Spelling Spider Web Art

Spider Spelling Art


     This week my son has been studying SPIDERS.  All week I will be posting fun activities that we have used and will be doing afterschool!  


    The first of each week he has a new spelling list sent home from school.  I’m always on the hunt for new ways to practice spelling and occasionally I come up with an idea of my own.  See here what we did?!

To do this spelling craft you will need..

  • A large piece of poster board
  • Several sizes of circular containers ( I used 2 glasses, a plate, and a medium Tupperware bowl)
  • washable finger paint
  • pencil or gray maker for the color of the web
  • juice bottle lids
  • googly eyes for the spider optional
  • paint brush is instead of marker for the spider legs is optional but can add fine motor practice!!
  • paint for the spider bodies

Make a simple spider web design on the poster board by drawing a cross in the center.  Second, draw an “X” to make a pizza cutting pattern.  I used a pencil just in case I needed to erase then went over it with gray marker. 

Sample from Spider Web Math AND 3 Ways To use It!

Start tracing the outer edge of your smallest container first.  Draw a portion of a circle from one of the pizza cut design lines to the next.image

Keep drawing the curves using the container and at an angle so that your web continues to circle around.  You will reach a point when you need to use a larger container to trace because the smaller one no longer touches from one line to the next. 


When you have finished circling the web like a spider does! use  your juice bottle cap to make circles randomly around the web.  Make a circle for each letter of every spelling word  your child needs to spell. To give you an idea of how may circles will fit on the web: I made 20 or so spider circles and a few extra for mistakes.

image image

Now the FUN part!!  Let your child use juice bottle caps dipped in paint to spell their spelling words!  My son first wrote the words (like he would for a spelling test) then he stamp painted them.

Practicing those words.


We talked about types of spiders here. He mimicked the look of the Brown Recluse, Black Widow, and Rainbow Orbb spide. LOVE the way he blended the colors!!
We talked about types of spiders here. He mimicked the look of the Brown Recluse, Black Widow, and Rainbow Orbb spider.  LOVE the way he blended the colors!!

After the spiders dried a bit, I showed him how to paint legs.  You can use a marker for another look like we did here.  He also used a paint brush.  Sneeking in fine motor work where I can. 

His finished masterpiece!!

If you need a few more sensory centered spelling activities here is my goto list for the week:

Check back for more SPIDER activities later this week here at The Afterschool House!


Thank You for Reading!

Crystal 🙂


Positive and Negative Leaf Art


Positive/Negative Leaf Art



It occurred to me that my son has yet to do a LEAF RUBBING!  WOW. He is 6 years old. How did we miss that?  Now that he has learned about Leaves and Why Leaves Change Color he was ready to move on to something else to discover.  That something else happened to be a battery powered plastic bottle car ( coming soon!).  While searching for What’s Inside A Battery we both learned a little about positive and negative charges.  Every parent knows when you type in a search phrase ANYTHING remotely related to whatever you are searching for can pop up!  Positive/Negative Art for kids was one of the hits that took us to this activity…

We began with simply sorting our leaf colors according to matching colored construction paper. 

Leaf color sorting.
Leaf color sorting.

Folded each piece of paper in half and cut them where the fold was.


He then chose a leaf for each half piece of paper to make a rubbing of and used his crayons to rub over the leaves..

It was his first leaf rubbing so he had to learn to use the crayon another way.
It was his first leaf rubbing so he had to learn to use the crayon another way.
Easy peasy!
Easy peasy!

So now that he was familiar with leaf rubbings I brought out 2 black pieces of construction paper and a white crayon for him to try the process again.  I taped these two pieces together on the back side and helped him hold the whole thing in place.



In his words “Wow!” The finished art work is hanging on my living room wall.  It is a beautiful piece!!



During this activity, I talked to him telling him just like there is a positive and negative charge for a battery there is also positive/negative art work technique.  We took a picture of his rubbing and used an app to turn it into a negative photograph.

He and I searched a few web sites afterwards about Japanese art.  Here are some we shared reading.

  • Art is Basic has a wonderful example of NOTAN art.
  • Art For Small Hands showed us both how to use Layered scissor pattern for a different type positive/negative art.

He learned through reading with me that different artists became famous using positive/negative art techniques.  

    I plan to sneak in some First Grade writing with these inspirational activities from Buggy and Buddy.

Confessions Of A Homeschooler has made a good lap book if you are interested in learning about Matisse.

