You inspire me to...See… like an arachnologist

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Spiders are amazing creatures. They use the hairs on their legs to smell with. They also have tiny hairs on their feet that help them walk upside down on ceilings and glass.

Arachnologists (spider experts) study spiders closely. See if you can make your own spider and learn about the different parts of their bodies.

A spider’s body has two parts – the cephalothorax (their brain and stomach are in here) and the abdomen (their heart and lungs are in here). They have pedipalps at the front which they use like arms to hold prey.

Spiders and their webs can be seen on display at Cliffe Castle Museum

What do I need?(Adult supervision needed.)

  • Four pipe cleaners

What am I doing?

  1. Take your first pipe cleaner and make a loop. Push the middle of the loop in towards the bottom. The two bits that stick out are the spider’s pedipalps.
  2. Put your second pipe cleaner underneath. Twist each side of the pipe cleaner over the top and back underneath. You have made your spider’s cephalothorax.
  3. Put your last two pipe cleaners side by side. Twist them twice in the middle then fold them in half. Twist them twice again at the bottom. You have made the spider’s abdomen.
  4. Place these pipe cleaners over the top of the other pipe cleaners and twist the leg parts underneath the spiders body and over to the other side.
  5. Push the spider’s legs up and pinch the ends to make it stand up.

If you get a little bit confused, download the instruction sheet we've attached to this page, and it shows step by step pictures of the twists!

And you can  find a Youtube video here for a bit more help on the tricky bits

Hints and Tips

  • You could add eyes to your spider. Remember that most spiders have 8 eyes.
  • Spiders have liquid silk in their abdomen which becomes solid when it comes out. Can you think of anything else that can turn from liquid to solid?

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