Slug Races | How do slugs move?

Welcome back for another STEM Saturday! If you are a regular here, you might have heard about our infatuation with slugs. Yes, slugs… the garden variety, slimy, icky slugs. We have been investigating slugs for about a week, now, and have been learning a lot. Today, we are going to share what we have learned about the question, “How do slugs move?” by doing a few slug races.

Slug Races

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How Do Slugs Move?

Did you know that slugs have one foot? It’s true. We have learned that the bottom of a slug is a foot and only one of them. After observing our garden slugs for a few days and noticing the way they move, we wanted to know more.

Bones (7) thought that they moved using suction cups on their feet and that the slime was “poop” that was coming off their body. We studied all about the slime separately, and you will want to check out what we learned about why slugs have slime when you are done here.

parts of a slug
Image Source:

Setting up the Experiment


Ramp (we used a plastic lid)
Timer (optional)

Set Up:

Set up was really simple. We leaned a plastic lid against a chair. We took our slugs out of their habitat and placed them near the top of the ramp. Then we waited. And waited. And waited.

Slug Race setup

Conducting the Experiment

You might have guessed it already, but this experiment is pretty simple. Set up the slugs and watch them go (or not go). The coolest thing about this experiment is all of the variations you can try to learn more about how slugs move.

  • What surface do slugs prefer?
  • Does the size of the slug effect the speed of the slug?
  • Do slugs prefer to move in the shade or sun?
  • If food is placed at the bottom of the ramp, will the slugs go to the food?
  • If you place 3 different foods, which food will the slugs gravitate towards?

The possibilities are endless. One of the most important things in project approach learning is to follow the child’s interest and to be a facilitator for them. The only reason we have raced the slugs in so many different ways is because these are questions my boys had about slugs.

Making Observations and Noticing

How do slugs move investigation

In our initial race, we didn’t notice anything about the difference between slugs. However, we did get a very close look at the different slugs and how they move. We even came up with our own slug races with our bodies. I can’t wait to show you!

Bones was eager to set up more races when it began to rain. Today we are getting our slugs back out to try all the cool variations we mentioned earlier. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our Mock Slug Races to learn more about slime. There is a free printable that is helpful here too!


Do you have a favorite Garden Science activity or discovery? I would love to know! Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.


STEM Activities for kids


Pool Noodles and Shaving Cream for Summer STEAM | Little Bins for Little Hands

Slug Races | How Fast Can Slugs Move? from Lemon Lime Adventures
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Discover how to get siblings to get along even when all they do is annoy each other with the Sibling “Get Along” Poster Pack!

4 thoughts on “Slug Races | How do slugs move?”

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