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Make a Fiddler Crab

K - 2 Activity - Teacher Directions


Students create a paper plate Fiddler Crab. Option: create a coastal landscape or diorama for the crabs.


Fiddler Crab, photo courtesy of NOAA

The fiddler crab is so named because the male has one large front claw or “pincer” that is moved back and forth when mating or to intimidate a predator. This resembles the movement of the arm when playing a fiddle or violin. There is also one short claw in front. If the large claw breaks off, the small claw grows into a big claw and another small one grows in. The crab burrows into muddy beaches. It has a hard shell over its body and eight jointed legs. It is brownish in color.



  1. Paint entire bottom of the paper plate brown. Option: It may be colored with crayons or markers.
  2. Paint or color the eight legs (including the one large claw) brown.
  3. Fold paper plate in half with white, unpainted insides together. Staple closed around the edges several times.
  4. Cut out all eight legs (including one large claw) and staple or glue legs to the bottom of the “crab” body.
  5. Cut out eyes and “pop up” stands. Color a black pupil inside the white oval of the eye.
  6. Glue the “pop up” stands for the eyes on the top of the crab shell.
  7. Glue the oval eyes with black centers onto the “pop up” stands.

Additional Activities:

Create a “Coastal Landscape” on a bulletin board, wall space or box. Have students help you. Tape or staple student made “fiddler crabs” to the landscape.

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