Nature Books for Kids: Crawdad Creek

This featured nature books for kids Crawdad Creek is a picture book written by Scott Russell Sanders. This story is intended for children ages 8-12 years old and is about the interaction of living creatures with their creek habitat.

My Experience with Crawdad Creek

I chose this book to put on our story hour list to get a chance to chat about crayfish; a very unique and fun aquatic critter many don’t know about. However, I didn’t get the chance to organize and plan this story hour because I was on vacation this week and got to attend with my little one instead! After working story hours for three years I finally got the chance to take my little girl to one 🙂 So my experience comes down to getting to see someone else run a story hour using this wonderful book.

Crawdad Creek Crafts

My co-worker that ran this story hour went with a part process, part product craft. The story talks a lot about all the animals that use the creek, not just crayfish, and it even includes a small segment on animal tracks. My co-worker supplied two different blue construction papers and animal track stamps so that the kiddos could rip up one of the blue papers, glue the pieces on in a river sort of shape and then stamp animal tracks on the bank.

The crayfish was left out of the crafting experience but if you are looking for a craft that highlights the crayfish take a look back at my write-up for In the Small, Small Pond. For that story hour I provided the kiddos with mittens so that they could paint like crayfish. This was a fun and exciting process craft the kiddos really enjoyed!

Crawdad Creek Outdoor Activities

For the outdoor portion of the story hour my co-worker took a risk that I wouldn’t have even attempted…but I am so glad she did. She started the story hour by hiking everyone down to the river so that we could read the book on the bank! Genius!!! While reading the story she made mention to the sound of the creek and river and also passed around study skins of animals that were featured in the book. Great use of senses for these kiddos that are typically ages 3-5.

Luckily, the weather held out too or it could have been disastrous. After reading the book by the river she gave us some dipping tools and let us try our hands at catching crayfish and other river critters. We didn’t get any live crayfish but we did end up finding lots of bits and pieces of them, showing just how important they are for the other animals that depend on them for food.

Overall this book was a fun way to celebrate an often overlooked ecosystem and invertebrate. It lends itself well for outdoor exploration and can be converted to work for children of a younger age than its intended audience. Check it out if you have a creek in the backyard, city or local park and get inspired to do some dipping!

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