Easy Spider Web Basket Activity for toddlers

It’s Halloween time, and with that, it is time to do lots of not-so-spooky activities at home. Let’s create a spider web basket activity and let our little learners use their critical thinking skills, fine motor skills, and even some gross motor skills as they work to rescue them the spiders out!

Spider Web Basket


What age is this activity good for

This activity is perfect for babies sitting unsupported (about 6 months) to crawlers to toddlers.
How come? Well, as they grow we need to add a few more challenges to the activity in order for all ages to enjoy.

Why I don’t use a laundry basket for this activity

When I first tried this activity a year ago with my son, he was one year old. I followed the suggestion of many to use a laundry basket. I noticed that the laundry baskets were too deep and made this activity extremely challenging, sometimes so challenging that he gave up on trying to rescue whatever I put inside the basket.

I suggest using a smaller basket to start. I had these baskets as my closet organizer, and they were perfect! Not too deep and just challenging enough!

See what baskets you have around and if you only have a laundry basket around and you find out it is too deep for your baby, flip it sideways to give better access to the items inside.

The spider web activity is a fun activity that works on critical thinking and allows for strengthening fine motor skills.

How to set up a spider web rescue mission

To set up this basket, , all you need is a shallow basket, yarn or string, and a set of toys. Since it is a spider web, it only made sense we used our spiders from our Itsy bitsy spider lesson plan. You can use any toys and even scarfs. I’ll show you how!

Empty your basket and add the spider (or toys to be reduce around)

Start weaving the yarn through the basket holes. Add as many layers as what, this will increase or reduce the challenge.

When Manu was little and I first tried this activity I had our ball pit balls in the basket and I made the web using elastic string. It worked both as a game and as a storage place for our ball pit balls, they were no longer going everywhere when Manu flipped the basket.

When you get the desired amount of weaving you can cut your string and tie a knot.

I left my knot to the side To keep it out of the way and out of sight.

Your basket is ready! You can present it to your little learner and see what they do. First, offer the basket without saying anything. Observe. Let them explore.

After a few minutes if you see they do not engage with it you can show them how you can take one it’s out. Ask them to do the same.

A favorite hand signal I like to do is you offer my hand empty and open and ask him to give me an item from the basket. I learn that this way they want to please you, they are more willing to explore and try the activity.

Once they get a few out you can let them explore independently. Some will want to take the spiders in and out multiple times.

They will try different ways to reach the spiders and ways to get them out.

Manu quickly discovered that he could put both hands in, yet he couldn’t take the spider out while holding it with both hands.

extend playtime for babies

Babies and toddlers and probably preschoolers love to pull things out! Have you given a baby a bag of baby wipes? Then you know this to be true!

Add play scarfs to make the concept of “taking things out of the basket” a lot easier to grasp. Scarfs are easier to grab and to pull out. They are colorful so they call your baby’s attention.

Then as this game gets easier and not as challenging, you can add things deeper into the basket, a lot smaller making the game last longer and a lot more challenging.

Increase the challenge for Toddlers

What I like about this web activity is that you can increase the challenge as they get older. Manu is 39 months now so he can take a bigger challenge! I purposely placed an item that was bigger than the holes. He added a helicopter that although it fit easily going in it wasn’t that easy taking it out. The wings got stuck and I watched as he figured out a way to take it out.

He shook the basket upside down, he grabbed the helicopter and shook it, got frustrated, but he got it! He had to use his critical thinking skills, and he did it! He learned he knew how to get it off quickly the next time.

Fine motor challenge For Toddlers and Preschoolers

For preschoolers, you can take this basket as a learning activity. Use tongs to take the spiders out, much like a game of operation.

You can roll a dice and take out as many spiders as as the dice says.

Sort spiders by size. The bag of spider we purchased had two different sizes, as well as two different colors. with a set like this it offers a great opportunity to practice opposites, or even color sorting too.

Last Thoughts

The spider web basket challenge is a great activity for all ages. If you have multiple kids of different ages it is a great activity they can do together. It can be challenging enough for each, yet they can play together.

If you want more spider activities check out the Itsy bitsy spider lesson plan and get inspired!

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