Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Montessori-Inspired Spider Activities Using Free Printables

Free Spider Printables and Montessori-Inspired Spider ActivitiesBy Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

Since spider activities are especially fun before Halloween, I want to share some activities today using free spider printables. 

The hands-on activities in this post are for preschoolers through first graders. You'll find many more activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing

You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities.  

Disclosure: This post contains Montessori Services affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Glow-in-the-Dark Spider Practical Life Activity 

  Glow-in-the-Dark Spider Practical Life Activity

This activity was very simple to prepare. I just used the the spider web printable from Spider Web Number Cards by Boy Mama Teacher Mama. I used an inexpensive wooden tray and 5 glow-in-the-dark spiders from Michaels hobby store, a tweezers, and a small flashlight. The child could use the tweezers to transfer the spiders to the spider web. Then, if you have a dark area, the child could shine the light on the spiders for a bit, turn off the flashlight, and enjoy the glow-in-the dark effect.

Spider Shapes Activity 

Spider Shapes Activity

This tray uses the Spider Shapes (laminated) from Spiders Tot Pack at 2 Teaching Mommies. I used a clear acrylic tray from Montessori Services and added a small container of playdough. The playdough could be used to make the appropriate shape around each spider.

S is for Spider Beginning Sounds Tray

S is for Spider Beginning Sound Activity

I love glass gems and have collected them in most colors. For this Montessori-inspired activity tray, I used the S is for Spiders printable from Making Learning Fun with black glass gems from the hobby store. I put the exact number of glass gems in a round candle coaster along with a sugar tong from Montessori Services. This makes a nice language activity, but I especially like that the themed printable adds interest to a practical life tonging activity.

Of course, you don’t need to use glass gems for this activity. You could use playdough balls, pom poms with a strawberry huller, magnetized pom poms on a magnetic tray, or dot markers (if you don’t laminate the activity). 

In Montessori education, we emphasize phonetic sounds rather than letter names. I would demonstrate the activity by placing the printable on a rug and saying, "/s/ is for spider." Then I would show how to use the sugar tong to place a few of the glass gems before returning the tray to the shelf for the child(ren) to use. 

Spider Numbers and Counters 

Spider Numbers and Counters Tray

I found the spiderweb numbers in the Spider Sums of 5 and 10 by My Fabulous Class at Teachers Pay Teachers. I love preparing seasonal cards and counters, and these were perfect for creating a DIY numbers and counters activity. I purchased 55 felt spiders from Michaels hobby store. The tray is a black Economy Tray from Montessori Services.I found the black bowl (cauldron) on sale after Halloween last year. The container is fun, but another type of container would work just as well.

Spider Numbers and Counters Layout

When showing how to do the layout, I recommend placing the spiders in rows of two with a leftover spider centered below the last row. It's a standard Montessori layout for cards and counters and gives a visual representation of odd and even. If you have exactly 55 spiders for the numerals 1-10, that will serve as a control of error.

I put the layout on a large hemmed work rug from Montessori Services.

Spider Addition Activity 

Spider Addition Tray

For this activity, I used the Spider Addition Math Sheets from 123 Homeschool 4 Me and 10 spiders from Michaels hobby store.

This tray was very simple to prepare. Many of the 3 Dinosaurs printable packs have counting, addition, subtraction, greater than/less than, and/or word problem printables with numbers that are interchangeable. I just used the numerals from the "Montessori-Inspired Ocean Math Activities" I prepared last June.

Spider Addition Layout

For presentation ideas, check out the Montessori-Inspired One Fish, Two Fish Addition Tray in my February post here. You should be able to easily adapt the presentation for this activity.

For younger children, I would make a separate "Count the Spiders" tray, using the Preschool Spider Math Sheet from 123 Homeschool 4. Me For each tray, be sure to have the exact number of spiders needed for the highest sum or to go to the highest counted number you're using in the activity.

Spider Acrostic Poem Writing Activity 

Spider Acrostic Poem Writing Tray

This was another simple-to-prepare tray. It's for advanced kindergarteners or first graders. I used the Spider Acrostic Poem Printable from Activity Village. I added a pencil sharpener and Halloween pencil.

Pipe Cleaner Spider Craft 

Pipe Cleaner Spider Craft

I had a lot of fun with the Pipe Cleaner Spiders from Mama Miss. Melissa at Mama Miss has free printables and clear instructions for making the pipe cleaner spiders. 

I'd recommend the craft for ages 4 and up because of the fine-motor control that's required. Of course, if you prepare the spider except for the pony beads and googly eyes, a younger child could have fun adding those. Adding pony beads to pipe cleaners is always a great fine-motor activity.

More Free Printables and Halloween Activities

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to LOTS of spider freebies from around the blogosphere: Free Spider Printables and Montessori-Inspired Spider Activities

You'll find lots of Montessori-inspired Halloween activities and ideas in these posts at Living Montessori Now: Montessori-Inspired Pumpkin Activities, Homeschool Halloween, Montessori-Inspired Pumpkin Unit, Montessori-Inspired Halloween Activities, Halloween Grace and Courtesy, Montessori-Inspired Friendly Ghost Activities, Montessori-Inspired Halloween Activities (2012), and Montessori-Inspired Skeleton Activities. I also have a Kids' Halloween Activities Pinterest Board with Halloween activities of all kinds.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Living Montessori Now
Deb ChitwoodDeb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in Colorado Springs with her husband of 38 years and their cat of 12 years. She blogs at Living Montessori Now. 

May be linked to Afterschool Express, Thoughtful Spot, Tuesday Tots, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Milk and Cuddles and Crystal & Co., Mom’s Library, The Weekly Kid’s Co-op, Hearts for Home Blog Hop, Ultimate Mom Resources, Learn & Link, TGIF Linky Party, Preschool Corner, Ultimate Homeschool Pinterest Party, Sharing Saturday, Saturday Show & Tell, Share It Saturday, Show-and-Share Saturday, The Sunday Showcase, Link & Learn


  1. Thank you so much for these excellent, clear, educational, and fun ideas. I'm sure they will help many preschoolers (and teachers). I want to make an owl one like this! You are the best, Deb!

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Carolyn! I think you're the best, too! :)

  2. Thanks so much for featuring our Spider printables, Deb. I love the little things you do to take the activity further.


    1. Thanks so much ... and my pleasure, Madonna! I love the free printables you create. It's easy to prepare fun, hands-on activities with them. ;)

  3. Love the collection of activities! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Great ideas.. I am following you from craftulate.
    Janis www.janiscox Author of Tadeo Turtle


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