Visitors to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum got the chance to get up close and personal with ocean critters during a program yesterday afternoon titled “Meet and Greet: Creatures of the Sea.”
Instructor Sade Campbell led the program, with about 15 kids gathered around a large “touch tank.”
Campbell pulled a few hermit crabs out of the water, placing them in the children’s open palms. The little critters either wiggled their legs around, or, to the children’s chagrin, curled back up into their shells.
Campbell next took out a large horseshoe crab, holding it by its shell to demonstrate its many legs and long, pointy tail. She explained that the tail was not sharp (“It doesn’t even hurt when you touch it!”) and that the crab uses it to flip himself over should he find himself on his back.
A long-legged Brittle Starfish also made an appearance, its legs wiggling about like worms, with little ones squealing when touching the creature's rough skin.
“It was a great program, the kids get to touch the creatures and feel them, but they also learn a lot of facts about them,” said Christina Comacho, of Park Slope, who brought her daughter Nohlani Munoz, 5.
Christopher O’Connell, 5, came to the exhibit with his mother Sara and sister Amelia, 3. Christopher, of Clinton Hill, was in amazement when he discovered that the hermit crab will curl up into his shell when out of the water, but when submerged will wiggle its legs.
And in a true testament to the educational nature of the program, O’Connell was quizzed on the creatures he remembered. And he had no trouble with the answers.
“Horshoe crabs and hermit crabs!” he exclaimed.
Mya, two years old, was visiting from Manhattan with her parents Brandy and Ryder Campbell. She paid close attention when her father put a tiny hermit crab in her hand.
“She’s fascinated, but a little scared at the same time,” said Brandy Campbell.
Kate Lehman, also visiting from Manhattan, brought her 3-year-old son Roman.
“He likes (starfish), we have a couple of dried ones at home. And of course he loves water,” said Lehman as Roman picked up another crab.
"Creatures of the Sea," is held at the Brooklyn Children's Museum several times every weekend.