Books are far more than just a cute story for kids. You can explore them. Stretch them. Learn from them. There is so much possibility in books.
At Small Potatoes, we like to bring science, literature and art together to form one great big afternoon of learning.
Today we are diving into A House For Hermit Crab. If you have never read this book, it is a story of a hermit crab looking to decorate his shell, which he describes as, well, a little plain. He travels the ocean asking all the beautiful creatures of the sea to come and live on his shell.
This book has sat on our shelf since the beginning of Small Potatoes. It has been read and reread, and the pages flipped and poured over countless times. It was time to take this Eric Carle classic a little further.
Cue Sven and Gypsy Danger…our new Hermit Crabs.
These two little critters caused quite a stir when I brought them to the kitchen table… After reading the story book together around the table, we began to get acquainted with our new crabs…Some of the smalls were more reluctant than others…Once we all had a chance to explore the little critters, we started making a proper habitat. We discussed what things the crabs might need in order to thrive in our house. I had done some “Google-ing” beforehand, and some chatting with the local pet store to ensure that we built a happy and healthy home for our two crabs…We learned how to make the proper mix of saltwater, and the importance of deep sand for the crabs to burrow into. Sven and Gypsy Danger were quite happy with their new habitat, and the more reluctant smalls had a spectacular view without the worry of being touched by the crawly crabs! *We used a big jar that I purchased from Wal-Mart for $20, the water dish and crab hut, along with the food and salt for the water were purchased at our local pet store. Once the hermit crabs were settled into their home, we set about making it more beautiful for them, just like Hermit Crab had done in the story book… I set out watercolour paints and paper, and allowed the smalls to paint as they flipped through pages of the book for inspiration… Once the paintings were dry, the smalls cut their paintings into smaller bits to use to decorate the outside out or hermit crab habitat. The bits were cut, (providing great small-motor practice), and the decorating began… We used bits of scotch tape to attach the lovely watercolour bits to the jar. Oh, such a beautiful home they made for the hermit crabs… We keep our hermit crab habitat on our coffee table, along with the story book in the living room where the smalls are welcome to visit and watch their new hermit friends whenever they choose. Thanks for stopping by! ~Arlee, Small Potatoes
I really really like this! I am a teacher and would love to have hermit crabs in my class someday. So neat!
THIS is a really cool idea! I just may have to duplicate!
This is such a great idea for an unforgettable afternoon! My son and I did something similar with ladybugs, but I didn’t think about making some decorations. Thanks so much for the idea and the recommendation!
What a great idea. I loved the pictures there faces showed their interest or varying degrees of hesitation.
This is fab!! My 2 children can spend hours on the beach looking for crabs and we are all fascinated with the way tjey change homes etc.. Maybe these will be the new pets in our home;)
i love this, such a cute idea!!
My sons preschool has hermit crabs. They are adorable and so easy. We are considering adopting a couple this summer. How has it been going so far for Sven and Gypsy Danger?
They are great! They just came up from their month long moulting process. They dig down in the sand, moult, eat up their old exoskeleton, and come back up to the surface fresh and ready! They love peanut butter and strawberries and taking long soaks in their saltwater bath. 🙂
Peanut butter?! Ha I never would have guessed! How long do they live?
I didn’t really know…but ours are a few years old now.
I love your ideas! The kids are so engaged with what you are teaching them…they are having fun!!
I love how you bring the stories to life!!! Cannot wait to pick a book out and get hands on with the kids!
This is awesome! What great ideas on how to bring out the story in new ways and incorporate art.
Such an amazing idea. I agree children’s books are just magical! Thanks for sharing! xx Carly @swtvintaglove
What a great idea! I’m sure my son would LOVE a hermit crab!! 🙂 We just have to convince grandma and grandpa that they are easy to take care of, and it will be okay >.< Either that or we do an "Operation Sneak the Hermit Crab Upstairs Without Grandparents Noticing" 🙂
This looks so fun – and what a great way to bring reading, science and art together for the littles. We have 17 pets…but maybe we need some hermit crabs? Hmmmm. 😉
Reading your blog inspires me a lot. I am giving birth to a baby girl in a few weeks and I am happy to have stumbled upon your blog. Thank you and keep inspiring!
I just recently read this book for the first time. How fun to find out about everything you did with it! Thanks for sharing.
I love the block tempera in the wooden palette. It is so inviting! Would you share your source please?
I found it at a thrift store…barely used!! Lucky!
i love this, great idea