Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Frogs have it easy ... they can eat what bugs them!" (Author unknown)

So, as you know from our last few posts, we have been caring for several tadpoles (and a couple of crayfish and snails, but that's a whole other post). Well, if you didn't know, April is Frog Month, so it's no surprise that we will be doing some fun frog projects over the next week or so.  Today, we had our buddies, Olivia and Liam, over to share in a few frog studies.  (They, too, have adopted some tadpoles at home!)

Three books that we read and that I would highly recommend for your frog studies are ...
Would You Rather Be a Pollywog? All About Pond Life by Bonnie Worth ...
... Frog on a Log by Phil Roxbee Cox & Stephen Cartwright ...
... and A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson.  All three are excellent reads!
After some more reading out of our Ladybug magazine ("Something Strange in Grandpa's Woods" by Jane Dauster, March 2012 issue, pages 22-29, about frogs and tadpoles), we made the "Froggy Fly Traps" out of the same (back cover).  (It's basically a paper fortune teller with a frog printed on it.  You could easily recreate the same making a paper fortune teller with green paper, then adding on eyes, nostrils, and a tongue.)
 Open wide!
For our frogs' flies, I made those using the suggestions at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/hungry-hungry-frogs-1008154/, using paperclips, black tissue paper (I used crepe paper leftover from Halloween), and tacky glue.
 First, I opened each paperclip, like below, so that the hoops on either end resembled a fly's wings.
 Then, I used a section of my crepe paper, about 3 inches long, and carefully wrapped it into a tight ball in the center of my bent paperclip, securing it with tacky glue.  The result resembles a pesky fly!
We then read the poem to go with it, by Katie Hesterman:
"Fly Away"
Swarming, buzzing near the lake, 
Foolish fly made one mistake,
Flew too close above the water.
Something pink and sticky caught her,
Snapped her up with one quick pull.
Fly is gone, but frog is full.

For our next craft, we made the paper plate frogs, in this 'Frog Catch Game,' as seen at http://www.ziggityzoom.com/activity/frog-catch-game.  For the same, we used green paper plates (bought at Dollar Tree), eyes and nostrils cut from black and white craft foam, a tongue cut from pink craft foam, tacky glue, and a stapler.  First, fold two plates in half so that the insides of the plates (the green sides) are touching. Hold two folded sides of each plate together, like below, forming your frog's upper lip.  Next, using your stapler, staple the two plates together, around the entire edge of your semi-circle.  (Be sure not to staple any further in than the edge, or else there will be no place for you to put your fingers to close your frog's mouth later.)
 Once the plates are properly stapled together, adhere your frog's eyes, nostrils, and tongue using your tacky glue.  Here is Olivia, working on hers.
'Ribbit!'
 Once dry, you can put your thumb under the bottom plate, and your other four fingers in the pocket you formed with your frog's upper lip, like below, to make your frog's mouth open and close (and grab flies!).
'Looks great, Mags!'  :)
For a snack, I made the "Fruity Frogs" as seen at http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/fruity-frog-699462/.  For each, you will need a green apple, green grapes, cream cheese, and 2 brown M&Ms.  (The recipe calls for chocolate chips, but I didn't have any on hand, though I did have the M&Ms, much cheaper than buying an entire bag of chocolate chips for one snack.  I always try to use what I have to save!)
 First, cut your apple into quarters and remove the core from each quarter.  Then, cut a thin wedge out of each quarter, like below, for your frog's mouth.
 Then, using a melon baller or similar (I used a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon), scoop little balls of your cream cheese out of your container and place on the top of your frog's head.  If you will be serving immediately, go ahead and place your M&Ms into your cream cheese for your frog's eyes, otherwise, wait, because the M&Ms will sweat in the refrigerator and their coloring will run.  (Add the M&Ms right before serving.)
 Waiting for their legs ...
 Finally, cut three grapes in half for your frog's legs.  With four of the halves, use a paring knife to carefully cut out notches for toes.  Place onto your apple like I did, below, and serve.  (For instructions on my lily pad plates, keep scrolling.)  
Who wants a regular old plate for such a cute snack?  For my lily pad plates, I took some of my leftover green paper plates from our craft, and cut lily pads out of them with scissors.  
To make them sturdy enough to hold our frogs, I put them on an upside-down saucer, like below.  It makes a much cuter presentation, if you ask me! 
Here are the three kids, snacking on the M&Ms first, of course!  :)
Happy crafting!  

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