INSPIRATION – frogs

April 29, 2019

A guide to all things froggy: information, observing, craft ideas & frog products.

Author: Muddy Faces

Age Range: all ages

Duration: less than an hour

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: any

Tags: amphibian, frog, life cycle, nature, observation, pond

Category: * what's new * sustainability & nature

Introduction

At Muddy Faces we love frogs! Seeing frogspawn in the ponds is a strong sign that spring is well under way and warmer times are due to follow.  If you work with children who find frogs fascinating here are some ideas and resources to fuel that froggy interest.
Visit our reptiles & amphibians links section for a selection of really informative external websites.

Environmental considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing these activities. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

  • Froglife provide useful information in their amphibian survey document. Their advice is to not handle amphibians, and they give guidance on netting.

Health & safety considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.

Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • pond safety
  • hand hygiene

Froggy facts

Eating – frogs use their sticky, muscular tongue to catch and swallow food. Unlike humans, their tongue is not attached to the back of its mouth, but is attached to the front. This enables the frog to stick its tongue out much further
Drinking – instead of drinking, frogs soak water into their bodies through their skin
Breathing – frogs breathe through their nostrils, whilst also absorbing about half the air they need through their skin. They need to keep their skin moist to enable themselves to breathe properly and they secrete mucous to help do this – that is why frogs are often regarded as slimy.

Frogs  vs toads

Frogs and toads are amphibians; they are from the same family but they are different species.

The skin of a toad is generally dry and bumpy.
The skin of a frog is smooth.

Toads are toothless.
Frogs have small fish-like teeth and their eyes often protrude.

Toads usually lay their eggs in a long string.
Frogs usually lay eggs in a tight groups or clumps.

frogs head poking out of pond close up

Observing tadpoles & frogs

Observing a tadpole’s development is a fantastic learning opportunity for children. We recommend The Field Studies Council Field guide to keeping frog tadpoles for advice on keeping tadpoles.

Breeding season (March – May) is the time frogs and toads are most active. They can be spotted near ponds and other standing water, generally taking shelter on land during the day and coming out to feed at night.

Find out lots more about observing on the The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC) website.

Remember to look at the environmental considerations section (above) to find more information about observing frogs in the wild.

tadpole near surface in pond

Some fun frog activities…

Painting frogs on a disc

Wooden discs are a great canvas to get creative. A simple image painted on using acrylic pens (stays on in all weathers) can provide the perfect frog to play with outdoors.

How to

Paint the whole area green, and allow to dry.

Draw a central line and nostrils in thin black pen.

Draw larger black spots and two yellow spots for eyes, allow to dry.

Put in final eye detail to bring it alive.

If doing wood painting with children, normal poster paint works fine.

Observe the adventures the frogs are taken on by the children.

Paint a frog life cycle

Extend the above activity and create your own wooden disc frog life cycle.

3 wooden discs; painted tadpoles, frog spawn and frogs

Painted frog pebbles

Like the wooden discs, pebbles can provide the perfect canvas to create your very own frogs.

How to

Paint up some pebbles using acrylic pens.

Number the frogs on their bellies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Find a bucket or tub – the deeper the better.

Sing the song “Five little pebble frogs” and plop the stones into the bucket as they jump into the cool pool. Lots of splishing and splashing!

Find the frog…

Find a hiding place for your frog and get a friend to see if they can find it. A simple game but so much fun!

Play frog tic-tac-toe

Paint and create your own tic tac toe (aka noughts & crosses) and see if the frogs can eat the flies.

See our festive tic tac toe activity for inspiration.

frog tici tac toe painted frogs and flies on wooden discs

Clay frog life cycle

Create your own clay frog life cycle.

Sing some songs…

5 little tadpoles

Five little tadpoles swimming near the shore.
The first one said, “Let’s swim some more”
The second one said, “Let’s rest awhile”
The third one said, “Swimming makes me smile”
The fourth one said, “My legs are growing long”
The fifth one said, “I’m getting very strong.”
Five little tadpoles will soon be frogs.
They’ll jump from the water and sit on logs.

Little green frog

Stick out your tongue on every 2nd “Mm” and open your mouth wide for any Aahhs!

Mm, mm went the little green frog one day,
Mm, mm went the little green frog,
Mm, mm went the little green frog one day,
And they all went mm, mm, aahh!
But!
We all know frogs go (clap)
Lah-dee-dah-dee-dah! (clap)
Lah-dee-dah-dee-dah! (clap)
Lah-dee-dah-dee-dah!
We all know frogs go (clap)
Lah-dee-dah-dee-dah!
They don’t go mm, mm, aahh!

A funny frog puzzle

A frog jumped into a big bucket of milk – how did it manage to get out?

A frog was hopping around a farmyard when it decided to investigate what was in a metal pail. Being a little too curious, he wanted to see what the white liquid in the pail was and oops he toppled into the pail half-filled with fresh milk.

As he swam about, trying to reach the top of the pail, he found that the sides of the pail were too high and steep to climb out. He swam down and pushed off the bottom of the pail but found it too deep. He kicked his legs as fast as he could trying to propel himself out of the pail.

Whatever he did he just couldn’t escape. But this frog was determined not to give up, and he continued to struggle. He kicked and squirmed and kicked and squirmed, until at last, all his churning about in the milk had turned the milk into a big hunk of butter.

The butter was now solid enough for him to climb onto it and get out of the pail.

Never give up!!

Our froggy play

Our boys were not too interested in the song, but played for ages bombing flies (painted on discs) with froggy pebbles and trying to sink them. If you get it right (or cheat by placing a frog on top of a fly carefully), a frog pebble can hold a fly at the bottom of the bowl.

When the boys discovered the numbers on the bottom of the frogs they discussed lining them up in order and then jumping them into the pool one by one.

They soon returned to the splashing and fly-bombing frogs!