5 Itsy Bitsy Spider Dances

One of my most favorite songs to do with my three year olds is the itsy bitsy spider dance. They seem to never get sick of it. It’s such a classic, but there are so many things you can do with it that my imagination has almost exploded with the possibilities! Here are some ideas:

1) Find an instrumental version of the song. We sing the song sitting in an L put spiders on our toes and crawl them all the way to our head. Dancing the rest of the song with rain and sun! Then I add in stretches and if I feel like it’s needed my spider goes around to help the dancers. They love to see my spider and will often not do the right stretch just so the spider will visit them.

2) We pretend the spider takes on different shapes. The GREAT BIG SPIDER or the very s…n..e..a..k…y.. spider or the jUmPy JuMp spider.

3) We build one giant spider with everyone in the class. Everyone is connected and has lots of wiggly arms and legs. We practice moving the spider from one side of the room to the other while we sing the song. This is a good teamwork exercise, especially for 3’s.

4) We dance the whole song. I divide the class up, some spiders, some rain, and some sun. We sing the song very slowly and when they hear their part in the song they get to dance! They love this and so do I because it ensures everyone is paying attention.

5) A partner dance. Pair up the dancers and ask them to make a spider shape together. They go down and up together. Then one partner is a cloud and one is the rain. Out came the sun- one partner spins around the other and then they go back to their spider shape. Then we switch, so that the other partner has a chance to be the cloud and the spinner.

Do you have ideas for the Itsy Bitsy Spider song? I would love to hear if you use it in your classes and what kind of dances you do!

P.S. Other animal dances here and here!



  1. Maria,
    I just love these Itsy Bitsy Spider Ideas! We’ve used the sneaky sneaky spider, and the creepy spider, idea before. I will try some of these new ones on my kiddos! Thanks so much!

    1. Author

      Jessica, thanks so much for stopping by! I love these dances and so do the dancers. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  2. Love the itsy bitsy spider routines. Showed those to a songwriter friend whose always interested in ideas for children’s music videos.

  3. Cool! I’ll give him your link. He’s working on a set of Occupy Wall Street songs right now but that should be over soon. Or not?

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  6. I do a warm-up to Itsy Bitsy Spider! We sit in pike position on the floor and pat our legs to the beat until the words begin. We creep the spider up the water spout with our hands like you always have, but we go very high! Then we use our fingers to trickle down the rain toward the lap, and to wash the spider out, the hands extend all the way down the legs to the toes. From here, we raise up to sitting with arms in high fifth, for out came the sun. To dry up all the rain, we move the sun (or high fifth arms) right and left. Then the spider climbs up the spout again, of course! We pat our legs and keep the beat during the musical interlude, and repeat. I do this for Mommy & Me with 2 yr olds as well.

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