If you were to ask me what in my opinion is the best classroom pet to have I would say hermit crabs. Ideally it's best to have atleast one representative from each of the five kingdoms such as a reptile, bird, mammal, amphibian, and/or fish. This admitedly it is a lot of work or too much work. If you are looking for a super easy classroom pet that never stinks, is fascinating, and commands a certain amount of self control from the children, then you should seriously consider hermit crabs. Expect the inital cost for substrate, serving dishes, thermometer, spray bottle, hard water treatment and humidity gauge.You may also consider luxuries like a heating pad, light fixture, salt water treatment and/or something for them to hide under when they don't feel like burrowing. Hermit crabs are so much fun. I must admit that they were kind of creepy to me at first but as I learned to care for them and taught the children to care for them, I came to enjoy them. You will find a set of hermit crab care instructions that I put together from reading all about hermit crabs. I printed this sheet out, cut it out and taped it to the side of the terrarium so that whoever caring for the little guys in my absence knew how to care for them too. Just below the care sheet are three part cards & a book to be presented to the children as interest is sparked. Enjoy! :)
HERMIT CRAB HABITAT CARE instructions:
· Check the glass and soil for signs of moisture if any of these parts are dry to the touch then spray the crabitat
· Replenish the water with fresh bottled water or treated tap water – only one drop of blue chemical to treat tap water please
· Replenish crab pellets one for each hermit crab and a tablespoon of assorted foods (see diet details below)
· Turn the soil and spray as the soil may get too dry
· Hermit crabs are great escape artists always keep an eye on them when they are out of their crabitat.
· Handling hermit crabs can be tricky. Please pick them up by the shell using your index and thumb fingers. Hermit crabs are known to pinch so never hold the hermit crab on your bare hand.
· Always wash your hands before and after feeding or handling hermit crabs.
HERMIT CRAB DIETS :
Here is a small list of some foods that they can be given from the 4 basic food groups for a Hermit crab:
· Bread and cereal group: dry cereals, bread, crackers, cooked rice, popcorn(popped), cookies, biscuit pieces, cooked pasta, oatmeal and cornmeal.
· Fruit group: (cut into small pieces) apples, bananas, peeled grapes, pears, avocadoes and coconut meat.
· Vegetable group: spinach, lettuce, broccoli, bean sprouts, cooked beans and potato's
· Meat group: fish and shellfish cooked or raw, meat, cooked bacon pieces and peanut butter.
· Do not feed: any acidic or dairy foods
Location, location, location!
Choose a spot for the crabitat where you will see the crabs often, making it easier to remember to feed, water and look after them. Keep in mind that they are nocturnal, and will be livelier at night so a bedroom is usually the worst place to house them.
parts of HERMIT CRAB BOOK