Creepy-Crawly Pattern Block Mats and 13 Spider Books for Kids


Here for the collection of spider books? Scroll past the free printable mats for the
creepy-crawly titles.

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In many ways, The Very Busy Spider is the ideal read aloud for our littlest littles. I was thrilled to see that it is this week’s choice for the Virtual Book Club for Kids’ theme of SPIDERS because it so masterfully address the needs of learners in the toddler-through-kindergarten range.

The Very Busy Spider
By Eric Carle

It has…
* Repetitive text and a predictable structure that allow children to practice and master language skills.
* Animal sounds, which are easy to pronounce for very young kids.
* A range of vocabulary words to learn.
* Simple actions that kids can perform to practice their gross motor skills (e.g. roll in the mud like a pig, climb on the rocks like a goat).
* Tactile appeal in the form of flaps or raised webs.
* A bedtime ending. (Can I get an amen?)

Plus, it is a natural extension of last week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids theme: FARM

Like other beloved books by Eric Carle, this is one for the baby registry that will still have relevance into kindergarten. Scroll to the end of the post for a gallery of companion texts for The Very Busy Spider that can extend its relevancy even farther and links to more spider activities from the Book Club.

To celebrate the spider theme, I’m offering free, printable creepy-crawly pattern block mats in four different spider shapes. These will work all year long, but I will definitely be using them as a fun Halloween math activity in the next couple of weeks.


The free printable packet includes shapes to cut out and glue down—a full page with multiples of all the shapes and individual pages to match each design. However, the mats are designed in the standard size (1 inch sides) and will work with any pattern blocks you beg, borrow, or steal. (OK, don’t do the last one.) 


This is the pattern block set that we own, but I would love to get my hands on these from Melissa and Doug. I love the feel of wooden materials. Both sets include a number of mats to use. Did you know that you can also buy sticker pattern blocks like these? That’s a fun alternative to cutting and gluing for some extra fine-motor practice. 


If you aren’t yet familiar with them, pattern blocks have so many uses. They are a tactile and visual way to introduce some basic shapes, colors and mathematical language...and they still have major relevance as kids explore fractions, constructing algorithms, graphing, symmetry, congruence, and I could go on forever...

What I mean to say is: Pattern blocks are wonderful learning tools for kids of all ages. I hope you will enjoy exploring them through this activity! I would love to see what you do with the mats and connect with you on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.


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Now, the gallery of great spider books for kids.

There are some REALLY fun ones out there. Do you have a favorite?

By Gail Gibbons
Aaaarrgghh! Spider!
By Lydia Monks
Diary of a Spider
By Doreen Cronin

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