Friday, July 2

Frog Love

Toucie has developed a fascination with frogs this summer. (Bizarre vintage print, I know...if you think it is as awesome as we do, here is where you can print it for free)

As you can see, she is not daunted by funky water...she will go to great lengths to catch a frog for a quick

She found this one when we went to the park in the dark one night...fearless!

Can you see the tiny guy in the center of this picture? Toucie and I are both captivated by these miniature creatures.

We found a puddle full of tadpoles near one of our swimming holes earlier this summer.

Wow...we hoped that the puddle could support all that life...that the tadpoles would have a chance to mature before the puddle dried in the hot, hot sun.

We visited often ...

...watched them grow and change...

...and finally, when we saw that the puddle was shrinking alarmingly, decided to temporarily adopt a bowlful of tadpoles to take home.

We share our home with 5 little tadpoles now...and one river snail :)

There are two different species in our bowl (you may be able to see the difference between the 3 dark ones on the right and the one pale one in the upper left...that dark bit in the middle is the snail!) We don't know if they will become frogs...or toads!

Look at those little legs!

The puddle where these animals originated has since dried up, so we are happy that these 5 tadpoles have a chance to grow to maturity and survive. We will release them back in their natural habitat and hope that they will carry on with frog (or toad) business.

If you should ever find yourself with a bowlful of tadpoles to raise, here are some things we've learned about caring for them:
1) a round bowl offers great viewing (and an infinite track for swimming since they can go around and around without obstruction)
2) dark green, leafy lettuce makes good food for these creatures. You snip it into shreds, simmer it in a saucepan with a bit of water (to soften it), then freeze it in a very thin layer (we did ours in an 8" cake pan). You store it in the freezer and break off bits to feed the tadpoles as needed. We feed our 5 tadpoles a 1" square of  frozen lettuce each day.
3) make sure they have plenty of non-chlorinated water. Tap water won't do. We replenish their water with water from the river where we found them (that's how the snail snuck in :) ). If you cannot give them water from their original source, then you must provide purified water or use an aquarium treatment product to neutralize your tap water.
4) They need the warmth of the sun in order to grow into frogs. The chill of an air conditioner will slow down their development, so try to place them in the sunshine. The puddle where we found our tadpoles was as warm as bathwater and was positioned in full sunlight from dawn till dusk.
5) Provide some rocks (preferably from the place where you found them) and postion them in your bowl so that, when the time comes, the frogs have a way to get up out of the water...especially if they turn out to be toads!
6) Here is a neat site for you to explore ... I like to go learn a few things, then share what I know with Toucie.

Some of the stories we have been working with during these weeks of frog love are:

The Tadpole Who Wanted to Be a Grown-up from "Among the Pond People" by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Frog Prince  Grimms (this is only one of many versions)

Sixty-two Little Tadpoles  from "Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children" by Jane Andrews

Tale of a Tadpole by Barbara Ann Porte


  1. how neat. what a fabulous way for her to learn about the life cycle of a frog as well as love of nature. Hav you ever read the frog and toad series by arnold lobel? There is another story with super retro illustrations called the caterpillar and the tadpole (i believe but I cannot locate it in the boys library at the moment) It's super cute too. I am still curious about the name... I really thought my baby was the only one! drop me a line on my blog an let me know if you don't mind.

  2. Hi Kat,
    Can I tell you how much I love Lobel's Frog and Toad books??!! I ate them up when I was a kid, and so did my big girls. I have them stashed away for when Toucie begins reading, but we do have the Frog and Toad audio collection...all the stories on cd...that we listen to in the car on long drives. They're read by Arnold Lobel and they're just fantastic :)
    Oh, and I visited your blog today to answer your question about my name!