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Make a spider observation chamber!

Study a spider’s amazing web spinning skills close-up. Remember not to keep the spiders in captivity any longer than is necessary to see them spin a silky web (about 2-3 days)

YOU WILL NEED

A box with a lid.  You could use a specialist box, or any clear tub that is of reasonable size, with a lid, which fastens, preferably with small holes. The box should be transparent though, otherwise you won’t be able to see anything!

Sticky tack or modelling clay 

a few small sticks (ice - lolly size, or twigs of similar size)

cotton wool or strong tissue

a bit of tree bark

a little soil

Optional

something sharp to make small holes with, like a compass or pin

(if you are doing this with a class, it’s probably to make sure the tubs have holes in advance)

magnifying glass (for observation)

 

Make sure that your tub is clean and dry. If there are no holes in the lid, make some pin sized holes.

Put a good - sized lump of sticky tack into the tub and push it well down.

Push the sticks into the sticky tack. They need to be stable and pushed into the shape of a ‘v’. This will give the spider two points to spin a web between. The top edges should be about 10-15cm apart.

 

Put a hand full of soil into the bottom of the tub, enough to cover the bottom.

Put some moist cotton wool into the tub. Make sure it isn’t dripping wet, you don’t want it to form puddles.

Place your bark into the bottom of the tub.

 

Now you are ready to go on your spider hunt!

 

Look for spiders in the garden or school grounds. The best places to find them are dark corners, near sheds, trees or even close to walls or flower beds. They usually aren’t too tricky to find.

 

When you find one, be careful and gentle. Pop your catching tub over the top of the spider and let the spider crawl in. Put the lid on and carry him safely to the prepared tub. Open the lid on your catching tub and allow the spider to crawl into the bigger pot. Put the lid onto the pot.

 

You can observe the spider for a couple of days (three at most) before letting it go, back, where you found it.

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