Monday, October 15, 2012

S is for Spider

Mom School, first week of October

Monthly Focus: Features of Halloween 
Weekly Theme: Spiders
Letter: S
Number: 8
Shape: Octagon
Color: Black

Playdough Spiders, Snakes and Ss
3YO Purple is a big playdough fan.  We have the playdough out before breakfast almost daily.  For our first Mom School activity we made spiders, snakes and the letter S out of playdough.  I mixed up a batch of homemade playdough, added black gel coloring (a lot of it), but it appeared a bit greenish to begin with.  No matter.  Still fun.  I helped roll out and count 8 legs to create the spider.  Add a ball of playdough for the body, and a couple googly eyes, and ta-da: spider.  

And then Purple was off!  On her own she created a large snake, which I explained also begins with letter S.  And then we made letter Ss.  Sweet!

Anansi the Spider Book

We read Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti .  Purple is not a spider fan (she freaks out when she sees one, and she is otherwise quite fearless), so this was a good book to share.  The book shows how the different spider talents of Anansi's sons bring about Anansi's rescue.  I recommend this book.

Oreo Spider Treats

In a different family these spider treats might have been made from round crackers, with pretzel sticks and raisin eyes.  In this family, it would be eyebrow-raising if Purple ate the cookie instead of only the cream filling.  These treats were fun and easy to put together.  I originally saw the cracker version, and then came across the Oreo version.  I recommend pulling off one of the wafers, pushing the licorice legs into place, swiping a bit of the cream center to use to glue the eyes, and then sticking the wafer back on.  If you have trouble separating the cookie wafers, have your child do it.  Seriously.  Mine are pros.

Coffee Filter Cobwebs
I bought a pack of coffee filters form the dollar store to use as inexpensive disposable bowls for snacks, as I have seen our church nursery do.  Since then, I've noticed quite a few craft ideas using coffee filters.  This craft requires some scissor skills, and I couldn't interest Purple into trying it.

7YO Yellow and I each made a cobweb, by simply folding the coffee filter in half 3 times, and then cutting in our design.

Spun Spiderweb
Purple was excited to spin a spiderweb.  I cut notches around a paper plate, tied one end of yarn around the plate, and then Purple wove the yarn around and through the notches.  She was very satisfied with the result!  5YO Pink and 7YO Yellow also spun webs, while 1YO Blue was content to watch (and pull faces for the camera).  Big secret ingredient = spider rings.

7YO Yellow's spiderweb

Crazy 8s Cobweb Search

This looked more impressive than I could capture with the camera, and Purple was quite excited for this activity.  I started by stringing about twenty letters and numbers onto my skein of yarn, using numbers and letters with an enclosed opening, like 0, 4, 6, 8, 9, A, B, D, etc.  Then I wove the yarn around our living room, spacing out the letters and numbers as I went.  When I finished I asked Purple to find as many 8s as possible.  She did great!  And then Purple and Pink invented ways to use the string as obstacles (burning laser beams, anyone?).  They kept busy with the yarn all afternoon, and even asked to leave it up for the next day.

Spiderweb Cookie/Cake
Another treat activity.  I used a sugar cookie bar recipe that I've recently discovered, baked it in a pie plate, and frosted it.  Next I melted chocolate with a bit of oil, and piped it in concentric circles.  Even though the circles were wonky, it only added to the effect of the resulting spiderweb.  The final step is to take a toothpick and drag it in a line from the center to the edge; repeat until you have a spiderweb effect.  Each child had a turn pulling the toothpick through the frosting to create the web.  

BTW, the frosting is purple because that is how all frosting should look, according to Purple.  Purple asks repeatedly to make this again.

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