Monday, October 17, 2011

Spider On A Web: A Craft They Make Themself

I am a craft anarchist.

I had an assistant some years ago who drove me crazy (among other reasons) by spending endless hours cutting out prepared perfect pieces for crafts. She missed the whole point of preschool crafts!

Crafts are not, not, NOT  about making a perfect copy  of a perfect <feh>Martha Stewart model.  There is no need for a parent/caregiver to take the item out of the child's hands so it "looks right". It's not about that. It is, as any preschool educator worth their title can tell you about the process, NOT the practice!

Craft activities can teach children  important skills, like using a scissors. They can help them can practice hand-eye coordination. They let them play with colors. They let them use their imaginations, something that kids seldom get a chance to do on a regular basis nowadays. Above all they should be FUN!

As are these spiders on a web:

I did have to cut slots around the edges of the plates in advance. Using a hole puncher way on the edge worked perfectly.

The kids chose their yarn and we taped the end to the back. Then they got to wind it from slot to slot however they pleased. One or two kids needed to be shown the basics, but then they did fine on their own.

I did also cut the pipe cleaners (now usually called "chenille stems") to size, but the kids had no trouble pushing them into the styrofoam balls. I needed to cut off a few sharp bits of wire at the ends. The faces were drawn on with markers.

The fun is in making it--all by yourself!


  1. I used to do a craft with the pre-schoolers a couple of times a year, and every time I under-estimated how long it would take with that group vs. how long it took with my own two children. For someone with less experience than you have (which is most of us), it can be hard to be sure if the level of difficulty is right, which can lead to prepping all the stuff, which can lead to the kids being frustrated because then it HAS to look like the example.... This is a great example of a simple craft that encourages creativity!

  2. I'm solo these days, so prep time is incredibly crucial--and I'm lazy :D

    Seriously, simpler is always better. The fewer pieces, the less to do, the easier to adapt to all ages and skill levels.

    As for the example--I usually don't show one. I say to the parents/caregivers "let them figure it out". And often they don't do it the way the model looks--but they take great pride in THEIR creation. Sometimes they even see things I missed thinking about and add their own features!


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