the development of literacy in children is so amazing! You’re doing such a great job at it! Than you for what you do in the blogging world, and how you share your ideas that are so helpful to moms like me! The resources on here, are commendable! For that I want to nominate you for the Blogger Recognition Award (https://imommy.co/2017/04/28/blogger-recognition-award/)! xo Thank you!

    • Kate

      Thank you so much for the kind nomination and sweet words! Connecting with other bloggers has been such a nice benefit of starting this blogging journey!

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