You Inspire me to...Listen… like a spider


Even though most spiders have 8 eyes, a lot of web-weaving spiders can’t see very well.
They ‘listen’ to the sounds made by the strings of their web to know when they have caught prey and how big it is. Bigger prey makes the web vibrate (wobble) more, just like bigger strings on stringed instruments make deeper sounds.
Try making your own musical instrument so you can listen like a spider.

What do I need?
  • Some elastic bands of different sizes.
  • A small box (something about the size of a lasagne box or pet food box is ideal).
  • Scissors
What am I doing?
  • Cut a hole in the middle of one side of your cardboard box.
  • Put your elastic bands around your box, over the top of the hole. Try to put them in order, from smallest to largest.
  • Play your musical instrument by plucking the elastic bands. Each one should make a different sound. This is like the different sounds made by different sizes of prey on a spider’s web.
  • If you have time or materials you could paint or decorate your instrument.

Hints and Tips

  • Experiment by making instruments out of different shapes/sizes of box or different types of container. Anything with a hole should work.
  • You could try stretching your elastic bands over the top of a can, or a jar. How does the different container change the sounds you make? Is the sound louder or do the notes sound different?
  • Can you make up a tune on your musical instrument?
  • Maybe other people in your family could make an instrument too and you could start a family band!

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