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What has eight legs?

Updated on September 15, 2011

What has eight legs?

First, spiders are not insects. Insects have 6 legs. Spiders are arachnids and they have 8 legs. Same as mites, ticks, and scorpions. Lovely family tree huh? And you thought your relatives were bad. Also insects have antennae and/or wings. Obviously, spiders don't. What spiders do have is really bad eyesight. I mean worse than me and I wear the Hubble Telescope on my face. They have to use their sense of touch to know what's going on. Hence those horribly sticky webs. But, spiders are good because they eat a lot insects, like flies, mosquitoes, and gnats.

If you're brave enough collect one dead spider and one dead insect. Make sure it's not a brown recluse or black widow. Seriously, common sense people. Examine the dead critters and discuss the differences and the likenesses. If you are not brave, like me, go to a local museum, nature center, or even exterminator. Yeah I know it sounds weird but back in Philly there's a whole museum dedicated to multileggers and it was all started by an exterminator. Freaky creepy but cool. These places will be more than happy to help you out and teach a little something in the process.

Again, get out a journal or some paper and have your child draw or write about the experience. Ask them how spiders move, what do they eat, where do they live, how they help us, and how they are different from insects and how they are the same.

Have your kids make spiders with craft suplies, like pom pom, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc. You can even make spider puppets from old gloves. One of my favorite snacks is large marshmallow and pretzel sticks. Have the kdis stick the pretzel sticks in the marshmallow. It's a spider. Get it.

Well I hope this helps give you some ideas to teach your kids about these little beasties. I'm still scared of them but at least now I don't scream for my husband to suck it up with the vacuum. I scream first then get the vacuum myself.


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    April 6 years ago

    This is so cool - I didn't realize how well you can dispel fear with knowledge!