The teacher’s guide to land hermit crab care in the classroom.

If we have a LHCOS Local Representative in your area they are available to assist with setting up the crabitat and give a brief introduction to hermit crab care to your class.

Where should you obtain your hermit crab?

Buy it at a store? ?

All hermit crabs are wild caught and a great many of them die from PPS (Post Purchase Stress) related to the horrible conditions they endure just to arrive at a store who doesn’t properly provide for them. Read more about the abusive pet store hermit crab cycle here.

Adopt from one of our foster homes or an individual who no longer wants their pet? ?

Not only is this helping an unwanted hermit crab find a home, our foster crabs are less likely to die from PPS.

What size hermit crab should you choose?

A smaller hermit crab will require less living space. A smaller crab will molt more frequently than a large crab. Which is likely of interest to your students. Large hermit crabs may stay underground for months when molting. A large hermit crab will need at least 15 gallons of space.


Your crabitat will require a heat pad that is plugged in all the time. Is the school ok with this?

Feeding a proper diet means fresh fruits and vegetables which sometimes attract (harmless) fruit flies. Is the school ok with this?

Your hermit crabs will need two sources of safe water (fresh and ocean water) deep enough to submerge in. The water will need to be changed every couple of days unless a filter is installed. Do you have easy access to water and a drain for emptying the dishes?

Hermit crabs can live at least 40 years in captivity when properly cared for. What will become of your hermit crab at the end of the school year?


Our founder, Vanessa Pike Russell, has always been focused on education as a former educator herself. She has assembled some hermit crab lesson plans.

*2019 the lesson plans have been updated and expanded!

Download the zip file and extract to access the hermit crab lesson plans.

If that link doesn’t work you can grab them from Dropbox:

This image would be an ideal poster to place next to the crabitat or to discuss with the students.

Shopping List

This expanded care guide will ensure all of the hermit crab’s needs are met.
Request Expanded Care Guide

Refer to this guide prior to purchasing supplies to ensure you don’t waste money on unsafe products:

Buy This, Not That!

Commercial hermit crab food is almost always toxic due to the presence of fish meal (ethoxyquin) or copper sulfate. A diet of real food is very important. We sell a small variety pack that will be a great starter for your classroom hermit crab.

Variety Pack

Our extensive hermit crab food list

Our hermit crab food Foraging Guide

Claws in the Classroom

Claws in the Classroom is a brand new program for the 2018 school year. Teachers with classroom hermit crabs can receive free supplies to set up a proper habitat with the correct products.

To date educational grant programs are providing the wrong products and teachers are forced to buy the correct items themselves.

Our items are gently used items so supplies are limited and inventory will vary. First come first served but we can put you on a waiting list for some items.

We will also provide you some safe, nutritious foods.

Please fill out the Claws in the Classroom Request Form to receive your items. 

Fun stuff

Coloring Pages


Word Finds

Crab Facts & Worksheets: – KidsKonnect, March 8, 2017



Fresh and Foraged Foods for Land Hermit Crabs – My Hungry Hermit

The Complete Guide to Land Hermit Crabs and Their Care: Changing the Mindset of Hermit Crab Keeping (After you fill out your form to request supplies we can provide you with a coupon code to get a discount on this book.)

Milo the Hermit Crab Books by Daniel Kaye

Clem and Crab – Fiona Lumbers

The Hermit Crab – Carter Goodrich

Pagoo – Holling Clancy Holling

Herman the Hermit Crab – Cindy Hollingsworth

Sam and Flam–Forever Friends – Charlene Seay

Seababies Adventures – Bendideai Publishing

Special thanks to all of our generous donators!!