Home > Nature Study and Activities for Kids > Exploring outdoors – Snails

Exploring outdoors – Snails

With all of the wet weather in the UK recently we have taken the opportunity to look for some snails. So J and T went hunting in the undergrowth that is one of our flower beds (yes maybe I need to do a little weeding but I love the greenness of it!).

snail hunting for toddler and pre-schoolersJ is extremely good at spotting bugs – whether because he is closer to them or because he has great eye sight I will never know but very quickly he had found some snails in the bush.

finding snail
J finds a snail

J is really careful when he finds bugs in the garden – I guess because I’ve spent time with him last summer and over the autumn, winter and spring showing him how to pick them up and not squash them but he carefully picked them off the leaves on the bush and handed them to me.

J amazed as the snail comes out of it's shell

Again it was one of those awe and wonder moments, and when the snail popped out of it’s shell and walked across my hand towards his made his day, or so we thought until I helped get his and T’s hands flat so that the snail could go over all of our hands.

Toddler holding snail
J and T observing snail crawling across their hands

Snail hunting is new favourite past-time of J’s and he will hunt and hunt for them in the bushes at the back of the garden. He’s getting better and finding them in the shade underneath the leaves and bringing them to the top of the leaf, watching them and then putting them back in the shade again.

Our book link for Snail Hunting is Who Ate All The Lettuce. This is a great pop up book on an explore around Farmer Ted’s garden to find which of the beasts has eaten the lettuce. There is a slime trail to follow and lift the flaps as well as great pictures of the different creatures from Bees to frogs to snails and slugs.

The Rhymes are funny and encourage the children to follow the words as they are written along the slime trail. J will frequently pick this as one of his bedtime books and it’s well worth a read of.


  1. Every year we create an indoor snail garden.
    This year the children helped design it.
    We grow grass then bring snails in from families gardens.
    We love watching them come out of their shells and slowly move around and out of the garden.
    We’re constantly raining on them so their garden stays moist.
    It’s an activity that I look forward to every spring.

  2. Its lovely to see the look of wonder on J’s face, he is so careful and gentle when he picks up the bugs to look at. A great post.

  3. You are braver than me. My son has loved snails and frogs lately, too. I’m fine if he wants to touch them but I’m a little squeamish and say “no thanks” when he tries to hand them to me.

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