How to set up Water Play with Spiders & “The Spider”

A fun & Informational Book & Water Play with Spiders!

After reading Elise Gravel’s “The Spider” we decided to engage in some very simple sensory play. I have a feeling you’re gonna like this one. So, let’s get started…

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Summary of “The Spider”

“The Spider” by Elise Gravel is a super fun & informational book about spiders. It give actual facts about spiders in a very entertaining way. Gravel uses various playful fonts and colors throughout the book. She created adorable illustrations and lots of silliness to keep things very lighthearted.

I would definitely recommend this book. In fact, she has an entire series of these books, including one on head lice, yep, :O Its called “The Disgusting Critter Series”. I’m looking forward to reading them all!

Water Play with Spiders?

You might be wondering… “What do you do with it?” or “How is this not just going to be a sensory mess?” There are many ways to answer these two common questions…

inside look at "the Spider" book with water and spider rings in the background

First, the most basic answer to “What you could do with Water Play with Spiders?” is… have Fun. Sensory play at its finest is not about “doing” something specific. It is about exploring, feeling, listening, watching, problem solving, creating, etc… This is an open-ended activity. Just as each child has their own unique personality, experience, and preference in play, the outcome of this activity is just as special.

As for the second question, Yes, this could be a bit messy, as water is involved! But, I hear you. I’ve been asked that question many times. Therefore, a detailed answer, along with strategies for successful messy sensory play, can be found by reading, “What about the Sensory Mess?”

What We Did with Water Play and Spiders…

hand underwater holding a spider

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. So, for this activity all we did to set up, was put some plastic spider rings into a large container of water. Yep, that was it.

I really prefer to always have the first time we’re playing with a sensory to be as simple as possible. So, I purposely don’t add any tools or extras yet. I let her explore the materials by themselves. This is even true in making dough, slime, or baking. I let her feel the flour by itself, the oil, the water, the salt. This is the sensory experience, feeling, everything on its own and the changes that occur when mixed together. It also adds to the sensory play by helping her become familiar with and appreciate each material for itself, which opens the door to her experimenting and creating her own sensory ideas.

hand underwater catching a spider

The next time we do this activity, I might ask or I might wait until she initiates asking, for something to go with it. I love to see what ideas she comes up with because often times it is not anything I ever would have imagined pairing with it, which is awesome. It helps expand her creativity, communication and initiating what she wants.

What Did She Do with the Spiders in Water?

She observed them floating, noticed they liked to flip and made a game out of trying to get them all to be ring side down or ring side up. She mentioned how they felt creepier under the water. Using her eye hand coordination and fine motor skills she collected them out of the water and watched them splash as she tried dropping them from varying heights. All this and more. Because there were no tools to navigate, I find this increases communication. Therefore, there was also a lot of talk about spiders and what we had learned about spiders from reading the book.

hands in water collecting spiders

This was definitely successful sensory play & I would suggest Water Play with Spiders if you’re looking for a very simple & engaging activity to connect with your child. This could also be a great way to overcome a fear of spiders. 😉

Bonus: I thought of a great language based, active extension for this Bookish Play that can be used with this sensory play in transitioning from reading the book to playing with the spiders in water! Find out more by heading over to our “FREE Printables” page. 🙂

Materials We Used

  1. “The Spider” by Elise Gravel (from the library or you can buy one here)
  2. A large container
  3. Water
  4. Plastic spider rings
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Water Play with Spiders?

  1. Get a large container.
  2. Fill it with water.
  3. Dump a handful or two of plastic spider rings into the water.
  4. That’s it! 🙂
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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