Spider Printing…Creepy Crawly Process Art for Small Motor Practice

title“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”  ~Leonardo da Vinci

Right about now you may be asking yourself why I chose a da Vinci quote about self-mastery for our spider art’s opening line. Well, it’s simple really.

All day long I am surrounded by small children, each one growing and learning everyday. They all learn to crawl. They all learn to walk. They all learn to hop, skip, and jump. They all learn to hold a spoon and button their own coats. They all learn to say words, and eventually sentences. They all learn at their own pace and in their own time.

I have learned 2 very important things over the 20 some odd years I’ve been sharing my home with small children,

First, children are so incredibly happy with themselves when they master a new skill; it’s a freedom they have never known and are so grateful to have achieved. How many times have you heard your toddler say “I DO IT!!” today?

And second, they learn ALL these things best when they don’t know they are learning at all.

That’s where I come in. I’m a firm believer that children learn best through play. I believe in the process. I like to find the joy in the journey and not get so hung up on my destination. Now this is not to say that doing an activity with a finished product in mind is wrong. In fact we have a product-oriented craft coming up on the blog very soon. I think there’s a place for crafty stuff, and so do the smalls.

But let’s get down to today’s business. Today we are giving our small motor muscles a work-out. Our eye-hand coordination will be exercised, and our focus and concentration will be working overtime. And we won’t even know it. We are just going to get our hands messy and make spiders dance a jig.

Start with 5 simple materials for set up…materialsNeededWe chose spiders because it’s close to Halloween and these things are all over my house. The smalls dipped their spiders in the paint…dippingspiderbellyThen they pressed them onto their papers…printsWe counted how many footprints the spiders made before they started to dance and scribble them all out…dancingspiderSome of the smalls didn’t want to dip their hands into the paint tray, as they didn’t like the feel of their fingertips in the paint. For them, I poured little puddles of paint onto their papers…paintpuddlesBy the end of our Creative Table Time, most of the smalls were using two spiders at a time and having a grand time giving their small motor muscles a good work out!doublethefun

Thanks for stopping by!

Arlee, Small Potatoes


5 thoughts on “Spider Printing…Creepy Crawly Process Art for Small Motor Practice

  1. Hi Arlee, I love this. I have a couple of questions for you where did you get those trays. And a big question I have is how do you keep babies seperate from preschoolers. I have been doing daycare for almost fourteen years and i still can’t figure out how to do that.

    Kathy pugsley

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