Overview: This is a follow-up activity to the story A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. The use of different textures in this art project can provide an opportunity for sensory exploration (suggestions offered below). In addition, the shells can be used for sorting and counting prior to the activity. Once created, arrange these fun little hermit crabs on an underwater mural, aquarium display, or in a classroom petshop.

Recommended Garde Level(s): Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First


  • Hermit Crab Worksheet
  • crayons, markers, or paints (+ brushes, smocks)
  • liquid glue (+ brush and small cups to hold glue)
  • scissors (if cutting out)
  • styrofoam bowl (one per child)
  • shoebox (2-3)
  • craft glue
  • googly eyes (2 per child)
  • sand*
  • seashells*  (2-5 shells per hermit crab)

*The sand and seashells can be put into a sensory table ahead of time for students to explore. Provide labeled cups to encourage the sorting and counting of the shells. For older students, these printable word cards from the story can be laminated and placed in the table for students to find matches.

How to Implement:

  1. Color or paint the Hermit Crab worksheet.
  2. Once dry, cut out (optional).
  3. Glue on wiggly eyes.
  4. Brush glue onto the outside of the styrofoam bowl.
  5. Place the styrofoam bowl inside the shoebox (the box is used to catch the sand and avoid a huge mess).
  6. Sprinkle sand to cover the outside of the bowl and press to ensure adhesion.
  7. Lift bowl to gently shake off any excess sand.
  8. Glue seashells to outside of the bowl.
  9. Once the bowl is completely dry, glue the cutout hermit crab to the underside of the bowl or simply glue the bowl to the Hermit Crab Worksheet.