AKB: Echinoderms: The Ultimate Animal (Sea Stars, Cucumbers, and Urchins)

AKB = Animal Kingdom Book

The fourth group of animals we learned about for our Animal Kingdom Book was the echinoderm phylum.

You know, I bet when you think of a sea star, or a sand dollar, you have warm, fuzzy, happy memories of family time at the seaside. It’s all coming back to you now. The salty sea air. The soft and crumbly sand between your toes. The sound of seagulls and crashing waves.

Yeah, well I don’t have warm fuzzy feelings about sea stars anymore.

So just maybe continue at your own risk.

Months ago my kids kept telling me how sea cucumbers shoot out their stomachs when they get scared and then swim away. A babysitter had told them so. I didn’t believe them at all. That sounds ridiculous. And stupid. Unless, I guess, you have more than one stomach or can grow another one pretty fast.

It turns out sea cucumbers are pretty good at regrowing their stomachs.

Out of all the animals we have learned about so far, the echinoderms are the most interesting to me. (My kids are still set on mollusks.)

And, like the mollusks, since I didn’t have any sea cucumbers or sea urchins sitting around for closer examination, we just googled a YouTube video.

And everyone agreed that the video we found was AMAZING!

My first grader has been having so much fun learning about all these different kids of animals, he decided he needed to recap all he knew and drew us this very informative – or at least cute – drawing of examples in the four phylums we’ve studied: Cnidaria, Worm, Mollusk, and Echinoderm.


One of my favorite things about homeschooling is getting to see how excited the kids get about what they are learning. When I see the kids really start to get into something, it is fun to feed and encourage that desire to learn.

Which means I’ve decided to fork out the cash again this year and take the kids back to the aquarium. This time the field trip wont be so random, but will actually fit into what we have been learning.

Plus… homeschool discounts! Ka-Ching!

I just wish he would be this self motivated and excited about his piano lessons. 😉