It’s World Turtle Day! If you’re ready for an afternoon of shellish fun for all then read our five steps for budding slowpokes below. The best part of this transformation? It’s turtle-y homemade. Scroll down slowly for more.

photo: Adam Tuttle via flickr

1. Build your shell with a cardboard box. Cut some arm and leg holes so your kiddo can retreat into his or her shell with ease. For a bigger shell, use cushions from your couch to build a home big enough for everyone to join in! For a simpler design, use a backpack. The bigger the better of course, but the key here is to protect the back from exposure.

2.With summer sun rolling in, this is the perfect time to be a turtle! Bask in the sun by the pool or in your backyard. Just remember to wear sunscreen because as appealing as being a turtle is today, leather skin isn’t. (Okay, so this one you have to leave your house for this one).

3. Many turtles display net-digging behavior. They tend to build a chamber as deep as their hind legs can go, so hit up the beach or a sandbox for a day of fun. Of course, a turtle’s hind legs are much shorter than your reptilian-to-be, but we’re sure the digging will be just as fun.

4. Although they seem rather slow, turtles are great navigators. They can easily climb through rough territory or walk around an obstacle. Head to the playground to develop those exceptional outdoor skills, but remember to do it all slowly and carefully. It’s the key to being safe.

5. Turtles are unique feeders. Depending on the species, they can be carnivores, herbivores or omnivores! Some even show tendencies to be carnivores as hatchlings before becoming herbivores as adults. But you know what’s not in their diet? Processed foods (although pizza might be okay). So if your little one is all for eating a turtle-diet, make sure they get their fill by eating whole and clean foods.

What meal do you plan for your “turtles”? Let us know in the comments below!