Tuesday, June 2, 2015

House for a Hermit Crab craft

Yesterday was my turn to host home(pre)school co-op. Our theme this month is Oceans, so I chose to read Eric Carle's House for a Hermit Crab and do a hermit crab craft.

Though lots of people have posted variations of this activity, I couldn't find a detailed explanation of how to do it. I looked at what other people did, and then I went to the craft store. I spent way too long in the craft store.

  • watercolor paper
  • fine tipped black marker
  • blue marker
  • scrapbooking paper in the following 8 colors: gray, purple, orange, green, blue glitter, blue, pink, bronze glitter
  • red pipe cleaners
  • googly eyes
  • rhinestone stickers
  • white glue
  • watercolor set
  • paintbrushes (1 for each child)
  • cup
  • water
  • scissors
  • ballpoint pen
  • white printer paper
  • red paint (like Crayola Washable)
Here's what I did:
  1. I turned to the "December" page of House for a Hermit Crab. This page has all of hermit crab's friends. Using a piece of white printer paper and a ballpoint pen, I traced the following animals (snail, coral, lanternfish, anemone, sea star) and the crab's shell, and cut them out. I used these as my templates. (I did not trace the sea urchin, but you most certainly could. I chose to give each child 4 purple strips, and have them glue the strips on top of each other to build their urchins. A third variation would be to get a bag of large purple sparkle pom-poms and use those as urchins.)
  2.  I used my templates to trace the animal shapes on scrapbooking paper. I traced the anemone on orange (and green), the snail on pink, the coral on brown, the sea star on blue glitter, and the lanternfish on blue. (I chose to use scrapbooking paper because I liked the variety of textures, but you could use construction paper.)
  3. Before I read the book to the little ones, we used red paint to make red handprints so they could dry during the story.
  4. After reading the book, I showed the children how Eric Carle made his waves. Then I gave each child a piece of watercolor paper and a blue marker so they could make their own ocean waves. (Instead of marker, you could use blue crayon or blue paint. If you use paint, you could paint waves, or you could paint the entire background blue. You could even use a sheet of blue construction paper instead of watercolor paper as the background. I chose watercolor paper because it is thick and sturdy.
  5. I pre-cut strips of bronze glitter scrapbooking paper for the sandy ocean floor, and each child glued their strip to the bottom of their watercolor paper. (You could also spread glue on the bottom of the page and have the children dip their papers in sand. A third variation would be to use strips of sandpaper.)
  6. The moms cut out the handprints and each child glued her handprint to her paper.
  7. I gave each child a hermit crab shell shape (pre-cut, watercolor paper) and a fine tipped black marker and showed them how to make a spiral on the shell.
  8. Then the children decorated their shells with watercolors.
  9. They glued their shells onto their papers, a little bit over their handprints, to make it look like their hands were crawling out of the shells.
  10. Each child added half a red pipe cleaner, bent in half for antennae. 
  11. They glued a googly eyes to the ends of their pipe cleaners.
  12. Next, they decorated their sea animals (tiny circles on their coral, a spiral on the snail, 4 rhinestone stickers on each lanternfish).
  13. Then, they glued their sea animals onto their shells, and made their urchins. (My daughter chose to glue her snail above her shell.)
  14. Finally, they glued their gray "rocks" onto their papers.
Here are a couple of other variations:
  • Use strips of green tissue paper for seaweed.
  • Use orange tissue paper to make the sea anemone 3-D.

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