Observe Frogs

Finding frogs in a nearby pond, and observing them through their life cycle, is fascinating scientific fun.

 

What You Need

  • Frog and toad field guide (optional)
  • Small net for catching frogs and tadpoles (optional)
  • Plastic container for holding frogs and tadpoles (optional)
  • Sketchbook (optional)
  • Drawing supplies (optional)
  • Camera (optional)

 

What You Do

  1. Listen for frogs in spring.
    In fact, April is National Frog Month. Ready for some froggy adventures? Let’s hop to it!
    In spring, male frogs call for females to be their mates.

    1. If you’re near a pond, marsh, or other wet area, you can’t miss their loud chorus.
    2. Find out which frogs and toads live near you with this Association of Zoos and Aquariums website or visit a local nature center to find out which frogs live near you and what their calls sound like.
    3. Then see if you can name the noisemakers you hear.
  2. Sneak close to the frogs.
    Hearing frogs is easy, but, if you want to see frogs, you have to be sly.

    1. Quietly approach a place where you’ve heard frogs calling.
    2. If the frogs sense you coming, they’ll each jump into the water with a splash.
    3. But if you stay still, they’ll probably pop back up in a few minutes.
    4. Then you can get a good look.
  3. Once you find a place with lots of frogs, visit often during the spring and summer.
    All that calling is about one thing: making more frogs.

    1. So be sure to look for eggs and tadpoles, too.
    2. First you’ll see jelly-like clumps of eggs in the water.
    3. Later, look for little tadpoles swimming around.
    4. Come back every few days and you can watch as the tadpoles lose their tails, grow legs, and leap away as adult frogs!
  4. Draw pictures of frogs, or record their songs.
    With your sketchpad, you can draw a frog. This one is sitting right on her sketch pad paper! Generally, you should not touch wildlife, but this one got very comfortable with us!
    You can also record the frog’s songs with your camera on a video setting.
  5. Appreciate healthy ponds and wetlands.
    The frogs and toads put on a great show, but also stay aware of the many amazing plants in your frogs’ home. This turtlehead flower was a beautiful sight on the shores of our pond.
  6. Enjoy our many frog resources.
    National Wildlife Federation has many crafts and recipes with a frog theme, so if your family gets into observing frogs, you can extend that fun!

    1. Frog Guacamole 
    2. Tree Frog Finger Puppet
    3. Tree Frog Maze
    4. Feed the Frog Craft
    5. Frog Salad
  7. For teachers, we have this Call of the Wild lesson plan about frog calls and the frog life cycle.
    We also recommend Save the Frogs Day.