Several years ago I ran a geography homeschool co-op with several different families. Every week I’d teach a couple of different geography lessons going over different states. When I was looking up information about Delaware I discovered horseshoe crabs are one of their state animals. Well, horseshoe crabs are really interesting animals, and then today when we went to the Texas Aquarium we saw them in real life, and I remembered our horseshoe crab craft, so here you go, a brand new science lesson in the swimming creatures series.
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Our inspiration book for the horseshoe crab craft
Crab Moon: A young child (can’t remember if it’s a girl or a boy) goes to the beach for the summer and gets to see the horseshoe crabs come to shore to lay their eggs and watches as they go back out.
Supplies for our horseshoe crab craft
How to make the horseshoe crab craft
1. Give the kids some brown, green, yellow, black, and white paint.
Now, if they’re my kids they’ll promptly mix that into a nice brown yucky brown color.
Ideally, they’ll use those different colors to show the muted tones that make the horseshoe crab blend into the sand floor and make it harder to find. But, hey muddy brown works too.
2. Let them have at it. You want the whole thing painted if you can convince them to.
My kids happily painted the whole thing. The other boy with us grudgingly did so.
Then we went and read the story while we waited for the paint to dry. Afterward, the paint was still wet, so we read another story.
And finally, I gave up. And decided to go ahead with the next step.
3. Use your hole punch to punch two holes right next to each other and slightly overlapping. This takes a bit of hand strength, so it’s probably a step for an adult.
4. Double up your yarn, and thread the yarn through, then tie a knot. At the end of the yarn tie a knot so it’s one long tail together.
Now turn the kids loose to draw on any extra features they want on their horseshoe crab. My kids were all quite convinced we needed eyes on our crabs.
Admire your shiny new crab. Isn’t he cute? Okay, it’s more the cute only a mother could love, but still cute.
My kids loved him and spent the rest of the day playing with their crabs, and then had to run up and tell Jeff all about their crabs when he came home. Sounds like a hit to me.
Learn more about horseshoe crabs
While Crab Moon is a great lesson about horseshoe crabs, we learned a bit more when we visited the Texas Aquarium, and I got a fun video of one moving around, which just fascinated me.
They are primarily predators and eat other small crustaceans, clams, and other small sea life.
More great learning fun for early elementary
Since we first studied this in first grade, let’s see what else I can share that happened around then.