Frog Activities for Toddlers
The inspiration for all these frog-themed activities originally stemmed from Kade's love for the book "Five Green and Speckled Frogs." He dances every time I read/sing it to him and I had some frog-ish materials left over from my time as a preschool teacher so I rolled with it.
The Little Green Frog is another book that we read a lot throughout the week.
My parents made a pretty epic busy board for Kade for his first birthday and one whole side of it is felt. I have been wanting to put it to good use and this was the perfect opportunity. We started our frog week with a felt storyboard to go along with the book/song "Five Green and Speckled Frogs."
I had some felt I'd picked up awhile back from Michael's that you can also find here. I drew a frog on cardstock and then cut it out and traced it onto green felt to make the 5 little green frogs. I cut the eyeballs out of white felt, hot glued them to the frog and then just used a sharpie for the black dots in the center, and the rest of the face. I didn't have any brown felt so I had to improvise a little. I made a log on brown cardstock and then traced it onto the white felt that I had and just hot glued them together. I created a "pool"/pond out of blue felt and drew little waves with the sharpie. I cut 5 little flies out of black felt and then made 5 sets of wings with white and hot glued them together.
We read and sang the book, practiced putting the frogs in the pool and back on the log, and we fed the flies to the frogs which was Kade's favorite. We also peeped this video a few times to see it all in action and to hear a better version of the song than what I could sing. ;)
Have you heard the phrase, "one man's trash is another man's treasure?" This couldn't be more true when it comes to things like toilet paper and paper towel rolls, bottle caps, empty egg cartons, food containers, bottles, etc. These things are gold, you guys- don't throw them away! For this next activity, I dumped the rest of our parmesan cheese into a Ziploc so I could get my hands on the perfectly sized, already GREEN container.
After rinsing out and drying the parmesan cheese container, I hot glued some green paper around it and put some tape over the edge. I happened to have some large googly eyes in my googly-eye stash [yes, that's a thing] and hot glued them on to two spare bottle caps. I used hot glue to secure the bottle caps to the container but after a day or two they ended up popping off. My dear husband came to the rescue with a stronger glue to get them to stay on better.
The idea was to use these fine motor tweezers to pick up the plastic flies [you could use any kind of plastic bug, really] and "feed them" to the frog. Kade is still a little young to fully grasp the tweezer skill but I still demonstrated it and helped him try it. He is in a big "fill up and dump out" stage right now so he thoroughly enjoyed picking up the flies with his fingers to feed the frog and then dumping them all out and starting over again. I think this was one of his favorite activities from this week.
I always love incorporating some sort of a craft or art project to go along with a theme. I thought that fly swatter painting would be appropriate considering we had been talking about frogs eating flies. I also felt that the texture from the fly swatter would replicate the scaly skin of a frog nicely.
We DEFINITELY completed this activity outdoors for obvious reasons. I put Kade in a nice big t-shirt for a smock, laid out a big chunk of cardboard from a box we had laying around, and I just squirted the paint right on the box to dip the fly swatter in. We used green and yellow paint and recommend this brand. It worked well and it is NON-TOXIC. Yes this was "fly swatter painting" but it was also finger painting and paint tasting because, toddlers.
Whenever we do projects like this, I always make sure to have him do a couple of them so that I can pick which one looks best for the real deal. I had created a frog template on cardstock and once the paintings dried, I placed the frog on top of each one to help decide which would work best. I then traced the frog over the painted area of the paper and cut it out. I used white cardstock for the eyes and a sharpie for the pupils and the rest of the face.
Our next "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" inspired activity involved another random household item and also worked on fine motor skills.
I took a paper towel roll and used scissors to cut 5 slits in it. I had these laminated frogs that I'd created as a preschool teacher from a teaching resource book and I hot glued them onto some craft sticks. [Laminator hack: use packaging tape! Cover the item - both sides - in packaging tape and then cut it out.]
The idea was for Kade to put the frogs on the "log" by placing them in the slits and taking them out again. Placing them IN the slits was still a bit of a challenge for him but he sure had fun yanking them out and carrying them around. ;)
The final activity we did for our frog week was some water play. We saved this one for the weekend so dad could play too. ;) It's a good thing we did because dad took the idea of a frog-themed water table to a whole new level... [you'll see what I mean]
I ordered some craft foam and made a few lily pads, and I ordered these little plastic frogs that sat perfectly on top of them. I loved that the lily pads floated so nicely on top of the water and stayed afloat even with the frogs on them- so fun! I had the big frog and the three baby frogs from when I taught preschool- this is basically the same thing. I also threw in some large green glass vase filler/crafting gems that you can find here. I always try to incorporate something for scooping, dumping, filling, etc. so I threw in a big spoon scoop and a plastic bowl. Kade enjoyed trying to scoop up the little frogs and dumping them into the bowl. He also liked scooping the water out and dumping it on himself. :)
Here was Kyle's contribution... apparently these guys were hanging out in our window well...
Kade was in awe seeing all of the "hoggies" [his version of froggies], until they all started trying to jump out of the table. Then he got pretty scared haha!
Inspired by any of these ideas? Pin and save for later! :)
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back in a few weeks for our "Creepy Crawly" bug theme!