Bugs: Very Busy Spider

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Keep your little one busy with this “very busy spider” fine motor skill/matching game! I chose to practice Madelines name/letter recognition but you could do shapes, numbers, colors, etc!

Craft/Activity/Snack: Spider with Clothespin legs- Matching/Fine Motor Activity
Objective: Practice letter/name recognition as well as sharpen fine motor skills by matching up and clipping clothespin to the corresponding letter on a cute spider body!
Skills Utilized: fine motor skills, name/letter recognition, counting
Suggested Reading: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Materials: clothespins, thin cardboard (we used a cereal box!), black paint, glue, 8 white paper squares, scissors, black marker, googly eyes/paper eyes

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Your child could certainly help in the process of making the actual spider, however I chose to prep it all while Maddy napped. I started by cutting a circle out of the cardboard then traced it on the black paper. Cut out the black circle and glue on top of the cardboard.

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Next, glue on the eyes as well as the small squares of paper. Fill in the squares with the letters, numbers, shapes, whatever you choose to do. We got lucky and Madelines name has 8 letters, so we went with that!

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Next, paint the clothespins black, leaving a blank space at the top. Once they are dry, add the letter/number/shape. They should look like this:

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First, we read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. We checked ours out from our local library, but I think I may have to add it to her personal collection. She loved it!

Time to play! I had Maddy first look at the letters and identify each, I explained it spelled her name. I then simply told her “Let’s match each letter and put the spiders legs back on!” She gave me an enthusiastic “Okay!!”

Pinching and getting that clothespin on just right was a challenge for her, but she remained focused and happily worked on it for a long while.

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Ways to Expand Upon this Activity:

  1. Sing Itsy Bitsy Spider. We love Laurie Berkners version!
  2. Make your spider reversible by doing number matching on the opposite side.
  3. For younger children, skip the matching part and have them simply put clothespins onto the spider body.

Illustrated Avatar Amanda




17 thoughts on “Bugs: Very Busy Spider

  1. This is so cute and a great way to work on letter recognition and letters in her name! Another add on could be using lower case on the spider and upper case on the clothespins so they could recognize the same letters that way! Great post, very detailed with great pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this idea!

    My girl is still young (quickly coming up on a year) but I’m always looking for activities that are entertaining and educational!

    What age is this for?


    1. Hi Tess – If using letters, we’d recommend this for 2 and up. Both of our children are 2 and a half and recognize most of the letters in the alphabet so are able to accurately match them up. HOWEVER, you could do this activity without any matching and simply do a fine motor skill / pincer grasp for a 1.5 year old or even use shape matching or color matching for a young 2 year old. I hope that helps!


  3. I love this craftroom play date of doing a craft and a book! My daughters will enjoy this. My daughter is learning her letters and numbers so I am for sure going to donthis with her. Thx!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My youngest son would have loved this one. He was so into spiders. I never did a spider project with him. They grow up so fast. I remember he even ordered a few hundred dollars worth of Spiderman videos from Amazon. Yah he had a real spider thing for a while :).


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