Saturday, November 6, 2010

Creepy Crawly Spiders!

These creepy crawly spiders are pretty easy and super awesome.  You might want to tackle the painting part yourself (either the day before or several hours before you jump into this project) takes a decent amount of effort to get good paint coverage on plain styrofoam balls and depending on the age of the child, they might get frustrated and tire of this part easily.  Don't let that little disclaimer talk you out of doing this really is VERY easy.
  • Styrofoam balls (in the size of your choice) - these can be found at any craft store
  • Serrated knife
  • Black acrylic paint - I bought a small bottle of glossy black (you won't need a ton for this).  {NOTE} I DON'T recommend using spray paint.  That may seem like the easier option, but a lot of aerosol paints or adhesives actually eat away the styrofoam.  There might be some out there that don't have this affect, but I wouldn't know what to recommend.
  • Medium sized paint brush - you don't need a fancy painters brush...a regular kid craft one will do
  • Your favorite brand of tacky glue - I like to use Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
  • Q-tips
  • Small container to hold a blob of glue - glass dish or even a small paper plate or square of card-stock will do
  • Wiggly eyes (as many as you want)
  • Black chenille pipe cleaners cut in half (enough for each spooky arachnid to have 8 legs) 

Slice your styrofoam balls in half with the serrated knife.  This is messy, so do it over a trash can or piece of newspaper to catch all the teeny tiny foam bits that fall.

Paint the bottom of the spider body with black acrylic paint.  {{{TIP}}} Because the styrofoam has so many tiny holes, it kind of takes a little more effort to get full coverage. Use a stippling technique (like you would if you were stenciling a wall).  Dot the bristles down onto the surface to help fill in the holes with paint.  Swirling the brush in circular motions also helps.  When the bottom is dry or dry-ish, paint the top of the spider body the same way.  Allow your spider bodies to fully dry before moving on.
It's always good to try to fit in a little counting practice.  Have the children count out their desired number of wiggly eyes.  

In your small glue container, place a blob of tacky glue and with the Q-tips, add dots of glue to where the wiggly eyes will go.  Gently press the wiggly eyes onto their designated gluey spots.

Have the children count out eight legs.  It's never a bad idea to insert a little lesson here and talk about our eight legged creepy arachnid friends!

Poke the ends of the pipe cleaners into the sides of the spider bodies {{{TIP}}} have the children hold the pipe cleaners as close to the ends as possible.  This makes them easier to penetrate the styrofoam without bending all out of whack.  The legs should be stuck an inch or two into the body (so they don't easily fall out)
Little ones might need some help with this part
When all the legs are inserted, bend them in a 'Z' formation to prop them up....or leave them flat if you so desire.

Last (but certainly not least) Give your creepy creation a name!  Have fun & get messy! ~Miss Jenna :-)

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