Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spider Toss and Tally {Multiplication and Letter Practice}

It's shocking how much fun you can have with black electrical tape and a plastic spider. Just ask my boys! Or my husband for that matter (he even got in on the action with this activity).

Prep is simple. Grab a roll of black electrical tape and some scissors. Cut pieces and place them on the carpet in the shape of a large spider web. Our web had 18 negative spaces between the electrical tape lines.

Multiplication Practice
I made 18 multiplication fact cards (the majority of the problems are the fearsome 15 that often trip kids up). I put one answer each on 18 sticky notes. I placed one note inside each of the spaces in the web.

Now, with a scratch pad and pencil and one big plastic spider, we were ready to play. My oldest son turned over the first multiplication fact card, answered the problem, located the answer in the web, and gave the spider a toss. He got two points for correctly answering the problem and if he could land the spider on the space in the web with the answer, he got a bonus point. 

This was harder than you can imagine. You'd think our spider had springs in his legs, the way he bounced!

We took turns, and made tally marks on our paper to keep score. When we'd gone through all the problems, we counted our marks to see who won.

Download a 3-page PDF of the 18 multiplication problem cards for free from Google Drive here. Answers: 56, 36, 27, 12, 63, 42, 24, 18, 72, 48, 28, 21, 54, 32, 24, 64, 49, 81.

Letter Recognition (PreK)
For our 4-year-old son, I removed the numbered notes from the web and replaced them with notes that had upper and lower case letters. Since he's still struggling with letter recognition, we just used the letters A through D. I printed cards with these letters.

When he turned the card over, I told him the letter, asked him to repeat it with me, and walk up and find it on the spiderweb. Then he tossed the spider and tried to get it to land there.

He could care less about keeping score, and simply loved running around our basement each time he landed the spider on the letter he'd drawn! I love his enthusiasm!

You could play this so many ways. Have the cards kids draw be upper case letters and the web's notes be lowercase, or have all the letters be from the child's name. Pick whatever letters you like. The PDF I made includes all 26 in both upper AND lower case. Download it free here from Google Drive.

It's simple, but so much fun! 


  1. This looks like a BLAST!! I could totally adapt this to work with my therapy kids!! Love it!!

  2. You have terrific ideas. I can see that the boys had a blast with it.

  3. I have two kiddos that would be perfect for this --- just like you, one with letters and one with math! Thank you for the awesome idea and printables! I might just have as much fun as they do.

  4. Thanks for sharing such a good article.

  5. Your idea is fantastic.. I found another way to apply this game to teach and learn by heart Regular and Irregular verbs (Past Participle) for any age (even adults) and it might be played individually or in groups.. the dynamic is to put just the verbs' common endings on each space of the web; exp: "-aught" ,,possible verbs (fight, catch, buy..).. "-ied" (study, try..).. Then, Each ending will have a score (80, 50. 90pts) so, when they land the spider on any verb ending, they might win those points if in a 1min he/she/they are able to find as many verbs in simple present as possible that can have that ending and also they can win 5 extra points for each verb they find. The verbs in Simple Present will be on a deck of cards which can be placed on each verb ending when they find the space where each verb belongs.

    They can also pronounce each verb in simple past and past participle as they place them on the web. Besides that, you can add 100pts to the middle of the web by writing "all verb forms are the same" (possible verbs: let, hurt, hit, cut..)

    What do you think about this idea.?