Spiders, Spiders, Spiders!…Reading, Art, Music and More

October is the month for spiders, those often feared but very helpful eight legged arachnids. My daughter and I found ourselves “caught up” in a lot of spidery fun this month!

Spider Mini Book– I created this book when I taught kindergarten and it was a big hit with my mini me. This spider book teaches young children all about spiders. CLICK HERE to download the book.

Spider on the Floor!– I fell in love with the song “Spider on the Floor,” recorded by Raffi in 1976. We used spider rings and acted out the song which is great for identifying body parts, following directions and rhyming.

Spider Web Painting– My daughter and I love to marble paint and this time of year is the perfect time to grab some paint and marbles and make a spooky masterpiece. If you use black paper and white paint your creation looks like a spiderweb. My daughter drew a spider and glued it to her web. She has learned a lot of interesting spider facts and made sure her spider had eight legs!

Spider Snack– Another idea from my book is this easy and nutritious spider snack. Use two crackers as a body and peanut butter, cheese spread or some type of spread to make a cracker sandwich. Stick eight pretzel sticks (four on each side) inside the cracker to create the spider’s eight legs and use raisins as eyes. Although my daughter pointed out that spiders have eight eyes instead of two there wasn’t enough room to add that many raisins! CLICK HERE to download this yummy snack!

Charlotte’s Web– I have begun reading chapter books to my daughter and this was the perfect time to introduce her to the beloved book, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. The book tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a pig named Wilber and a barn spider named Charlotte and my daughter and I enjoyed reading and discussing the book together. Now I want to introduce her to the Charlotte’s Web movies. The 2006 movie is currently on Netflix and the 1973 animated version is on Amazon Prime. I enjoyed watching the animated version when I was a little girl and it will always be my favorite!

I hope you and your family enjoy some of these spooky spider activities. And remember, most spiders are our friends. They eat insects that harm gardens and crops.

Number Pad, Cosmic Yoga, Marble Painting, Preparing for Palm Sunday…Day 14 Activities

As a reading consultant and literacy lover, who is also passionate about music, I find myself choosing activities that build upon my strengths. So during this time of isolation I have been pushing myself to present activities that are outside of my comfort zone. Like her daddy, my daughter enjoys STEM activities so I have been incorporating more science and math into our days. My daughter needs to strengthen her core muscles and generally dislikes any activity that challenges her in this area so to avoid confrontation I haven’t pushed her in this area. Continue to allow your child to chose activities “free choice” but try to introduce some of the things that challenge both of you. Incorporate rewards for trying something new, a little bribery during these stressful times won’t hurt! You’ve got this momma,try to do your best and don’t give up! And don’t forget to reward yourself at the end of the day!

Number Pad– Use paper plates to make a big number pad on the wall. My daughter enjoyed practicing family phone numbers. Children use large body movement when they press on the plates and learn to identify numbers at the same time! Cosmic Kids Yoga– My daughter’s teacher has the kiddos do Cosmic Kids Yoga at school and I have been trying to get my daughter to do Cosmic Kids Yoga for months. Today was the day that she finally completed an entire Cosmic Kids Yoga session! We did one about a cat but there are many fantastic sessions to choose from. Frozen Yoga and the Wizard of Oz Yoga are two popular ones. Through a story or song Cosmic Kids Yoga builds strength, increases blood flow, improves concentration and helps with anxiety (just to name a few of the benefits.) While doing yoga, kids work to use a range of muscles, find their body working in symmetry and this improves their body coordination and encourages motor development.Marble Painting- We do marble painting a lot (it is one of our favorite activities). Get a shallow box (a shirt box works perfectly), paper, paint and marbles. Place the paper in the box and after coating marbles in different color paints drop them in the box and gently move the box from side to side. Make sure you practice moving the marble inside the box without paint first to set proper technique. No two masterpieces are ever alike! We painted on cross shapes but you could use any shape or canvas. (eggs, shamrocks, flowers, hearts) You can also paint with other items that roll (a toy car or small ball). The results look like miniature Jackson Pollock paintings. Click Here to watch a child friendly video about Jackson Pollock. Pollock is one of my favorite artists so that’s probably why I love hanging these marble paintings in my home.

Preparing for Palm Sunday- This Sunday is Palm Sunday, one of my daughter’s favorite days on the church calendar. She loves parading down the aisle at church waving her palm branch for all to see. But this year she won’t be able to do that. Click Here to view a video from our senior pastor, Pastor Rouland and Gary the puppet, speaking to the children about celebrating Palm Sunday at home. Gary recommends drawing a Palm on paper. Click Here to view a video from my parents church for additional ways to make palms with your children. We are going to make some palms this afternoon. Make some palms with us and post them in the comments or on the Noteworthy Mommy Facebook or Instagram page. We can’t wait to see them!