Prep: 5-10 Minutes / Activity Time: 5-10 Minutes

Your child continues to need opportunities to strengthen the small muscles in her hands and fingers in coordination with her eyes. The ability to reach and grasp objects, to release objects deliberately, to turn and twist her wrist in all directions, will be necessary so that she can play, eat, draw and eventually write.  This fun activity starts with singing a familiar finger play song and adds a stringing activity that will get her little fingers moving in lots of ways.

  • paper plate
  • black yarn
  • tape
  • crayons

Step 1: Prepare the paper plate in advance. Punch several holes along the edge of the plate, and also some towards the middle of the plate. Cut several pieces of yarn about the length of your child’s arm and roll tape on one end to make it stiff and easier to hold and string. Have crayons available if your child wants to add details to her spider web.  

Step 2: Encourage your child to sit facing you and demonstrate how to move your fingers. Encourage her to imitate you, for example:

Let’s sing a song together. Can you put your fingers together like this? We can wiggle our finger to pretend it’s a spider climbing a web like this. Let’s sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider!

Sing the song using the hand movements with drama and enthusiasm! If she wants, sing it again!

stringingStep 3:  Bring out the paper plate and yarn and explain that she is going to make a web like the spider does. Show her how to hold the stiff end of the yarn and lace it through a hole. Encourage her to lace the string into another hole, criss-crossing the yarn so that it begins to look like a web. Talk about what you see her doing, commenting on her efforts.  

Step 4: If your child is interested, use another piece of yarn to make it look more intricate. Offer her the crayons if she wants to add a spider to the web.

Have the string already in one hole. Hold the paper plate and show her how to hold the string, put it in a hole and pull through. Acknowledge and praise her attempts.

Prepare another paper plate with only four holes on either side of the plate for eight spider legs. Cut eight pieces of yarn, one for each hole. Have your child lace one piece of yarn through a hole two to three times so that the string is secure to the plate and let the yarn dangle to make a leg. Repeat with the other pieces of yarn until all eight holes have a dangling leg. Use crayons to add features to the spider and sing the song using it as a prop.