Nature study and science, Uncertain times 2020

Fun with snails – April 2020

Snail Henge

We usually cycle over to our church toddler group on a Wednesday, and we’re missing them all. So, the girls and I are going to prepare a little piece each week about some of the fun things we’ve been learning with a few activities which families with littlies, and children home from school, can enjoy together. Today we’re all about snails!

The girls decided to increase their (fairly non existent) pet collection yesterday by collecting snails and making homes for them. They spent the night in their bedrooms and this morning Sparkly Eyes came down most upset as she’d left the lid off, and had to retrieve them from the draw into which they’d made their escape. She told me that she thought they would be asleep during the night!

Being an amateur gardener I don’t share my daughters’ enthusiasm for snails, but even I have to admit they are well designed creatures!

Nick Baker’s Bug Book

Five facts about snails from Dancing Toes

  • The part of the snail which you see is covered in tiny glands which ooze slime
  • If an attacker tried to hurt a garlic snail it smells horribly of garlic
  • Snails use their shells to help them preserve water and to protect them
  • Their eyes are on the ends of their four tentacles
  • They don’t need to go to the dentist as when a tooth wears out another one grows in its place, like a shark.

Some crafts from her too…

Snails in a puddle

To make this snail

  • Wet some paper with your hand. Dip your fingers in paint. Make watery patterns. Let dry.
  • Use different paper. Make a circle with paint.
  • Go around and around on the circle with a darker paint.
  • Add a body and horns.
  • Cut it out and stick it on. You can cut your puddle to make it look more realistic
  • Have fun and remember to wash your fingers and help to clear up!
Snail headband

This has to be one of the easiest craft. You need to get a strip of paper to fit over your head (the one in the picture dose not fit me) cut antennae stick googley eyes on the end. (Or draw some if you don’t have googley eyes.

Chalk snail

Snails are great way for letting little ones practice drawing spirals. On a driveway with chalks is even more fun!

Shadow snails

And a poem to share. It is from a very old piano book of mine

“Slowly and painfully creeping and crawling

Poor Mister Snail, I pity you!

If on my back my house I was hauling,

Surely I’d go slowly too!”

And finally, one of my favourite ways to connect with our kids is to read a story and eat some food together. Snail stories are quite hard to come by, but maybe you can find a sunny spot in the garden, or snuggle up on the sofa with a spring/animal/house or some other tenuously linked story, or just one you all enjoy.

And of course, all you need to make your own Snail Henge is a jam jar, a few snails and some little stones. Make sure to keep the lid on!

Enjoy some time together!

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