Monday 23 August 2010

Learning About Snails

Last week we were in Norfolk but the week before our garden bug of choice was the Snail. We were a bit slow moving with our snail activites (haha) because we were busy packing and were also out and about quite a bit but we still managed to have some snail related fun.

Things to Tell Your Toddler
  • Snails are related to shellfish such as Oyster and Clam
  • Snails have long, slimy bodies with a shell to protect them
  • A snails body needs to stay wet so they hide in their shells when the sun comes out
  • Snails come out and about when the weather is wet and dark so it will not dry up
  • Snails leave a slimy trail behind them wherever they go
  • The slimy trail protects its body from sharp things on the ground
  • Snails have two sets of tentacles; the longer ones have eyes on the end while the shorter ones are for feeling and smelling
  • A snails teeth are located on its tongue which is called a radula
  • Snails eat leaves and flowers
  • A snail will lay about 85 eggs which is why they are so common
Activities We Have Done

  • We had snail races to see who could move the slowest. Anyone who knows Garden Boy will know that he easily won these races. He now believes that he wins every race because he always comes last. There was a particularly upsetting moment on holiday when he just could not understand why Garden insisted she was the winner when she reached the finish line a good two minutes before Garden Boy.
  • We spent a day hiding in our basket shells every time I shouted 'It's raining'. This was great as I shouted 'Its raining' every time it looked like a fight might be about to break out. Great distraction.
  • We made glittery snails with an egg box and some air drying clay. They are called, Glitter Pink Snail and Green. They have since been sliding along the living room floor, having races with the ladybirds we made a few weeks ago and sometimes getting into fights with the ladybirds. Apparently the ladybirds always win but given the loss of legs and antennae I think perhaps the truth is actually the other way around!
  • We made snail biscuits.

  • Then we ran out of time before we went holiday so we hunted for snails in the garden today because it was lovely and wet. But we didn't find a single snail. I was going to put one in a pot with some leaves so we could observe it munching away. We obviously did a good job getting rid of them all earlier in the season. I should be pleased really but I would hasve liked just one snail, just this once! We spent a whole half hour searching!
  • I came across no decent snail picture books to read. If you know of any let us know.
 I must admit that whilst our Little Garden Helpers enjoyed all the activities above, they were much less enthusiastic learning about snails than butterflies and ladybirds. They are however, having fun with ants this week and they seem engaged. Maybe it was just the excitement of the forthcoming holiday that distratced from listening to me about snails.


  1. what fab ideas, thanks so much for sharing, we will give them a go.

  2. I am enjoying your activities- must try to get organised to do similar.

    I haven't read it but I know Julia Donaldson has The Snail and the Whale.
    Also check

    If you are interested in non-local ants: two interesting Australian ants are the honeypot ants (traditional food of some indigenous groups)
    and Jack Jumper ants which jump (not a great video, sorry)

  3. Hi nocton4, glad to inspire. We've had a lot of fun with garden bugs this holiday.

    _vig_ Thanks for book suggestion. We love Julia Donaldson so will def give it a go and we'll take a look at those ants. Sound interesting.