Maryland Day Crabs

Maryland crabs
Maryland crabs

In addition to its oysters, Maryland is known for its blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. Help celebrate Maryland Day (March 25th) by making these fun crabs out of paper plates and pipe cleaners.

The blue crab is Maryland’s state crustacean, and its largest commercial fishery. Its scientific name is Callinectes sapidus, which means savory beautiful swimmer.

The second crab in the picture shown displays Maryland’s state flag–a fun way to show state pride.

Supplies you will need:

Wiggle eyes, any size

Blue paper plates, 2 dessert size

Blue, black, yellow and white pipe cleaners

Print-out of Maryland flag



Hole punch


Punch four holes on each side of a blue paper plate. Then cut pipe cleaners into five inch lengths–they don’t have to be perfect in size. Wrap the ends of the pipe cleaners into the holes around the plate and curve them upward.

Trace around the plate
Trace around the plate

For the pincers at the front, you can take an additional one-inch piece of pipe cleaner and wrap it around the end of each arm. Then add wiggle eyes.

For the crab with the Maryland flag, print an image from the internet, or make a copy from a magazine. Place a plate on the image and trace around the plate. Then cut out the circle. Turn over the plate and then with the circle image of the flag on top, punch holes around the plate. You don’t need to glue the paper to the plate as the pipe cleaners will hold it in place once they are wrapped through each hole.

I hope you enjoy making these fun crabs with your kids on Maryland Day!


Blue crabs are featured in my book about sea animals cleaning the Chesapeake Bay. Here is the book trailer for Olly the Oyster Cleans the Bay.

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