Are you looking for an easy Halloween STEM or STEAM activity for kids? I have a quick Halloween Robot Spider Craft that you’re going to love. Design a Halloween spider or any creature of your choosing. Then, add a vibrating motor to make it move. It’s a very simplistic robot but super fun to make. Be sure to watch the video to see how they move.
Halloween Robot Spider Craft
There are many material options for this STEAM project. Raid your recycling bin and see what you can use as the body of your Halloween robot spider.
Try one of these options for the robot spider body:
- cardboard tube (toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, or whatever you have on hand)
- plastic cup or yogurt container
- small box
- pipe cleaner spider
Next, you need to decorate the spider. We chose colored masking tape. You could also paint the spider body, cover it in paper, or use duct tape.
Finish the spider off by adding eyes and legs. We used pipe cleaners for the legs. You could also try paper or yarn. We found that hot glue worked better at attaching the eyes to the tape than white glue. (Ask an adult for help using a hot glue gun.)
How to Add a Motor to Your Halloween Robot Spider Craft
There are a few options here as well. You can build a simple circuit with a motor and a battery. See Science Spark’s scribble bot for an example. What we did was a bit simpler (and probably more cost effective). We used electric toothbrushes from the dollar store. If your spider body is long enough, you can just attach the toothbrush to it with tape. Our cardboard tubes were too short. I snapped off the top of the toothbrush (it easily broke) and taped off the top with electrical tape to cover the hole and protect from any potential sharp plastic. Breaking the toothbrush is a job for an adult.
Be sure to leave space to access the on/off switch. Once we added the toothbrush bottoms to the cardboard tubes, we noticed they did not move as expected. The pipe cleaners got in the way of moving the larger cardboard tube. We taped craft sticks inside to raise up the spider and limit the pipe cleaners’ touching the ground.
We also had a problem with the smaller cardboard tube (a toilet paper roll). The cardboard tube wouldn’t move while it was upright (even without pipe cleaners), but it did move when the tube was on its side. We added pipe cleaners to the bottom. This kept the spider from moving as well. Covering the pipe cleaners with more masking tape reduced the friction and allowed the spider to move freely again.
Use a Hexbug to Power Your Robot Spider
Do you have any hexbugs on hand? They are little robots that moves due to vibration. Attach a hexbug to your spider body or simply place the cardboard tube over the hexbug. The hexbug is about as wide as the tube.
I attached our hexbug to a pipe cleaner spider. The pipe cleaners create too much friction for the hexbug to move, so you have to lift up the spider. I used black cardstock.
Here’s the bottom view of the robot spider.
You could create all sorts of costumes for your hexbugs. Try out our LED robot toy. Make a simple LED circuit for the eyes and add in a hexbug to make the robot move.
Watch the robot spiders move!
Halloween robots are such a fun and easy STEAM project.
More Hands-On Halloween STEM Projects for Kids
Check out these Halloween STEM ideas from some of my blogger friends:
Fluffy Zombie Slime – Little Bins for Little Hands
Discovering a Pumpkin: STEM Investigation – Share it! Science
Halloween Fun: Spider Science Activities for Kids – Growing With Science
Halloween Ghost Balloons – Mama Smiles
Halloween Science: Static Electricity Ghosts – The Homeschool Scientist
Bubbling Pumpkin Experiments – Preschool Powol Packets
Halloween Rock Painting for Kids using Physics – From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom
Science Experiments with Pumpkin Peeps – JDaniel4’s Mom
Candy Corn Slime – Teach Beside Me
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