Don’t Worry, Be Crabby

don't worry be crabby

Did you know that hermit crabs are surprisingly multi-talented? In fact, they can do anything you can do, and we aim to prove it with this awesome hermit crab hand puppet!

We read Never Underestimate a Hermit Crab by Daniel Sean Kaye (Silver Dragon Books, 2013). You might think hermit crabs are boring. But the truth is, they love to dance, read comics, do home improvement, dress to the nines, and generally live it up. They can do all sorts of things – just like you!

You’ll need:

  • 1 small box (ours was 4.5” X 4.5” x 6”)
  • 2 paper cups
  • White poster board
  •  Hermit crab decorating supplies (more on this later!)
  • Scissors, glue, and tape for construction
  • Hot glue

finished hermit crabAssembling this hand puppet is incredibly easy. The eye stalks are made with white poster board (we used dot stickers for the pupils, but markers work too). Next, cut 2 paper cups cut down to 2.5″ and attach them to the bottom of the box. Notice that the narrower, tapered ends of the cups are towards the front of the box, and the edges of the cups are flush with the front of the box as well. Attach the cups with hot glue, and then reinforce them with tape so they really stay on!

hermit crab cupsThe shell is a 6.75″ x 17″ piece of white poster board arched over the box and secured to the sides of the box with tape or hot glue. The shell sticks out behind the box about 1.5″ to hide the puppeteers arms a little.

hermit crab shellWe recommend decorating the shell before you attach it to the box of course. We brought out patterned tape, color masking tape, fabric flowers, sparkle stems, craft ties, self-adhesive foam shapes, ribbon, and the Bling Bin.

finished hermit crabTo operate the puppet, simply slide your hands into the paper cups. To celebrate the book’s can-do attitude about the abilities of hermit crabs, we played a couple rounds of crab soccer with jumbo pom-poms and little plastic basket goals. Score!

crab soccer

Our copy of Never Underestimate a Hermit Crab is a special edition to benefit PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society). PAWS is a non-profit that serves pet owners and rescue organization that help Philly’s 30,000 homeless, unwanted, and abandoned pets get basic care. I just wanted to give a shout out to Daniel Sean Kaye and Silver Dragon Books for their big, caring, hearts.