Investigating the parts of a spider through fine motor play

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on November 7, 2013

in Investigating Spiders with Gelatin Play, motor skills, Science and Nature, Sensory Play

Spider part investigations

Our little scientists spent the last 30 minutes of our day investigating spider parts through this intriguing fine motor building process…

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

This process was simple to prepare but needs at least 24 hours advance notice to get it ready. What you see here are our “spider parts” in gelatin. I have always wanted to try something like this and finally took the time to put it together and it was totally worth it…

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

To make the gelatin molds, I simply used three packets of gelatin and followed the directions on the box. The directions said…

  • Add one cup of cold water and let the water settle a minute over the gelatin.
  • Then add three cups of boiling water (I used a little less) and then stir until all the gelatin is fully dissolved.
  • Next pour your gelatin into your containers (I used little plastic containers my mom collected over time from Kentucky Fried Chicken with a lid).

Then you can wait a bit to let the gelatin gel just a bit and then add items (like spider parts) to the plastic container or do like me and add them right away. Because I was impatient, my googly eyes floated on top and the other heavier pieces sunk to the bottom but it still worked out really well.

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

The children were totally entranced with removing the spider parts from their dishes…

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

Each child had their own spider part dish to explore but I made a few extra and some of the children explored two dishes…

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

The children used their tweezers to pull out the pieces of the spider and set them on a tray….

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

Some of the children even explored the gelatin with their fingers. It isn’t sticky but it is wet and jiggly…

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

Most of my students just enjoyed using the tweezers but whether they used their hands or tweezers to pull out the spider parts, the children were focused on using fine motor skills throughout this very interesting process…

Spider parts investigations by Teach Preschool

We had already talked about the parts of a spider earlier in our day so this process had no intended outcome other than to explore. One little guy shouted out to me each time he pulled out a new spider part – “I did it!”  Super fun!

Investigating the parts of a spider by Teach Preschool

My blogging buddy over at Fun at Home with Kids has some amazing examples and recipes and ideas for Gelatin Play that you will want to hop on over and check out.  She totally had me inspired to give our spider part investigation a try!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kat November 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm

That is a fantastic idea…my 8 yr old wants to have a bug themed birthday party next year and this would be so much fun to do!!!

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2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

This would make a great birthday party activity!

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3 Asia Citro November 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

YAY! What an awesome use for gelatin! So flattered that I was your inspiration! :) :) :) This is such a fabulous way to use it!!!

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4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I told you I planned to give it a try:) My kids loved, loved, loved it!

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