Snail shells

My brother brought my dd some snail shells he picked up somewhere. He picked them up a few days ago, and kept them wrapped up in a paper towel, and in a bag. We brought them home, and my dd put them in a bowl of water to clean the dirt off of them.

All of a sudden, she came crying and shouting something about the shells. I couldn’t understand her, so I went to see and saw something coming out of the shell. I didn’t know if it was alive, or if it was just the water making it move, but she wouldn’t calm down until I threw it outside.

I kind of figured it was maybe a dead one, but kept an eye on the others. Then there was another snail, and it started crawling around. Definitely alive. I brought the whole bowl outside on the balcony. I just went to look and there are now 4 climbing up the bowl. It’s too late to do anything with them, so they’re on the balcony.

DD would like to keep the shells, but I don’t know if that would be a good idea. Do you think that if there are still some there by morning, that I should assume that they’re “empty”? Should I just toss them off the balcony now and say they all escaped? I would go and throw them in the field next door, but she’s in bed and I can’t really leave her alone. My brother feels bad that he gave her “live” snails, rather than the pretty shells he thought they were.

What about putting the snails in some type of container with some grass and such and finding out what snails eat so your daughter can care for them? Unless she really doesn’t like snails…lol

She’s really interested in looking at them, but only from inside (I put them outside). When I suggested putting them in something more closed and keeping a couple for a while, she declined. She said they’d be happier out in the field.