Very easy paper and rice craft – spider web

This is a very easy activity that even babies can enjoy and you only need 2 things for it. The kids enjoyed this one more than yesterday’s paper plate threading craft. This one is particularly convenient for people who have cooked sticky rice warming in the rice cooker. I have seen this craft on other websites, but usually with glue as part of the preparation kit. For people in Japan you do not need glue for rice craft here as the rice itself acts as a glue. In fact, rice glue which is made from kneading rice, called sokui (続飯) in olden days, was the most common type of glue found in Japan for hundreds of years from the Nara period. During those times people stopped using hide glue, because butchering was prohibited with the introduction of Buddhism. Today rice glue is still used for many things due to its strong adhesive power.

You will need

  • Paper
  • Rice

Optional for more precision

  • A pencil
  • A drawing compass
  • A ruler

I used a pencil, compass and ruler to outline the cobweb for my children before they started sticking rice to it.  The easiest way to draw the web is to draw a line from one corner of the paper to the other on both sides, so that you make an “x”. Then draw a straight line from the top middle of the paper to the bottom and from the left middle to the right, so that you make a plus sign. I had a drawing compass so I drew a big circle with that.

Outline of web in progress

I then drew more circles within that circle as you can see in the example below. My 4-year-old and 2-year-old used this as a guide to where to place their rice; which is the next and last step – just place the rice on the web and it will stick! My 1-year-old joined in, granted it she didn’t stick to the lines, but she had great fun sticking rice to the paper… and eating a bit too! This is a safe activity for small children, but if you use the glue version it will not be suited to babies and younger toddlers.

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While my kids were making their rice webs I tried the glue version using raw rice. It is more difficult and messier and I don’t think it is as suited to small children.

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Just a note on the drawing compass; I got it in the 100 yen shop and was both surprised and delighted that I didn’t have to screw the pencil in like the ones I’ve used before! These come with a mechanical pencil built-in, with lead refills for the mechanical pencil.

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