This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Orkin Ecologist for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Halloween is fast-approaching, and now that Raya is nearly 3, we are entering the “fear” territory. Monsters, the dark, creepy crawlies – “I’m too scary!” she tells me. One of the things she has been afraid of lately is spiders. Fortuately – that’s something we can talk about!
I visited the The Orkin Ecologist website and did a little research. Did you know that of the top ten bug phobias, spiders are #1? So I thought we could take a scientific look at spiders and maybe by taking some of the mystery out of it, we could also make it less scary!
So I made her a bug observation box – a safe way to check out different bugs and talk about them. It’s a really easy project!
What you will need:
- A paper box – you can find these at most craft or dollar stores. White inside is best for observing.
- Screening – my local hardware store sells it by the foot. If you go in the spring when screens are being repaired, they may even have small scraps they will give to your kids.
- A utility knife for cutting a hole
- Hot glue gun
- Optional – Mod Podge and scrapbook paper to make a plain box more fun!
First, I Mod Podged some spiderweb paper onto the box base. After all, we’re going to catch some spiders! If you haven’t used Mod Podge before, here are my tips – cut your paper to the appropriate size, brush a coat of MP onto the backside of it, and place it on your surface. You may need to squeeze a few bubbles out. Then, brush a protective coat over the top of the paper to seal it. If you have a few wrinkles, don’t panic. Allowing it to dry overnight will usually smooth it out!
Next, I cut a hole in my lid. (It was a little difficult trying to cut a circle, so I also smoothed out the edge with my Dremel. A square would be easier but of course I bought the round box already, haha.) Cut a piece of screen to fit the lid, and hot glue it into place. Kids will need help with the lid; I wouldn’t recommend letting them handle sharp OR hot things.
After letting the box dry overnight, we walked outside until we found a spider! I coaxed it into the box (which was met with much squealing and leg-clinging). I put the lid on the box and showed Raya that it was securely inside. When we got inside, I set it aside for a little while until she was ready to take a look.
After a couple of hours and a few questions (“is it still in the box, mama?”) Raya was ready to have a look!
At her age, we didn’t get too technical. We talked about how spiders are good because they eat other bugs. I asked questions like:
- What color is it? Brown.
- What shape is its body? An oval.
- How does it move? It walks on its legs.
- How many legs does it have? Seven. Are you sure? Yes. Are you sure it doesn’t have eight? …Oh yes, it has eight.
- Are the legs long or short? Long!
- Do you still think it looks scary? No, I like it!
- What else can you tell me about the spider? It’s a mommy spider, like you! It eats flies.
Okay, so clearly we were getting away from the science aspect toward the end (for the record, I do not eat flies) but we stuck to the basics, since our primary goal was just getting comfortable with the spider. If your kids are older, you can ask more detailed questions!
When we were done, we took it back outside to let it go. And unlike catching it, Raya wasn’t afraid of having the lid off the box anymore!
No matter what stage your kids are at when they think about bugs, the The Orkin Ecologist site is a wealth of information. They even have a “featured” bug each month you can learn more about (this month, it’s the bird-eating spider… yeah, I don’t think Raya is quite ready for that one! Haha!) Orkin’s speciatly is pest control, but they didn’t learn how to keep your home pest-free without learning a lot about bugs along the way!
Orkin is also offering a great giveaway to a reader today: a $100 Visa or American Express gift card! Just pin this post to be entered to win. You can also leave a comment below, and share with your friends to get more entries. U.S. residents can enter now through Halloween! Rafflecopter will walk you through the entry process below – good luck!