Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Spider Web Math: Last Minute Fall Party Activity

Have you ever been put on the spot to help with an elementary classroom party?  While volunteering in my son's kindergarten classroom last Friday, the teacher approached the moms about the Fall party.  She told us we had 45 minutes to fill with 22 students.  Luckily, the other moms are rockstars.  We quickly divided up the workload and have been communicating via text this week. 

I have several years of experience as the teacher during classroom parties.  Party days are stressful for the teacher!  From experience, I know it is best to separate the kids into groups and have them rotate through activities.  You really want minimal downtime.  There are three moms, and we are each planning a 10 minute activity.  

30 minutes of activities  + transition time +  time to eat snack while listening to a story = a hopefully, successful party

I didn't have a lot of time to devote to scouring Pinterest and finding the perfect cute fall party game.  Instead, I thought back to what activities were a hit when I taught preschool.  I love all things Eric Carle.  When we read The Very Busy Spider, we would make paper plate webs.  We then used the webs for math games.  I thought this would be the perfect activity to do with kindergarteners.  Minimal mess and lots of fun!  Did I mention that I will have the baby with me at the party?  I will have my hands full!

What you need:

  • black paper plate for each child
  • plastic spider for each child (spider rings would also work, and would be cheaper)
  • white yarn
  • plastic bugs (I am using 48 bugs)
  • deck of UNO cards

  1. Cut notches in the paper plates.  I followed the lines that are on the plate.  I did this extremely fun step while waiting in the carpool parking lot at school.
  2. Pre-cut the yarn for each child.  You will thank me when you get to the classroom and all those hands start grabbing for supplies!  Thank you Netflix for making this step less boring.

  1. Sort the UNO cards.  Take only the numeral cards and the skip cards.

Making the craft with the students:

  1. Give each student a plate and a bundle of yarn.  Have the students wrap the yarn around the plate.  The notches will hold the yarn in place. 

  1. Give each student a spider for their web.  Bonus points if it is glow-in-the-dark!
  2. Explain that you are going to play a game.  Ask if they know what spiders eat.  (Bugs!  They might list different types of insects.)  Tell them that today their spiders are hungry for flies.  Put the flies in a pile in the middle of the group. 
  3. Going around in a circle, each student draws an UNO card.  The student names the numeral and puts that number of flies on their web. 
  4. If the student draws a skip card, all the flies need to be removed from his/her web and placed back into the pile.
  5. When the pile is empty or time is up, everyone will count how many flies were caught in their webs.  The person with the most gets two pieces of candy.  All the other hard working spiders get one piece of candy.

Why this activity is beneficial:

  • Promotes eye-hand coordination as the students wrap the yarn around the plate
  • Students work on labeling numerals
  • Students count objects using one-to-one correspondence
  • Promotes the use of a pincer grasp as students pick up each individual fly
  • Students interact socially with peers by taking turns and following directions

Ways to change the activity:

  • Use tweezers to pick up the flies
  • Draw 2 cards and have the students add the numbers together
  • Write number sentences on notecards and have students "act it out" with the flies
  • Use a dice or spinner
What are some of your favorite fall party activities?



  1. I am so excited to follow your blog and can already tell I will learn so much! Oh, and Eric Carle is my homeboy. Love him.

    1. Thank you, Hope! We should start a Carle club :) Brickston is having a Brown Bear birthday party!