Photo of Governor Martin O'Malley with group of children - Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature

Outdoor Activities for Children

Save a Spider Web

Save a Spider Web

Early fall is a good time to look for spider webs, especially early in the morning when they are covered with dew. Spider silk is amazing stuff. Some types of spider silk are stronger than steel, and a strand of silk long enough to go around the earth would weigh less than a pound. The most beautiful webs are the orb webs spun by garden spiders. Since many garden spiders spin a new web every night, with some care and practice, you can save one.

You will need:

  • Dark colored construction paper
  • Talcum powder
  • Can of hair spray
  • Piece of newspaper
  • Scissors

What to do:

  • Find an orb web in good condition.
    • Early morning is a good time to look because they’re easier to find when they’re covered with dew.
    • You’ll have to wait until it dries off before you can preserve it.
    • Make sure that there is no spider on it. If you tap gently on the web and a spider appears, the web is still being used.
  • Pour some talcum powder in your hand and gently blow it onto the web. The powder will stick to the strands of the web.
  • Put the construction paper on the newspaper and spray it with hair spray until it is sticky.
  • Place the paper behind the web and gently move it until it contacts the web.
    You’ll have to move fairly quickly because the hair spray dries fast.
  • Use the scissors to cut the strands of silk that hold the web to the vegetation.
  • Put the construction paper on the newspaper and spray it with several coats of hair spray.
    Let the spray dry between coats.

Outdoor Activities
Children in Nature
Maryland Department of Natural Resources

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