Learning about SPIDERS!!!: Love Books Summer Exchange

When the ladies from The Educators’ Spin On It stated they would be running the “Love Books” Summer Book Exchange again, I quickly signed up. The kids I and I had a great time exchanging book and related activities last year and were very excited to have the chance to do it again.

"Love Books" Summer Book Exchange

Last year we were teamed up with B. Inspired Mama.  We LOVED the book she sent us (You are My Work of Art) and had a great time with the activities.  Here’s the post.  And B. Inspired Mama did an amazing job with the activities that we sent for them to do to go along with the book, “Today I Feel Silly”.  Here’s their post.

THIS year we were paired up with Coffee Cups and Crayons.  Here’s what we found when we opened up the package she sent …

Summer Book Exchange: package from Coffee Cups and Crayons

And … I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t too sure how my kids would take a book and activity about SPIDERS.  Especially my daughter, Honor, who is known to have terrified, screaming fits when she sees even the littlest of bugs.  But … you parents know how it is, anytime you make an assumption about how your kids are going to react they BLOW your expectations out of the water!  As soon as Henry (age 7) saw the book, he said, “OH COOL!”, and started reading it.  His excitement automatically rubbed off on his little sister (age 4).  They really enjoyed learning different facts about spiders in the National Geographic KIDS book about Spiders, by Laura Marsh.  And they LOVED the jokes that are sprinkled here and there throughout the pages, like this one:

a little bit of spider humor - blogger style!

The book was a hit … and then there were the activities:


Coffee Cups and Crayons sent us some blue painters tape, small pom poms, and some dish scrubbies to create our very own sticky spider web in which we could throw (and catch) flies.  First we made the web …

our painters tape web

Then the kids threw poor defenseless flies (aka pom poms) at the web to see what they could make stick …

Sticky Web Game

We discovered that if you could get one to stick that sometimes it would help the other ones stick better … but that the big bugs (aka dish scrubbies) were so big and heavy that they would knock the other bugs off the web.  Which made us wonder if that happens sometimes on real spider webs.

what we caught in our web           a BIG fly ... knocked the others down


The package also included paint, google eyes, pipe cleaners, and instructions to find rocks outside to paint and decorate as spiders.  For this one we enlisted the help of our neighbors who were keen to give it a try too.

Painting the Rock Spiders Here’s how the 8-legged friends turned out …

Henry's Spider Reed's Spider Honor's Spider V's Spider


This was a WONDERFUL part of the Spider activities.  Although Henry wasn’t keen on going around with the magnifying glass and mini field journal, he yelled from the backyard more than once, “MOM!  Come and look at this spiderweb!”  He would also make comments on what type of web he believed he saw based on the information from the book.  Honor on the other hand was very interested and wanted to really investigate spiders and their webs.  It had a amazing effect on her attitude towards bugs.

Making Observations             Writing in her Observation Journal

We walked around the yard together and hunted for spiders and webs (there were MANY webs … not sure what that says about our outdoor housekeeping!).  Taking the time to look for and learn about spiders on her own terms helped her not be scared at their sight.  Honor had fun finding the webs, examining them through her magnifying glass, checking to see if the spider was on the web, and then “recording” her findings in her journal.

So, despite my initial reaction when I opened up the package and read, “Hopefully you like creepy crawly things …” that Honor would completely refuse anything to do with this it actually helped to understand and be curious about bugs instead of fearful.  I really think that we received the exact package we needed … and motivation to help my daughter address her fear.  Thanks, Coffee Cups and Crayons!!!

Make sure to check out what Coffee Cups and Crayons did with the package we sent them!  I think they enjoyed the book, Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You, and the activities to go with it.  Here’s the terrific post!


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Laura Hutchison

Laura Hutchison (aka PlayDrMom) is a chubby kid turned competitive figure skater tween turned high school pom pon girl turned MSU Spartan turned grad student turned Mrs. HutcH turned Dr. turned Mom. She adores living in the Mitten, is addicted to Diet Coke, and firmly believes that ice cream is a main food group.

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  1. Megan

    Oh I am so glad it turned out okay! I should have checked to see if anyone had an issue with spiders!!!! My kids love that book and love finding bugs in the backyard so will be so happy to hear that yours ended up having fun with it too!
    Megan recently posted…Acts of Kindness for Kids: Create a LOVE WallMy Profile

  2. Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It

    Reminds me of the time I asked a friend to organize a play date about spiders and found out later she was totally afraid of spiders, I had no idea! She thanked me afterwards for making her work through some phobia for her kids LOL. Seems like this was a perfect match with your kids too! What a fun package that Megan sent to you. I love the spider web game! Thank you so much for participating in the Summer Book exchange this year! Can’t wait to see what you shared this year!
    Kim @ The Educators’ Spin On It recently posted…Jez Alborough Activities & Books {Virtual Book Club for Kids}My Profile

  3. Mary Catherine

    Hi Laura:

    I love the idea of a summer book exchange; in fact a friend and I decided to try it this summer. I love the spider book and thought her boys would love it. However, they are 8 1/2 and I was wondering if this book and activities would be too young for them. What do you think? Also, can you direct me to any websites where I will find books and activities that go along with them? I am having difficulty finding any. Thanks so much for your assistance.

  4. Laura Hutchison

    Thanks for your comment, Mary Catherine! I think that 8 1/2 yr old boys would enjoy the activities. My seven yr old son did!

    As for websites with books and activities, there are a ton! Check out my PlayDrMom’s Bookshelf for some. You can also find all the other Summer Book Exchange posts here … http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2013/06/meet-our-love-books-summer-book.html. Most of the bloggers participating have lots of posts with books and activities. Additionally, you may want to follow the Virtual Kids Book Club that features a different author each month. https://www.facebook.com/VirtualBookClubForKids

  5. Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It

    Thanks again for participating in the Love Books Exchange. I featured this post in our Spider Roundup this week at the After School Linky Party. Megan shared such a fun package with you, hope you’re using these ideas again for Halloween Fun!

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