I taught preschool for 5 years, and this activity is a real winner with all kids. It’s easy to do and couldn’t get any cheaper. And there are all kinds of cool nature questions and physics questions that pop up for teaching opportunities. So what is it? It’s called a SNIRCUS. Yeah, Snails + Circus= Snircus.
So how do you do it?
Round up at least 2 kids (or 1 kid and a goofy grownup); collect a couple of garden variety snails; find paper cups, legos, tinker toys, tape, yarn, sticks, lincoln logs or whatever you have laying around.
Have the children build a “Circus” with the materials on a table or on the floor. Let them go crazy with tall towers, tight ropes, etc. Let them tell you when they’re done building.
Then, put on the snails. Behold as your kids sit and stare at SNAILS for long periods of time, or cheer with them as they encourage their snails to crawl up a straw and down the other side, or go upside down on a yarn tightrope.
You can even toss in some magnifying glasses to see snails up close, or read a book about a snail, or do snail themed art or even paint WITH SNAILS. ( Just dip a snail in tempera, set them on paper, and let them go). Make it a whole learning experience. When finished, set the snails free in the garden, wipe any snail gook off your stuff and be done!
Comments on A day at the snircus!
This is such a cool idea, our yard is filled with snails! My 3 year old is going to flip over this, thanks!!!!
I love this. *I* want to do this!
Its super fun if you dont squick on snails!
Wonderful idea…toobad we don't have garden snails in our area.
Sounds fun! I suppose those of us in the soggy northwest can just substitute slugs for the snails, right? 😉
I live in the Northwest and we have plenty of snails. Too many slugs too, but there are always snails in our garden.
You mean a slurcus?
For some reason that sounds delicious to me. Slurcus. Mmmmmmm.
Its like a Slurpee, but slimier.
And guaranteed sodium free.
oh! this sounds like fun… minus the snail part… snails scare me… O_O i stepped on one with my barefoot once. I have yet to recover…
so I think My husband and I are going to do this this weekend…I have a mild snail obsession, and yet i have never thought of a snircus, this has infact made my day!
OOh Samantha, take pictures!
The tempera paint doesn’t hurt the snail, does it?
Tempera is water-soluble and nontoxic, practically edible. If you worry about El Snail you could give him a quick rinse and a small snack of fruit or veg to help him slime off any extra paint.
We are so going to have a snircus this weekend. Step right up!
We tried it and had a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun until the paint made the snail foam up and the baby started stomping on the snails. Sad snail circus ending…