Friday, 5 October 2018

Spider Week, Day 5: Watercolour Resist Spider Web

Our spider-themed week has drawn to a close today. It's been a busy one because a local baby and toddler group was having a music-making session today so I decided to drag myself out the house after originally planning to stop in all day.

My original plan was to get up at a leisurely pace, throw on a load of laundry, have breakfast and wash up, vacuum the living room and take it easy for the rest of the day, with some bonus painting thrown in for good measure.

Instead we left at about 8am and didn't get back until mid-afternoon. Then we decided to have a bath so everything sort of got shunted back rather a lot. But we did it while Mr Click was warming up the oven for tea.

What you need:
White wax crayon
White paper
Watercolour paints
Brush or sponge

Draw a spider web on the white paper using the white crayon. You might want to make sure that you've got good light for doing this. There were a couple of times where I found I was drawing over a bit I'd already done.

Set up the paints, water and paper. I tape our paper to the changing mat for art time because it means you can swivel it round easily and it wipes down afterwards. You might want to put a sheet or something down on the floor too (we dripped green coloured water on the carpet which I had to mop up with a wet wipe).

You're ready to go.

Can you spot the spider web in this picture?
What to do:
Preload the sponge/brush with water and let the little one decide which colour or colours they want to paint with. If I was sensible I'd have one of those watercolour sets with six or eight different colours to choose from, but all I had was my fancier watercolour set with the teeny tiny rectangles of colour. Laurie's sponge brush is about twice the size so it meant each time we aimed him at a colour, he'd get two or three on his brush.

Wave the paintbrush/sponge over the paper and watch as the wax crayon image appears as if by magic.

Repeat the above steps until the whole picture is uncovered or until your small person tries to eat the paintbrush.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I think I could maybe have tried to get a little more paint on the sponge for him because it faded a little as it dried and it's really hard to photograph, but you can make out the web in the picture there.

Like the spider handprint activity, we were doing this one late in the day and Laurie wasn't really as engaged as he can be in the mornings. It'd be interesting to see how long he'd have done this if we did it around morning playtime instead of in the run up to tea when he's getting fussy.

I quite like that he didn't uncover all of the spider's web. If we'd done the whole thing it wouldn't have looked like he did it.

We started off with Laurie sitting on the changing mat I'd taped the paper to (which you can see in the top picture) but part way through I realised it was a little easier for him if I held the mat up like an easel. This did lead to some watery paint dripping onto the floor, so in future I'll definitely stick a sheet or some newspaper down.

I used the same sponge brush that I'd used to get black paint onto Laurie's hand for our handprint spider activity. That worked really well for this because it soaks up the water so I only needed to dunk it twice (and probably didn't need to even do that the second time). I'd really recommend using a sponge if you're doing this with teeny tinies.

I think that this would be a really fun activity for older kids too. You could pre-draw the design for the younger ones and watch the magic as it appears through the paint, or for older ones they could write their name, trace a line drawing, design a pattern, etc.

I'm already planning a variation on this for January/December with a snowflake image and I'll keep an eye out for other variations which might work.


  1. Hi, I stop over from Laws of Gravity and that spider web does look fun.
    If you have time stop in for a cup of coffee

    1. Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you liked the look of the spider web picture.

      I'll definitely stop by your blog. :-)


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