"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

01 January 2016

Book Club: Anansi the Spider

My book club read and discussed Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott. After our brief discussion, it was time for activities:

1. Weave a spider web. Take a paper plate and cut notches around the edge, then weave yarn through the notches to make a spider web. The kids enjoyed this one once we got the notches cut into their plates, and I liked that the freestyle activity allowed them a lot of creativity.

2. Make a styrofoam spider. I painted some styrofoam balls black, then gave the kids pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and glue. The pipe cleaners stick directly into the styrofoam, and the kids could choose which kind and how many eyes to add to their spiders.

3. Sticky webs. Using masking tape, I made a web inside a door frame with the sticky side of the masking tape facing our auditorium.  I gave the kids small pieces of scrap paper, which they crumpled into "flies" that they threw at the web. The goal was to get your fly caught on the web, and it's a lot harder than it looks!

4. Web walking. I made another masking tape web, this one on the floor and sticky-side down. I threw six "bugs" (really some little squishy balls I found at the dollar store) on the floor, and the kids walked along the web to try and pick up the balls.

What the kids didn't know, and I certainly didn't tell them, is that all of these activities helped them to practice both gross motor and fine motor skills, things kids apparently are lacking now due to not enough free time for playing and crafting and too many pre-cut, pre-fabricated items.

I also set out a display of all the other Anansi stories we had available at the library. By the end of the night, all of the books were gone, so hopefully Anansi will have a new life in our library.

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