Spring Activities – Tadpoles
This week over on Google I was joined by Adrienne of The Iowa Farmer’s Wife, Maggy from Red Ted Art and Trisha from Inspiration Laboratories where we shared some Spring Time activities and crafts for learning with Nature.
I shared some advice for keeping tadpoles with kids. Children as young as toddlers can help you take care of tadpoles in the home and watch them change and develop over Spring and will be fascinated by it. They are really easy to keep and all you need is a small fish bowl or even a clear plastic tub.
Every spring the pond in our garden fills with Frogs and we go Frog Hunting to find first the frogs and then the frog spawn. When the frog spawn appears it’s great to collect and watch the development of the jelly like eggs to tadpoles and then to froglets and return to the wild (before they jump all over your home).
- Collect frog spawn as soon as possible after laying as you can – collect it with water from the pond - It is essential that the frog spawn is in non-chlorinated water so don’t use tap water (rain water is fine).
- Keep the frog spawn in the container in the shade away from direct heat but protected from frosts – in the UK we still can have some frosts well in May – you can of course have it in your home if you wish – do not put a lid on the container
- Watching the tadpoles develop in the eggs is great – if you have older children you could get them to record what they see as the process of going from a dot like in the image above to a tadpole look alike is fairly quick in the eggs.
- When the tadpoles hatch you need to give them some food they LOVE lettuce and the best way to serve it to them is boil the lettuce for 10 – 15 mins to break down the cell structure, then add the this to an ice cube tray (only a little) and some pond water and freeze then add a block to the water and the tadpoles will eat them.
- You can then watch the tadpoles develop their legs – it’s a good time to release them back into the pond before they become fully formed frogs as they are less likely to jump out.
- You can return them at this stage to the pond where you found them – or if you wish you can start to form your own colony in your back garden pond by releasing them to your own pond.
Learning with Nature – Tadpoles, Bugs, Crafts and Nature Walks
Click on the video to hear us talk about raising tadpoles, handling bugs even when you really don’t like them, ideas for crafts and nature walks.
Here’s some Further Ideas