5 Free Stories and Activities Chosen by SPIDER Editor Maria Hlohowskyj

With families at home and looking for enriching activities, we’ve turned to our editors for special recommendations. Here are five ideas selected by SPIDER Magazine editor Maria Hlohowskyj!

Watch the Birds

Have you and your family ever looked at birds together? I’m crazy about birds, so I was happy to read in Audubon magazine that many families with young kids are turning to bird watching while in self-isolation. April’s Spider is full of bird stories, from movie-star birds in “Doodlebug and Dandelion” to real-life Honeyguide birds of East Africa in “A Sweet Deal.” Read the stories together, and then go bird watching in your own neighborhood or backyard!

Meet the Bees

Spider’s April issue is buzzing with bees! Read “Emma and the Honey Thief,” about a clever girl who learns to overcome her fear of honeybees. I’m partial to bumblebees, like those featured in “Bees” by Orel Protopopescu, a great poem to read aloud or even memorize! Spring is a great time to spot cute and fuzzy bumbles buzzing around outside.

Let Your Mind Wander

One thing I miss right now is visiting the library. I know lots of Spider readers feel the same! Revisit one of my favorite library stories, “The Draw-Anything Drawing,” by Maggie Murphy, from our January issue. It’s a great story for when you’re cooped up at home, because it’s all about the creative power of letting your mind wander. After reading the story together, challenge your young artists to “draw anything,” and let them go on an imaginary adventure of their own.

Send Some Snail Mail

Looking for something to do? Write to Spider & Friends! Readers love sending mail to our buggies, and we love getting their letters and artwork. Writing letters is a fun, low-pressure way for kids to practice writing, spelling, penmanship or typing, and more. Plus, we may publish your letter in Spider’s Mailbox. Either way, somebuggy will always write back. Send letters to Spider’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 300, Peru, IL 61354 or spider@cricketmedia.com.       

Visit a Virtual Museum

Before I was editor of Spider, I visited Allison Sacerdote-Velat at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to learn all about how she’s working to save endangered (and adorable!) snakes in Illinois. Read all about it in “Saving Smooth Greensnakes” in Click! The Nature Museum is closed right now, but Dr. Allison and the rest of the staff are still taking great care of their animals, and they’re putting together tons of excellent nature activities and mini-lessons for kids of all ages.