This activity is a follow-up 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 as well as for counting and sorting. In terms of display, these fun little hermit crabs would look adorable added to an underwater mural.

Supplies Needed:

Hermit Crab worksheet

crayons, markers, or paints (+ brushes, smocks and cleaning supplies)

liquid glue (+ brush)


styrofoam bowl


strong glue (Tacky or hot glue)

wiggly eyes (optional)



*The sand and seashells can be put into a sensory table ahead of time for students to explore. Provide labeled cups to encourage sorting and counting of the shells.


  1. Color or paint Hermit Crab worksheet.
  2. Once dry, cut out. (For some students it may be helpful if the bottom legs are pre-cut ahead of time.)
  3. Add wiggly eyes.
  4. Brush glue onto 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 bowl. Tacky glue will work well for this or a bit of hot glue. It should be obvious that hot gluing would most definitely be done by the adult.
  9. Once the bowl is completely dry, glue the hermit crab to the underside of the bowl.

A House for Hermit Crab image inspired by original author and illustrator, Eric Carle.