Many adults are leery of spiders and tend to pass this discomfort onto their kids. Although it's important to watch out for poisonous spiders in some areas, for the most part spiders are beneficial creatures (called arachnids, not insects) that perform a service by eating pesky insects like flies and mosquitoes.

Spider webs are fascinating and they provide a wonderful opportunity to support your child's skills of observation, as well as introduce the idea of being a naturalist, a scientist who studies animals and the natural environment.

Webs can be found outside quite easily during the summer, especially in protected or isolated corners of the yard. Find one that your child can sit next to and observe quite comfortably. Look for the spider and for any insects that it may have caught in its web.

Encourage your child to observe for several minutes, noticing any movements of the spider. After awhile provide some paper and a marker or crayon and invite your child to draw a picture of the web, just like a real scientist!
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