Monday, August 9, 2010


Within the next few weeks most children will be starting back to school – be it at home or in a classroom. So along with the rest of the world, we tried to squeeze in one last mini-vacation while los abuelitos were here visiting.

We spent this weekend en la playa, dodging waves, finding seashells, and trying to empty the sand from our pockets - and shoes, and underwear, and hair!

Our summer lessons on la playa worked their way into our conversations, but the most popular one proved to be el cangrejo!

If you, like me, have never been crabbing along the beach at night, you have no idea what you’re missing. My husband decided to sneak in a little educational activity while we were cavorting at the seashore. Armed with flashlights, buckets and a pair of leather gloves, we paraded onto the beach and proceeded to have one of the most fun evenings of our lives. Dodging las medusas (jellyfish) that had washed ashore, we eagerly searched for crabs with the beams of our flashlights. And amid shouts of “CANGREJO!!” we stumbled and pounced around in the sand chasing crabs of varying sizes before they zipped back into their holes or out to sea.

The highlight of our night was when we caught this beautiful blue crab (un cangrejo azul) …

It was so much fun to examine these fantastic little creatures and snap a few pictures before letting them go! We took advantage of the opportunity to count the number of legs they had, examine their odd little eyes, and to talk about their exoskeleton.

Here are a few on-line lessons on crabs in English and in Spanish for younger children.

I wonder, dear readers, how are you spending these last days of summer?

Con mucho cariño…


  1. It looks like you had a great time at the beach!

  2. How fun!
    Do you usually do research and prepare ahead lesson plans or educational activities to do while on vacation? Or is it just all out-of-the-blue? I think this was a great lesson. Must keep it in mind.

  3. Hi, Lisa!

    Sometimes it is a little bit of both. If I know we will be on vacation or taking a trip to somewhere in particular, I may create a little activity or lesson plan to complement it.

    But a lot of times it is just a matter of recognizing a situation as a learning opportunity and asking the kids the right questions to emphasize certain concepts or other important aspects.

  4. We used to catch crabs when I was little in Puerto Rico - well, I never caught one myself, but I know my parents and older brothers did. lol

    It's great to turn everyday activities into lessons - such a natural way to learn.


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