Umbrellas for Incy Wincy Spider

These umbrellas for Incy Wincy ( Itsy bitsy ) Spider are great fun and a wonderful way to introduce the concept of materials having different properties. The video below shows me working through the activity with my 4 year old. You’ll notice we talk a little about making the experiment “fair” which I always try to mention when we do an activity as it’s so important for designing experiments correctly.

incy wincy

What you need

Plastic spiders

Materials to test – foil, felt, paper, plastic

Pipe cleaners

Water sprayer


Build your umbrellas using pipe cleaners and tie them around the spiders. Use the same size umbrella for each spider.

Talk about each material and make predictions as to what will happen drawing on past experience and uses of each material, for example, would we wrap food in foil if it wasn’t waterproof?

Spray each umbrella from the top, use the same number of sprays for each.

Observe the differences between the umbrellas.


We found that the water stayed on top of the foil and was absorbed by the felt and paper.

We could pour water off the top of the foil which showed it was waterproof.

The paper was the weakest material as it tore when wet.

Extension Ideas

Can you think of any other materials to test?

Can you make a shelter for Incy Wincy instead?

Try our other Incy Wincy Spider activity ideas.

Links to English

Can you write a new rhyme where Incy Wincy has an umbrella?

Can you write instructions so a friend could build the same umbrella?

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Everyday Materials

Describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials

Working Scientifically

Observing closely, using simple equipment

Performing simple tests

Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions

EYFS – Early Learning Goal

The child knows about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. 


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