Next time you head outside, I have a challenge for you: Go and find a toad.

There are few places that you should be sure to check out and the all having something in common: they are close to the water. The best places to look are next to rivers and lakes.

When you’ve found one, how do you know if you have a frog or a toad?

The best way to tell is to look at their legs. Typically toads will have short legs that they sit on whereas frogs have longer legs that reach out wide from their body. We do ask that if you are lucky enough to find a frog or a toad that you do not interfere with them. Nature knows best. If you care, leave it there.

Frog Activities

Frog hopping — Set up some hula hoops outside and try to jump from hoop to hoop. Leave them touching or spread them farther apart. See who can get through the line the fastest!

If you have a group, you can do a frog variation on the Rock, Paper, Scissors relay. To play, you lay several hula hoops in a line. Divide into two teams and start a team at each end. The first person from each team frog-hops in each hoop as fast as they can until they meet the other team’s person on the path. They play a quick game of Frog, Lily, Dinner (see below for rules). The winner continues on in the same direction, while the other team sends their next player hopping back up the path. Again when the players encounter each other, they play the game until one player wins. The relay continues until one player makes it all the way to the other side.

Frog, Lily, Dinner — Played like Rock, Paper, Scissors, but with a frog twist. Uses the same hand-symbols: Frog = Rock, Lily (lily pad) = Paper, Dinner (fly) = Scissors.

Frog beats Dinner (frog eats a fly), Dinner beats Lily (fly sits on top of a lily pad), and Lily covers Frog (because the lily pad couldn’t hold our heavy frog up and he went under the water!)

Frog, Frog, Toad — Kids sit in a circle facing each other. The person that is “it” hops around the circle like a toad, tapping heads and calling each person in the circle a frog or toad. Once someone is a “toad” they get up and try to chase “it” around the circle – hopping like toads, of course! The goal is to tap that “it” before he/she sits down in the “toad’s” spot. If the toad is not able to do this, they become “it” for the next round and play continues. If they do tap the “it” person, the person tagged has to sit in the center of the circle. Then the toad become it for the next round. The person in the middle can’t leave until another person is tagged and they are replaced.

Frogs vs. Toads

Frogs:

Have moist skin that looks slimy

Must live near water

Have high, round, bulgy eyes

Take long, high jumps

A group of frogs is called an army

Toads:

Have rough, bumpy skin

Do not need to live near water

Have football-shaped eyes

Will run and make short hops

A group of toads is called a knot

Freaky Frog Facts

Frogs absorb water through their skin so they don’t need to drink.

A frog completely sheds its skin about once a week. After it pulls off the old, dead skin, the frog usually eats it.

When a frog swallows a meal, it squeezes its large eyes closed. The eyes actually sink down into the frog’s head, into the top of its mouth, helping to push the food down the frog’s throat.

A group of frogs is called an army.

Frogs have teeth on their upper jaw, which they use to keep their prey in one place until they can swallow it.

The wood frog of North America actually freezes in the winter and is reanimated in the spring.

Every year that a frog goes into hibernation, a new layer of bone forms. Scientists can count these rings to find out a frog’s age.

When Darwin’s frog tadpoles hatch, the male frog swallows the tadpoles. They land inside his vocal sac, where they grow into frogs. Then they hop out of their dad’s mouth, ready to go!

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