Playful Storytelling: Itsy Bitsy Spider Story Box

Incy Wincy. Itsy Bitsy. Eensy Weensy. However you like to sing it, the traditional nursery rhyme about the little spider climbing up the water spout is a huger favourite in our home. Here in Australia we sing it as “Incy Wincy”. How do you sing it in your home or class room? We made a simple story box using recycled materials to go along with the song and R (4 yrs) has been thrilled with it. It was actually very quick to make and because it’s in a box, all the elements pack away neatly inside the box for easy storage – you have to love that!

We painted the inside of a cardboard box blue and green to represent a garden, adding some flowers at the front. On the top flap of the box, we glued on some cotton wool for clouds and a felt sun. To retell the nursery rhyme, we needed rain that could appear and then be taken away again so we painted a cardboard tube blue, and glued on some strips of blue tissue paper. The tube can be balanced on the two side flaps of the box at the appropriate part of the song, and then be taken away again as the sun comes out.

We painted one inside wall of the cardboard box to look like the wall of a house and added a water spout made from a cardboard tube covered in kitchen foil.

For our spider we cut a section from an egg carton and painted it black. For the legs, I used two black pipecleaners. I cut them in half to make a total of four lengths of pipe cleaner. Next, I made a hole on each side of the spider’s body, and threaded all four pipe cleaners in one side and out the other. I bent the ends of each leg to form a foot. To finish, we glued on two googley eyes and our spider was done.

Then it was time to play! Incy Wincy spider, climbed up the water spout….

(Enter the cardboard tub of “rain”) Down came the rain, and washed poor Incy out….

(Lift up the top of the box) Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again!

Don’t forget to pop over to The Imagination Tree to see the absolutely adorable Fairytale Storytelling Basket that Anna is sharing this week.

You can also follow all the fun via our Playful Storytelling Pinterest board.

You can see all of my Playful Storytelling posts here.

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Comments
  1. I absolutely love this! What a great combination of art, literacy, and pretend play! :)

  2. Beautiful as always, Ness!

    • Thank you Carolyn! Thanks for stopping by. I’m always so thrilled to see a comment from you!

  3. Wonderful project!!! You have great ideas. I am going to replicate this for my kids :D Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Thank you! I hope you have fun creating your own story box!

  4. My son loves this song!!! What an amazing idea, we’re going to do it surely!!!

    thanks for sharing!!

    • Thank you Camino! It’s a classic, isn’t it? I hope you have fun creating your story box.

  5. Susan McHugh

    It is so wonderful to make stories come alive for kids of all ages (and adults too!).

    These activities inspire a love a reading in children (even though this is based on a song I see that many other postings are based on books).

    My children are now 29 and 26. Enjoy your precious fleeting time with the little ones :)

    Creative minds can come up with inexpensive ways of dramatizing stories with things found around the house. (Sock puppets anyone?)

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Susan! Yes, even though my little on is only 4, I only have to look at photos to realize how quickly the time is whizzing by! Trying to savour every second of it!

  6. Robin

    I love your idea! In my PreK class we sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” with 5 verses. The first verse is the regular one. Then we sing “The Great Big Spider” with great big loud voices and exaggerated hand motions. “The Itty Baby Spider” with a baby voice and tiny hand motions is next. Then, “The Humming Spider” with no words, only humming the tune and doing the hand motions, and finally “The Silent Spider” with no singing – only the hand motions. My class loves it and it’s a great way to quiet the class as we get to the silent version.

    • How lovely Robin! I think we’ll try that. R often requests Itsy Bitsy Spider as a bedtime lullaby. Your version would be wonderful for calming things down before sleep.

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