During Halloween, you will see creepy crawlies all over the place. Why do we include worms and spiders and millipedes in our spooky decorations? Because people are generally scared of bugs. While there are some bugs we have good reason to fear, a little education can get rid us of needless phobias. The Orkin Ecologist website wants to teach people, especially children, more about insects and how vital they are to the world’s ecosystem.
I decided that our EEK-ologist (get it?) project should focus on spiders. We have a “spider problem” around our house; we get quite a few of them in and around our house. And the kids are FREAKED OUT by them. I thought that learning a bit more about spiders might lessen their fears just a bit.
I started by looking over The Orkin Ecologist site, and then I did a bit of research for spider facts that would be understandable for preschool aged kids. My son is in Kindergarten, but my daughter is just 3 and I wanted them both to be able to participate in the project.
I ended up creating a project with them that taught them the basic anatomy of spiders while making a fun Halloween treat they could share with friends.
Most of the items needed for this project can be purchased at the dollar store, making it an affordable treat to share at a Halloween party or as a class treat.
To make Spider Lollipop Treats, you will need:
We began by coloring the foam balls with markers. If you have older kids doing this project, you can use craft paint instead of markers. Just don’t try to use spray paint! It will melt the foam.
Next, push the lollipop stick through the foam ball. We talked about how spiders have two body sections: the thorax and the abdomen. The foam ball represented the thorax and the lollipop the abdomen.
Use a pair of scissors to snip off any lollipop stick that protrudes out of the foam ball.
I told them that spiders either have 6 or 8 eyes, so we glued 6 googly eyes to each spider too!
We also talked about the fact that spiders aren’t insects because they have eight legs. This makes them arachnids. We added 8 pipe cleaner legs to each spider’s thorax.
You can see that a few lollipops were consumed during this craft session.
Finally, we bent the spider’s pipe cleaner legs so they could stand on their own.
If you would rather make these spiders as part of a primary level science fair project, you could replace the lollipop with a smaller craft ball connected to the larger ball with a toothpick. I would also suggest using the appropriate colored pipe cleaner for the legs (white, black, brown, etc.) instead of the rainbow colors we used.
The Orkin Ecologist site is a great resource for parents, teachers, and science lovers of all ages! And if you check out the site, you can enter to win a full year of Orkin Pest Service! Just the rafflecopter widget below to enter.