Hodge Podge has a FREE printable to use for her activity using pastels, too.  Did you know that the FedEx logo is also an example of Positive/Negative art?? Just look for the arrow! 


Our Own Owl Pinecone Craft

Our Own Owl Babies Pinecone Craft…..

We love RED TED ART!! My son likes to scroll through their gorgeous art projects to find the ones he would like to try.  A week or so ago he and I were doing just that when he came upon their Pinecone Owl Craft.  He chose this one and a new theme was born here at The Afterschool House!  It’s been Owls with every first grade subject for almost 2 weeks now, even in speech!

This is the littlest owl he made. My son fell asleep with it the evening he and I made it.
This is the littlest owl he made. My son fell asleep with it the evening he and I made them.

My son has had a wonderful time these past days learning about owls with his Afterschool work.  So, I thought I’d share how we incorporated the owl theme.

We started of course with the book “Owl Babies” but we didn’t own the book.  Instead he and I watched readings    of this book and many other “cute” owl books geared for his reading compression level.  Here are a few he enjoyed….

This one is more a first reader : “Owl At Home” by Arnold Lobel

After he had his fill of story books we moved on to making the Owl Babies pine cones like this…

The pine cones in this area are very thin, not fat like Fir trees.  We compensated for the three thin cones by attaching them with glue to card stock that I cut out in the shape of  a regular fat pinecone.



Next, my son stuffed all three cones with cotton balls by gluing small pieces of cotton inside and around the cones.  He added two whole squarish looking cotton balls to the tops of the paper to form each owls head.


While the glued cones dried a bit, I traced a dime and cut out yellow eyes using zig-zag craft scissors.


All there was left to do was color in the BIG pupils of the Baby owls. 


Aren’t they CUTE!!!?


We didn’t stop there.  First graders are also expected to be able to write about what they read.  So, we headed to the library to find owl books to read and write about.  Over the summer I created several simple story maps for reading/writing retell  practice, but now he needed a smaller lined owl themed notebook paper. First Graders will learn how to write  nonfiction detail sentences.  While at the library, I printed some Owl themed notebook paper from The Note Booking Fairy.  He then practiced writing and formulating sentences about key details from the books we read together.  The round up of books I’ll save for another post because WE’VE READ ALOT OF OWL BOOKS!!

The Note Booking Fairy's owl pages were perfect for spelling practice prep as well.
The Note Booking Fairy’s owl pages were perfect for spelling practice prep as well.

He also used a few last minute pages I made using his Ipad for even MORE writing practice.  These we used to write about “What Owl’s EAT” and even to make up his own fictional story about “The Tired Old Owl..”imageimage

These activities were originally intended to be wrote nearly two weeks ago (we have been busy owl’s!).  Since then, I’ve discovered my sons interest in owls is going to be a long standing one.  Hence, the next blog “Owl’s For Every 1st Grade subject!”…..Even Speech! You won’t want to miss this one!  Hope to see you there.


Owl Word Families

After-school learning for my son has to be interesting and usually hands on.  So, I try to incorporate themes of high interest into every subject.  This year he is in first grade.  At the beginning of this year his class is learning how to spell words in word families.  This particular week the spelling words are from the “it” family and we are covering one of his favorite birds the OWL.  I searched the Internet for FREE OWL themed word family printable s and activities to no avail!  I mean, I saw Tons of wonderful word family activities from all my favorite bloggers but nothing owlish.  Then I search through gobs of owl activities and printable s but nothing about word families.  The solution had to be to come up with a whole new owl word family on my own or spend money on printables that could only be used few times.  I decided to do this:

     First, I drew a picture of an owl on cardstock (which I later copied and used for several other activities).


Next, I cut two slits about half an inch apart and the length of a toilet paper roll into the drawing.  I put the slits on the body of the owl but you can put them anywhere on the card stock picture.


     My son usually doesn’t like to color with crayons but this was an OWL!!  He took extra care to color in the lines.


     Then, I cut a tp roll in two parts, one part just a tad bit longer than the other.  I also had to trim the roll more for it fit within the slits easily.  It needed to spin without causing the paper to tear.  Now my son was able to paint the roll parts.          


     We let the the rolls dry.  After they were dry, I helped him tape the rolls end’s together.  All that was left to do was to write the word family ending “it” on one of the rolls and consonant beginnings on the other roll.  Wah La!! He had his OWL word family activity to use again and again. 


If you would like to try this for yourself there are many sources for FREE OWL COLORING PAGES out there.  Here is a link to one of my favorite bloggers.