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A House for Hermit Crab Craft

When I was a child, I got to take home the class hermit crab over a long vacation.  There is something incredibly fascinating about a creature that needs to borrow shell to protect itself and to exchange that shell for a new one as it grows. Check out this video on YouTube of a Hermit Crab changing its shell.

My children are also intrigued by hermit crabs.  There are quite a few at the shore and my husband picks them up to show the children.  And our aquarium has a nice large one:

Inspired by the story, A House for Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle, we crafted our own decorated hermit crabs.


  • print-out of a clip-art picture of a hermit crab
  • small paper plate
  • googly eyes
  • red crayon
  • watercolors and brushes
  • various items for decoration (gold stars, chenille stems, pom poms, stickers)
  • glue
  • scissors


1. Print-out a coloring page of a hermit crab.

2. Color the hermit crab’s body with red crayon.

3. Watercolor paint the background blue and green. (The crayon should act as a resist so the kids do not have to be that careful using the watercolor.)

4. Cut a spiral in the paper plate and then glue the plate over the shell in the drawing.

5. Decorate the shell. We used gold stars (sea stars), pom poms (sea urchins), chenille stems (coral), and foam stickers.  You could also use fringed paper or maribou (sea anemones), small pebbles, Easter plastic grass (seaweed), or anything else you have handy.

6. Apply googly eyes and you are finished!

Educational Connections:

  • Science: What is symbiosis? What symbiotic relationship exists between some hermit crabs and sea anemones?
  • Home Arts: If you could use any materials, how would you decorate your room or house?

This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge–we’re encouraging you to beat the summer vacation slide with fun, everyday learning activities! You can take just 10 minutes a day to find the educational opportunities all around us or get as elaborate as you like! Whatever you do, we invite you to share your experiences each week in our linky, which goes up every Friday during the challenge and stays open through Thursday.

Find out more about the Smart Summer Challenge and grab our free calendar of summer learning ideas, and “like” the Smart Summer Challenge page on Facebook.

Find more great ideas from your hostesses, Candace of Naturally Educational (that’s me!), Amy of, and MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama!

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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge · Tags: , ,

7 Responses to "A House for Hermit Crab Craft"

  1. I love this post! I just read this book this week and was thinking about looking for a craft for it. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Love this project, my daughter’s good friend is obsessed with hermit crabs- I can’t wait to share this project with her!
    We checked this book out from the library yesterday! Perfect timing Candace!!


  3. Sarah VanderVortwhi says:

    Oh my goodness this craft is so adorable I can’t stand it. We just read a different book but with the same title. Regarding your symbiosis question you should check out How to Clean a Hippopatomus by Steve Jenkins. It’s all about symbosis and it is fabulous!!!

  4. Amanda says:

    What a fun craft! I’ll have to see if our local library carries this book.

  5. Very cute. We have a real hermit crab named Omika.

  6. Shanon Dragg says:

    It’s my first visit to this web page, and I am in fact amazed to see such a pleasant feature YouTube video posted at this point.

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