Monday, October 10, 2011

Backyard Nature Fun: Spider Web Hunt

Backyard Nature Fun activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.


I recently shared with you how I’ve grown to marvel at spider webs – and the spiders in them. So it should come as no surprise that in gearing up for Halloween this year, I thought going on a spider web hunt with The Explorers would be fun.

And finding spiders and signs of spiders was pretty simple. When we tried it last weekend in Yosemite, we had no trouble finding plenty of webs – and even a few spiders to boot.

We found webs right outside the back door, on our porch around the windowsills and on pretty much every tree in the yard.


We kept a safe enough distance so that neither the kids nor myself were worried about spiders suddenly jumping on us (and believe me, kids do worry about that kind of stuff).

During our hunt, The Big Explorer made the coolest discovery of the afternoon. He spotted a spider stalking a moth caught in its web. (In the past, we’ve also been lucky enough to see a spider spinning its web right before our eyes.)

Depending on your kids’ ages and interests, you may talk about the different types of webs – even try to identify the spiders you find in them. But we were content just to see how many webs we could find, and to see if we could spot any spiders inside.

The most important part of any spider web hunt is turning spiders from something you or your kids might fear into something to wonder at, be amazed by and respect.

Take-Home Tips
  • Know where (& when) to look. Head out at dusk & search under rocks & leaves, on walls & fences, on tree trunks & branches and in cracks & crevices.
  •  Bring a magnifying glass. It’ll give you a close-up view of webs & the spiders in them without disturbing the spiders – or putting you or the spiders in harm’s way.
5 More Ideas for Getting Outside This Week
  • Put up your outdoor Halloween decorations.
  • Play in a pile of leaves.
  • Go seed collecting.
  • Mix up a fairy potion.
  • Plant a fall garden (inside if necessary).
Happy Exploring!

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