Creepy crawly creatures frighten most young children, and on holidays like Halloween, decorations with spiders, scorpions and centipedes can especially cause a problem. However, you can teach your toddler about creepy crawlies with fun activities such as crafts, field trips or books that can make these creatures seem less scary and more just a part of the natural world around her.
Creepy Crawly Crafts
When toddlers see spiders, snakes and centipedes as silly and cute, they become less frightening and more friendly. One way to accomplish this is to provide your toddler with a craft making one of these creepy crawlies. For example, glue chenille sticks to a 2-inch pom pom to create a silly spider. Glue multiple 2-inch pom poms together to create a cute centipede. For toddlers and preschoolers, always make sure to use pom poms and craft supplies at least 2 inches wide to prevent choking.
Creepy Crawlies at the Nature Center
Creepy crawlies sometimes seem less dangerous and scary when seen in an enclosed environment, not only for your child but also for you! Take your toddler to a nature center that has exhibits featuring snakes, spiders, insects and scorpions behind glass. You and your child can look at and study these creatures to your hearts' content without feeling any fear. If you and your toddler feel really brave, try taking a nature class on creepy crawlies at the nature center, which often has a creepy crawly visitor that you can touch and look at up close.
Creep Crawly Reading Time
Books about creepy crawlies can educate your little one about slithery and many-legged creatures without having to actually find one yourself. Your local library will have a wide selection of books on just about any creepy crawly you can think of. Take your toddler to pick out a few and read the books together. Avoid acting scared or creeped out when you read the books, or your toddler might become more afraid as a result.
Creep Crawly Puppet Show
Puppets can make anything seem silly and fun, even creepy crawlies! Put on a puppet show featuring spiders, snakes, lizards and other creatures that creep around to make them seem more friendly and whimsical to your toddler. Give your toddler one of the puppets, and you can both pretend to become one of the creatures. You could also put together a puppet show with other parents to create one that tells a story or is more dynamic.