Every week, on laundry day, my daughter loves to climb under a laundry basket and pretend she is Hermit Crab from the Eric Carle picture book, A House for Hermit Crab. She asks for a coral or a starfish to put on her “house.”

Last week, she got to meet her cousin’s new pet hermit crabs! She loved how one hermit crab wouldn’t come out of her shell, and one did. She’s talked about it all week. So, the next time laundry day came around, I decided it was about time I provide some hermit crab preschool accessories for her imagination play time! I added in some cut-and-past ordering fun, and she had a great time this last laundry day.

My daughter loves pretending to be a hermit crab when she climbs under an empty laundry basket.

First I found graphics of each of the things that Hermit Crab encountered in the book: a starfish, an anemone, a coral, etc. We printed these and cut them out. Then, we very deliberately read the book together, stopping after each friend joined Hermit Crab so we too could add that friend to the “shell.” After the home was ready, Strawberry crawled in and shuffled over the floor!

Strawberry the Hermit Crab peaks out her house to say hello!

“Hi there!”

She loved sticking her fingers under the edges. She poked at her “friends” around the sides. A bonus to having holes in your shell, I suppose!

After she tired of crawling on the floor, we got out the scissors and glue. Strawberry loves cut-and-paste activities. She enjoyed cutting out each of the friends. She quickly figured out what to do for this activity.  It has the images along the right hand side of the paper. The words “first, second, third” and the number versions “1st, 2nd, 3rd” are on the left hand side.

“Mom,” she said when she first saw the paper.”This is wrong. The anemone is supposed to be by the number 1!”

Strawberry loved gluing the "friends" into the order that they appeared in the book. It wasn't the right order at first, she informed me.

This was a perfect activity for learning about ordinal counting and to practice putting things in order! We’ve read the story so many times that this time we did not need to read the book as we put the animals in order. Of course, we could refer to it as we wanted to.

Ta-Da! She's cut out and pasted in order all the animal friends in the order they appear in the book A House for Hermit Crab.

Ah, laundry day! I’d go fold the laundry now, but honestly, I’d rather watch my hermit crab some more!

Hermit Crab Interactive Learning and Play

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