Finding fun spooky games to play that won’t scare the pants of little guys is not always a simple task . This game is simple, spooky but not at all frightening. As I was making it I wasn’t so sure of how we’d play but the rules evolved and we’ve been playing it all weekend . The giggles were epic and the only screams were when I forgot the spiders are fake and walked into the living room and saw them on the floor. This activity works on balance , problem solving and can be adapted for various levels.
- Gather your materials. You will need some painters tape, plastic spiders, a prize for the end like a glow stick and if the simple version ( explained below) is too easy have some other obstacles like these ghosts ready to make it a challenge.
- Start by making a web with tape on your floor. You can do a full web or if like me space is limited just do a half.
- Make an obvious start and finish. We call our finish home base.
- Add some spiders around the web and the prize ( glowstick) in the center. After the first go I let my son scatter the spiders himself.
- Time to play. So the object of this web walking game is to stay on the web and pick up all the spiders then the prize ( glow stick) without falling off the web . Now this can be made very difficult by requiring tippy toes or much easier by only counting a fall onto the floor as a true fall. For us he was out and had to start again if he took a step off the tape.
- It was not a big enough challenge so we added ghosts! He could step over them but if his foot touched one he was out. Another way to make it much more of a challenge for older kids is to turn it into a timed challenge with a stop watch.
- When he did step off I’d make a cackling witchy laugh and proclaim ” You fell into the goo, ew, ew, ew ! ” He’d laugh and start again
Spooky … a little but definitely not scary! I think this game will be coming out every October for years to come.
You may know the song ” One Elephant” This is a Halloween version that fits this activity perfectly. In my class I used to sing this with me starting at one side of the circle time rug calling each child over. My assistant teacher would be last. I have had so many requests for songs, I couldn’t ignore this perfect match of song and activity.
One little ghost went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun that he called for another little ghost to come.
Two little ghosts went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for another little ghost to come.
and so on and so on…
My backyard is covered in spiders, which has led to my son and I trying to identify the ones we find using the internet . Have you ever googled “Spiders” , I never used to be afraid of spiders, super close up pictures of various spiders changed that for good. So if your little one is into these arachnids instead of googling and risking nightmares, make this fun spider craft, play this game and save yourself the grief !
- Gather your materials. You will need a plastic container, we used the plastic part of a light bulb package but any clear plastic would work. Some paint, a hole punch, googley eyes, glue and 4 pipe cleaners.
- Start by punching the holes in the plastic.
- Next paint the container from the inside. My son loved this part of the craft, he thought it was so cool to watch the paint from under the plastic. Let dry. On a sunny day I put this in the window and it dried (mostly) in 45 minutes.
- Cut the pipe cleaners in half
- Thread the pipe cleaners through the holes and twist the ends in place.
- Add the eyes with glue. Let dry.
I was lucky enough to get gifted these bug counters from a neighbor whose kids have out grown them. I wasted no time using them to teach some math. The goal of this game is to find the matching types of bugs, count them up and then find the number that matches the total in the tray and place them in.
- Gather your materials. You will need some counters ( erasers in fun shapes, poker chips.. or plastic toys work well too), a divided tray, some paper , tape and marker.
- Write out the number totals on your paper, cut and tape into your tray.
- Time to play ( and learn).Group the similar bugs.
- Count them
- Pop them in the right section!
- Don’t forget to dance when you are done ! Watch out , those are some mean jazz hands.
Our backyard is chock a block packed with spiders! I knew we had to do something with spiders. Also Halloween isn’t far away so today’s letter of the week can be done for a Halloween craft by changing up the red paper for orange or simply a spider. We chose to keep is simple since my son had preschool today and I didn’t want to overload him. But if your child is keen you could use glitter glue to make a spider web on the back page for extra bling!
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, scissors, crayons, glue and or a glue stick, and googly eyes.
- Start by writing a chunky lowercase s on the lower half of the black paper. Cut off the top.
- Have your child color it- my goal here was for him to use silver and gold ( they really show up on black) but he chose yellow and green which was a ok because he was happy.
