Hermit Crabs : Read. Go. Play.
On our Weekend in Biloxi, MS our twins discovered hermit crabs. When we got home I immediately pulled out A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle for them which they loved. The Virtual Book Club for Kids author this month is Eric Carle so it seemed like a perfect time to share our Hermit Crab project.
GO. The Beach (Biloxi MS)
On our last day there, my husband was walking along the beach with our son and they spotted a little shell. Inside of the shell was a hermit crab. My husband scooped it up with a bucket and brought it over to our daughter on the sand bar. There they gently placed it on the sand and watched to see what would happen. This required more patience than we originally anticipated, but eventually the little hermit crab popped its antennae slowly out and started to shuffle back towards the water. Our twins were fascinated (and slightly alarmed) as they watched the little shell move. After watching it make tracks across the sand for a few minutes my son called out "let's find another one." My husband and I were skeptical, but nevertheless we took off searching again. Miraculously a few yards away we found hermit crab number two. The same routine repeated itself and our kids were enthralled. When search number 3 proved less fruitful, my daughter exclaimed "I can make one!" She promptly plopped her hands into the sand and started forming a hermit crab out of the sand. Our son watched and commented "It's not moving" to which she calmly replied "It's just a pretend one." The rest of the morning was spent searching for hermit crabs, collecting shells and rocks, and thinking about our discovery.
(Read more about our weekend in Biloxi MS in this post)
READ. A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
A House for Hermit Crab is a classic and where we started reading more about hermit crabs, but there were others we loved as well. These are the best books on the subject that we had in our home library and borrowed from the library.
HERMIT CRAB BOOKLIST for PRESCHOOLERS
(affiliate links included below)
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
Hermit Crab gets a new house and sets about decorating it with things he meets in the sea. Fun under the sea vocabulary with classic Eric Carle illustrations. There is also a shortened board book version available. 2+
Octopus Oyster Hermit Crab Snail: A Poem of the Sea by Sara Anderson
Fun poem about a variety of animals that live under the sea. We loved this one. 2+
Moving Day by Robert Kalam
Sometimes it isn't easy for a hermit crab to find a new home. This silly book is a great read aloud about one hermit crab's hunt for the perfect shell. 3+
Herman the Hermit Crab by Cindy W Hollingsworth
This book reminded us of our trip to the beach. Poor Herman's shell is much too small. Soft book that will make you think about shells differently. 3+
10 Little Hermit Crabs by Lee Fox and Shane McG
There are 10 little Hermit Crabs but one by one they disappear in classic counting book style. Playful text, great vocabulary, and happy reunion at the end. 2+
Platypus by Chris Riddell
I know what you're thinking - this is a platypus, not a hermit crab. This adorable book is about a platypus at the beach who has a shell but then can't find it because surprise! there was a hermit crab inside. Part of a darling series of books for little ones. 2+
PLAY. Seashell Drawing Prompt
Our twins were fascinated by the idea of something living inside a seashell and seashells became an interesting part of our unit. We did a few different activities with the shells, but this was the first and a favorite.
Basket of Seashells
This was set up as a simple invitation on the art table. There are a lot of ways to use the seashells and the open ended nature of the invitation encourages them all. Here are some of the ways our twins played with this invitation:
*Explore the seashells with their hands
*Arranged the shells in patterns
*Drew pictures of their favorite shells and added hermit crabs
*Imaginative hermit crab play
*Sorted the seashells
The seashells were an invitation that was repeated over several days. Each day at the end of the play time the shells were all placed back in their baskets and the drawing materials were returned to the art shelf.
Books Reviewed Below
Access to the Beach (optional)
*Watch a Couple of Videos on Utube. We especially enjoyed this reading of Is This A House for Hermit Crab?
*Go somewhere else to observe hermit crabs like a pet store or aquarium.
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