Observing Snails

“To see a world in a grain of sand, 
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, 
An eternity in an hour.” ~ William Blake


What do you think about snails? Ok so they like to take the odd nibble on our vegetable gardens and they are a little slimy, but for Jack they are truly fascinating; mesmerising even.

These little guys have come to stay with us this week. A round vase has made the perfect observation bowl for these snails. Have you ever seen the underside of a snail? The way they move, it’s fascinating. We have been able to watch the snails, see them emerge from their shells and then make their way up the bowl, watching their muscles move back and forth. I have to admit that I was quite captivated by them, too. I moved our nature table out of the way so we could have a closer look.

I know now how snails make light work of our veggies. They are ferocious eaters. Have you ever seen a snail eat? Funny, I never really thought about how snails eat before. On the underside of their heads they actually have these quite large mouths, and boy do they eat! Jack has been able to watch these snails munching away; he stood, silent, just watching. Completely engrossed.

Soon we will release them back into the yard, but for now they sit on top of the shelves in the playroom. And when we are not watching them, the bowl has an upturned colander on top to stop the snails exploring other areas of our house.

And all this from a few slimy little snails.

13 Replies to “Observing Snails”

  1. this looks like fun company!

  2. I took a couple of snails into the classroom once, and even the rowdiest children were transfixed by the slimy critters. Your son sure is lucky to have this experience!

    1. Thanks. Jack was just mesmerised by them. I took them into playgroup last week and the kids just sat and watched them move around the bowl and across the paper. Something as simple as a snail. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? 🙂

  3. I LOVE the pictures you’ve gotten. Who would have thought those slimy little critters would be so intriguing to anyone but a little boy, but they are! Very cool. 🙂

    1. I know! When I told a few friends that we had some visiting snails they all freaked! Ewwww Snails! But they are actually pretty cool and so fun to watch. Plus they are just out in the garden so it’s not too hard to find them.

  4. What a great visiting pet. My little man has currently some visiting frogs. I will definitely need to be on the look out for some snails!

    1. Frogs are pretty rare down this way. I would love some visiting frogs though. Are they brown ones or green ones? I would imagine they are a little trickier to look after than snails.

  5. Kylie D'Alton says:

    This is the sweetest thing Kate. We’ve had aquatic snails before and they too are fascinating. I can see Jack learning about their anatomy as snails are so unique.

    1. I do love this little observation bowl, I can imagine having other visiting guests in there like caterpillars, worms and ants. The snails are pretty great and so obliging, they’ll come and say hi as soon as you get them out. I think it might be time for them to go back into the garden though. Not real nice to live in bowl for too long I wouldn’t think.

  6. I love this idea… my kids love looking at snails in the garden so it would be a great activity to keep them occupied through the day

    1. They were really fascinating; all the little muscle movements of their bodies, even I was mesmorised by them.

  7. My daughter is outside right now hunting snails. I found your blog by googling the topic. Is that dirt on the bottom of the bowl? thanks so much!

  8. These are big snails! Where did you get them? We have tiny slugs in the yard, but no big snails like this in Chicago suburbs. Thanks!

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