A Home for Our Snails


On Thursday Year Two went to the park and brought back some lovely snails for us to look at. I decided that I would make a snail habitat with both year one and year two so we could keep the snails in the classroom and observe and examine their behaviour.

I learned how to make this snail habitat during my teacher training by my wonderful science lecturer, Paddy Madden. Paddy is a legend in schools around Ireland for making school gardens, woodland habitats and for teaching children (and teachers) the many amazing things they can learn and do involving nature. You can find more information about Paddy here where he has school projects for every month of the year.

To make a snail home you need:

  • An empty five litre water bottle
  • Some small stone chippings
  • Soil
  • Some moss
  • Chalk (the snails use this for calcium)
  • A J-cloth or some hessian
  • An elastic band
  • Two water bottle caps

First cut the top off the water bottle. This is a job for an adult. Then put small holes in the bottom of the bottle for drainage. A nail scissors should work for this.

Then put some stone chippings in the bottom of the bottle, followed by about 2.5 cm of soil.

Rub the sides of the bottle with some banana skin. The snails will climb up the sides and eat it.

Put some moss or a small plant in for the snails to climb on. Add some flat stones.

Place two bottle caps on the soil, one with water and one with oatmeal for the snails to eat.

Put in some white chalk for the snails to get their calcium.

Place the snails in on top of the soil and place a j-cloth or some hessian on top fastened with an elastic band.

Leave the snail habitat in the classroom for a few days. Remember to put the snails back where they were found when you have finished with them.

Here is the photo story of year one and year two making the snail habitat:

If you want to see a video of a snail habitat being made, watch this video with Paddy Madden.

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