Not Just for Kids
Vol. 9, No. 42
October 18-24, 2001
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Do Spiders Give You Goose Bumps?

Or do you think they’re pretty neat? Spiders can evoke fear or be our heroes. Harry Potter’s companion, Ron Weasley, met his match in spiders. Ron suffered from arachnophobia, or fear of spiders. But Charlotte, the famous spider of Charlotte’s Web, saved young Wilbur the pig. Spiders can’t really write like Charlotte could, but they do devour insects like pesty mosquitoes, so they can be good to have around. Only a few, like the black widow, are actually dangerous to people.

Spider Cupcakes

Make a neat Halloween treat by icing cupcakes with white icing. Then use a tube of black icing to draw orb-like webs on top. Add a little gummy bug inside the web.

Want to be a Spider for Halloween?
You’ll need:

  • 1 black cap
  • 1 black or colorful sweat suit
  • 8 black socks
  • yarn or string for a web

Stuff the back of the sweatshirt with a pillow or something soft to make the spider’s fat abdomen. Stuff four of the socks too. Sew or pin these onto the front of your sweatshirt, in pairs down the middle, for extra arms. You’ll wear a sock on each hand and one on each foot (plus shoes) for the other four arms.

Attach one end of the yarn to the underside of the back of your sweatshirt. This is your silk. You can wrap the other end around a plastic insect to dangle behind you or glue it to an old pillowcase in a web-like pattern and use that for your goody-bag. Draw extra eyes on your face with costume make-up. Even though they don’t see well, most spiders have more than one pair.

You’re a Spider!

Cool Spider Facts:
Some spiders have funky names: banana spider, trap-door spider, jumping spider, wolf spider, spitting spider and crab spider.

Spider silk is really strong: A rope of spider’s silk one inch thick would be stronger than a steel cable.

Spiders are arachnids. They are named for Arachne, a legendary Greek maiden who challenged the Goddess Athena’s spinning ability and was turned into a spider. Other arachnids are mites, ticks, scorpions and harvestmen or daddy long legs.

A spider can drop a leg to trick a predator, then grow it back.

The orb weaver has oil on its claws to keep it from sticking to its own web.

The female garden spider can lay up to 800 eggs. Then she dies.

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly