STUPIDLY EASY pipe cleaner spider craft for toddlers (no prep & no mess!)

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I love spider webs, I’ve mentioned this before.  Luckily my kids love them too!  Hence this puffy paint spider web craft.

But no spider web is complete without, you guessed it, a spider!  So having finished the spider web, time for an easy spider craft.

Spiders are not my favorite thing.  I don’t have any urge to hightail it up the nearest tree, kill them or call on someone to remove them, but they just don’t fascinate me like the incredible webs that they build.

Nevertheless, spiders are rather interesting creatures, and most little kids seem to be intrigued by them, along with the hundreds of other creepy crawlies.  I think it’s partly because they’re not intimidated by the size of spiders – unlike a giant horse towering over them or a dog pushing past them and sending them flying.

Spiders are more at their level.  And literally too. If your toddlers or preschoolers play on the floor a lot (which kids don’t?) then they’re bound to come across the odd spider or 10.

So a spider craft is sure to keep them entertained whatever the time of year.  And it’s nearly Halloween!  So if you haven’t already, it’s definitely time to try this stupidly easy spider craft.

What age is this spider craft suitable for?

This was not the original spider craft I intended it to be. I had another one in mind and it was super simple for me.  Not so much for my 2.5 and 4-year-old.  As in, I ended up doing it for them.

I don’t see the point in that.  I’m a big believer in kids being able to create their craft with as little outside assistance as possible. Even if the end result is one giant mess – in that process of creation and experimentation with different colors, materials and textures your toddler is going to have a blast.

If the end result ends up anything like intended that’s just a bonus in my opinion!

But this spider craft really is stupidly easy.  My two toddlers loved making them and playing with them afterwards… Then turning them into other creepy crawlies…


Easy pipe cleaner spider craft for toddlers


Firstly, some fun spider web facts for your child

I always try and explain what we’re making and throw in a few interesting related facts along the way.  Young kids just love to learn.  Like a sponge, is the saying I think.  So you really have to start watching what you say – no good if you have road rage!

Anyway, generally this sponge-like tendency is an absolute pleasure.  They interest my kids take in what I’m saying is only going to last so long!

So here are some simple spider and spider web facts that my kids loved hearing about.  It’s all very basic and I’ve written it in ‘toddler speak’ – my nearly 4 year old understood pretty much all of this, as much as I can tell.  (Not that it stopped the ‘why’ questions though!)

  • A spider is an ‘arachnid’* a bit like an insect (an ant is a good example of an insect they’ve probably seen)
  • Spiders have 8 legs and lots of very small eyes
  • Spiders make their spider web from silk which is very strong (stronger than metal)
  • They use the web to catch their prey (their food)
  • This silk is very thin and very strong –  much stronger than metal

*Don’t be afraid to throw in new words like arachnid because this is quite an easy one to say.  I love hearing my toddlers trying to say new words of the first time! Or even not-so-new words they still can’t say – biscuit is still ‘bis-dic’.

What will your toddler learn while creating these easy pipe cleaner spiders

A few things about spiders and spider webs, of course (see spider facts above).

This spider craft is as much an activity as a craft.  Just pushing pipe cleaners (the legs) into a body of playdough.  Then sticking on some googly eyes.

Oops, I think I’ve pretty much given the game away – it really is that simple.

Anyway, playing with playdough is such a wonderful activity for toddlers.  A sensory activity that works the fingers and hands, gets the imagination going and the creative juices flowing.  There are seriously a ton of important developmental skills at work when playdough is involved, as Parenting Chaos writes about in more detail here.

Counting: you can count those legs as you go – make sure there are 8! (Not 6 – insects have 6.)

The ‘how-to’ of this easy spider craft


Supplies for easy spider craft

1 – Gather supplies

You need:

  • Pipe cleaners – a bunch of various colors, at least 2 of each color
  • Playdough – bought or homemade (I used this homemade playdough recipe from Emma Owl)
  • Googly eyes – the non-sticky ones preferably

2 – Make playdough body

Get your toddler to roll a ball of playdough to make the spider’s body.

So maybe your toddler decides the spider’s body is square or flat or long and thin like a snake…. no biggie – let them create the spider of their dreams!

3. Cut legs to size

Even if your toddler is quite the pro with scissors if you want these spiders to have legs of roughly equal size this is the little bit of prep better done by you.

Cutting 2 pipe cleaners each into 4 pieces gives you 8 spider legs of ideal length for this easy spider craft.  Any longer than that and the spider will look more like a daddy long legs.

For thicker legs, cut 4 pipe cleaners each into 2.  That gives you 8 very long legs.  Double-up each length to make 8 shorter, thicker legs.

Check out the blue and yellow legs of the big, chunky spider with the ridiculously large eyes at the end of the post to see what that looks like.


playdough pipe cleaner spider making it


making playdough pipe cleaner spider


playdough pipe cleaner spider


3. Stick the legs in

Help your toddler count them as you go…

4. Add some googly eyes

No explanation needed…


close up purple blurry back

large single spider

5. Done!

And that’s it.

Did I mention how easy this spider craft was!

Now you just need a spider web, like this super cute puffy paint one: Puffy paint spider web craft – fine motor control for kids


finished spider web craft single



For more no-so-scary crafts for your toddler or preschooler this Halloween check out:

For other crafts and activities perfect for Fall check out:


Useful stuff? Want to save it for later?  Want to share with other sleep-deprived mommas? Click above or pin this image:

super easy playdough spider web craft for toddlers

Got any comments or questions?

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Hi, I'm Sarah

Mum of two outrageously gorgeous and ridiculously energetic toddlers – A.K.A. not so little, Littllees.  I’m determined to give them the best without losing my mind.  I reckon it’s possible.  Most days.  

I love a challenge and have to find out they ‘why’, ‘what’ or ‘how to’  –  there are rather a lot of these when it comes to kids… 

I also love, love, love things to be neat and tidy and just so.   The Littlees normally have other ideas!  

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