Of Nursery Rhymes and Spiders and Things

One of the most popular children’s songs in the world is the classic “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Its first reference in print was in a book in the USA in 1910, but if you’re wondering why we sometimes hear “Eensy Weensy” or “Incy Wincy” it’s because of the song’s popularity in other countries. All of them are right – when we sing this song in our rhymes programs at the library, we sometimes invite participants to use their favorite version. Whether it’s itsy bitsy or eensy weensy or any other variant, you can find many recorded versions online.

Why not use this song to teach simple concepts to your baby or toddler, like “up and down” or “in and out.” Make your own water spout out of a paper towel tube and have the spider play peek-a-boo.

Make your own spider puppet by tracing your child’s hands. Cut out the tracing (you won’t need the thumbs) and glue the hands one on top of the other with the fingers on each side as the spider’s eight legs. Add eyes and a string so your spider can climb up and down!

Make a colander spider by poking straws or pipe cleaners (also called chenille stems) through the holes – a great activity to develop fine motor skills, and one that will keep your little one occupied nearby as you prepare the family meal.

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