- While they color fan fold some of the extra black paper. If your child is able to do this have them, it’s awesome fine motor work!
- Cut into 8 legs.
- When your child is done beautifying their spider, cut it out.
- Add glue to the back with the glue stick.
- Add the 8 legs.
- Slam the S down on the red paper.
- Add glue for the eyes – yes he really made both the globs himself, he was so proud of himself.
- Add the googly eyes and let dry ( if the glue is as plentiful as ours it will take hours).
Halloween Book Preview
” Inside a House That Is Haunted” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli was the hands down favorite Halloween book for my 3 year old class in 2005. I must have read this 200 times and even after Christmas had come and gone it was still requested all the time. The story is a rebus read along, so it is repetitive and it builds upon itself. This is great for children who are eager to “read along” before they are able to read words. The repetitiveness allows them to anticipate what is next and feel included. Very cute even after reading it hundreds of times.
“CinderHazel : The Cinderella of Halloween “ by Deborah Nourse Lattimore is a spin on the classical favorite fairytale Cinderella . The book was too long for my son, which didn’t surprise me at all. He said the witch was scary and walked away. I don’t think he meant it I just don’t think he was into it. The story is about Hazel who is a dirt loving witch who doesn’t mind dirty fireplaces at all, in fact she loves them . When she is told she can’t go to the ball it’s not the love of a prince that motivates her to go but rather the 15 dirty fireplaces at the castle and the very fact that her stepmother told her no. As it would turn out the prince is pretty filthy himself and they are a match made in heaven. Similar to it’s inspiration but clever in it’s twists , I especially love that she rides a magic vacuum cleaner to the ball , no pumpkin turning into a coach in this book!
” 10 Trick – or Treaters“ by Janet Schulman was the book I bought to try and eclipse ” Inside a House That Is Haunted” and while my class loved this one two my plan didn’t quite work out. This book has the most adorable pictures and in every page there is an owl hidden somewhere, which is a great trick to keep reluctant readers involved. The story counts down from 10 to no trick or treaters with fun rhyming text and a fun array of trick or treaters in cute costumes.
** Update for 2009** I wrote the above review last year. This book has since become my son’s favorite counting book, we read it at least once a day and have for weeks and weeks. We each choose favorite costumes, we act out the kids getting frightened and generally really enjoy it. So it may not have beat out “Inside A House That Is Haunted” in my class a few years back but it has in my home this year!
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, 4 pipe cleaners, glue , 2 googley eyes and some color coding labels ( they are circle stickers found in the office supply section and way cheaper than stickers).
- Start by handing your child some stickers and the plate – and let them go for it. After my son did about 3 he said “glue” so I asked him if he could stick a red one, then a green… and he got back into it and covered it with no more prodding.
- Grab the glue ( or the stick on googley eyes) and add some where you want to put the eyes.
- Add the eyes.
- Let dry.
- Once they are dry enough to handle, poke 2 holes in the edge of the plate and thread a pipe cleaner through, zig zagging both ends, Repeat for all 4 .
“Diary of a Spider “ by Doreen Cronin is a very clever book with some pretty funny bits of humor that I laughed my way through. It was too long to hold my son’s attention but older preschoolers would love it. The overall theme is that spiders aren’t all nasty and that they have fears too, a great lesson for kids !
- Gather your materials. You will need some sandwich cookies , shoe string licorice, some gummy candy and /or jelly beans.
- Open up two cookies and discard the sides with no yummy middle icing.
- Cut your shoe string licorice into 8 legs of the same length and stick them in the white icing on one cookie.
- Pop the other open cookie on top ( so it’s double stuffed now… you could also just use double stuffed to start with) .
- Cut some green gummy candy into small circles. I am using sour apple licorice.
- Pop it on top of the cookie to make eyes.
- Add small bits of the shoe string licorice for the pupil.
- OR you can cut a red jelly belly in half and pop those on for eyes. They stick well if you lick the bottom ( so you may not want to do this version if you are serving these to guests) .
- OR you can add green gummy candy for the eyes and top it with the very end of a red jelly belly.