Inside: This toddler puppet activity combines fine motor with literacy, as the children use their own puppets to act out the Itsy Bitsy Spider!
You invite your toddlers to join you at circle time. You have the song Itsy Bitsy Spider cued on the CD player. You’ve planned this moment. You’ve written in your planner.
Most of your toddlers join you at first. A few are busy in other areas of the classroom. You can deal with that.
You turn on the CD player and the song starts playing.
One child leaves the circle time.
Two other children push each other because they are in each other’s space. And then it feels like no one even cares about the song.
Props, my friends. You need props. Especially if they are made by the children.
But I didn’t always know this. Nope, not for many years. But let me tell you, the props we made created a circle time where I had all of their attention. And they stayed focused. And absolutely loved being able to take their props home.
How to Put Together a Toddler Puppet Activity for the Itsy Bitsy Spider
Watch the video:
Before we started this puppet making activity, we had already been singing some favorite spider songs. We also read Itsy Bitsy Spider. It was then that I remembered how props would make this activity come to life.
What we used to make our Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppets:
- Paper plates (flimsy ones are just fine)
- Black and white spider printable (scroll down to find the link to download)
- Black and/or brown crayons
- Large craft sticks
- Glue stick
- Scotch tape
- Googly eyes (optional)
Setting up this spider puppet activity:
Because I was doing this activity with my 2 year olds, I put together the puppets ahead of time. I stapled the paper plate to the craft stick, placed a bit of scotch tape on top of the bottom sides of the staples, as they can be poky. I cut out the spider and glued it to the front of the paper plate.
Altering this activity for older preschoolers:
Have them cut the spiders out and glue them onto the plate.
Making the spider puppets:
Hand your children crayons and invite them to color the spider.
When finished coloring, use a glue stick to place the googly eyes on top of the eyes on the spider printable.
Note: I should have skipped the googly eyes with our 2 year olds, as they became obsessed with peeling them off. Most of our spider puppets ended up not having googly eyes by the time we used them during circle time.
Once the puppets were assembled, I called the children to the circle time area. We used them while singing to these 2 songs:
We also used them while reading the book Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Related: Favorite Preschool Fingerplays
And that’s how to make an itsy bitsy spider puppet with toddlers.
Something fun to create and use!
Grab your spider printable here:
More ideas for toddlers:
Why I love props for circle time, and other tips: