Every year we provide our children with the opportunity to observe at first hand, the life cycle of the frog.  Vicky, a staff member at our preschool, has a pond on her property that becomes teaming with tadpoles every spring.  So, she scoops out an ice-cream container of these wiggly little fellows, and brings them in for us to raise.

This is an experience that I would recommend to all teachers out there to give a try.  The children absolutely LOVE it!

The excitement shown as each stage of development is reached is just wonderful!  

“Karen, Karen… come and look, one has his back legs!”  

“They’ve got their legs, they’ve got their legs!”  

“Look, look!  A frog!”

If you don’t have access to tadpoles, or even if you do, but just want information on how to care for your tadpoles, check out this site:  AMPHIBIAN RESEARCH CENTRE.  You will find PDF’s on how to care for tadpoles and frogs on this site and you can also order a “Tadpole Kit” for your centre. The ARC is located in Werribee (Melbourne, Australia) and you do have to pick the kits up yourself.

There are some very important rules to remember:

  • Don’t clean the tank, rocks or gravel with anything BUT water and a paper towel.
  • Don’t spray or use chemicals anywhere near the tank.
  • Clean the tank water out once a week.
  • Don’t over feed (if the water goes milky, you are over feeding! Clean immediately!).

Tadpoles don’t eat fish food!  They are herbivores!  The simplest source of food is frozen pieces of lettuce leaves (the iceberg variety).  When you freeze lettuce, the cells in the leaves burst, so when it is placed in the tank and defrosts, the leaves becomes limp and slimy in texture.  Tadpoles love it!

Now this is a healthy looking tadpole!

It can take a little while for the back legs to appear…

… and then the front legs…

… but the tail is absorbed very rapidly, almost over-night!

Then, you should have a happy, healthy, frog.

If you would like to keep your frog for a bit longer, you will need to check out the ARC site again, to read up on caring for your frog.  You will need to make some changes to the tank habitat and organize some food for your little fellow.  He is now a carnivore and likes to eat ‘live insects’!  You can order frog food from here.  We are hoping to receive a delivery of one day old crickets tomorrow!  1,500 of them actually!

I believe if we want to raise children to have a love and respect for the natural environment, we have to allow them opportunities to connect with it, and experience it first hand.  To directly observe it’s wonders unfold.

You cannot grow to ‘love’ something that you have never had a relationship with.

So, go on, give it a go, your children will love it!

You can read more about opportunities to introduce animals into the preschool environment by clicking on “Animals in Preschool” located in the right sidebar. 🙂

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  1. Love this post – I have tadpoles for the past 3 years but am ashamed to admit that I have been feeding them fish food!!! Hopefully next years lot will appreciate your wisdom, thanks Kierna

  2. Oh dear Kierna! So have you been successful in raising them to frogs? I am by no means an expert, this will be my first year of attempting to keep the frogs rather than sending them back to their pond. I am really hoping to create a ‘frog bog’ down the track. Fingers crossed all will go to plan! Karen 🙂

  3. We had a uni’ student one year who brought in tadpoles from her pond at home and she raised wonderful frogs with the children. The following year she dropped some more off to us and I was in charge … Needless to say it didn’t end well … And I DID feed them frozen lettuce leaves! 🙁
    Donna 🙂 🙂

  4. It isn’t easy Donna. I have had past failures too. They are very sensitive little creatures. It does require a lot of effort on someones part to get it all happening successfully! Karen 🙂

  5. I’m writing a post about pondlife and looking for frogs and have linked up to your post about keeping tadpoles and frogs. It goes live tomorrow

    • My tadpoles hatched!!!!!!!! Thanks to your advice. Thanks so much for keeping me posted on HOW TO TAKE CARE OF TADPOLES. It really helped me, and I stopped feeding them fish food. I read that it is not actually that good for them. I ordered tadpole food online. It got to me yesterday. They are chowing down on it, but I can’t put to much in.


  6. I think that is a wonderful idea. I just found a ton of tadpoles the other day, and I am taking care of them. I even have eggs I seperated the tadpoles from the eggs, because I heard tadpoles eat the tadpole eggs!!!!!!! Not Good!!!! I am keeping mine in an aquarium, and I am keeping my eggs in a little round fish bowl. I hope they will grow to be frogs. I am feeding mine fishfood, chopped up lettuce, boiled and chopped up spinach, tadpole food, and meal worms. Their favorite is the boiled and chopped up spinach. I don’t know why. I am glad that your tadpoles grew succesfully. I am sure the pre-schoolers loved it!!!!!!!


  7. 🙂 I hope you grow more. They are beautiful little creatures!!!!!!


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