This friendly little spider we made today climbs down her web on command. I adapted this activity from 50 Science Things to Make and Do. We started by cutting a circle and tracing four fingers to use as legs on each side. Eloise decorated with a spider face, and we assembled it with tape so it would be ready for play without any drying.
The friction part on the back took some trial and error (ignore those extra holes), but the best combination was this popsicle stick to rub the string, index card with holes poked close to the stick, and a few pennies to weigh the whole thing down a little. When the string is pulled tight, the spider sits patiently, and when the string is given some slack, she climbs down!