Monday, 9 February 2015

All About Frogs - Observing the Life Cycle

We have had the most amazing learning opportunity, thanks to The Nature Curriculum, to learn all about the life cycle of the gorgeous Australian Green Tree Frog. We have looked at the Life Cycle of a Frog before but this was amazing! We were kindly given newly hatched tadpoles and have been observing how they change and grow. We have learnt so much about how to raise tadpoles, what to feed them, how to create a habitat for them to live in and how they breed, thanks to a visiting pair of adult frogs!

Caring for Tadpoles - Habitat
When we first got our tadpoles, they were already a few days old and growing fast. Caring for the tadpoles involved changing their water every few days to keep it clean and fresh with plenty of oxygen to breath (through their skin). Having clean water also makes it easier for us to observe them. 

We spent sometime researching information on how to raise tadpoles and learnt that as well as clean water, the water temperature needed to be about thirty degrees celsius so we kept our tadpoles outside in the warm (shaded) summer weather. 

As the tadpoles got bigger and started growing little legs, we placed large rocks in their water so they were able to climb onto them as their lungs develop and they need to breath air. We also put in different sticks for them to hide behind and climb on. It was amazing how quickly they grew legs and how their bodies changed from being so dark to almost see-through.

We also put sticks into our tadpole container once the froglets got their front legs. We also had the container covered with a net so they were protected however a fish tank would be an ideal place to raise tadpoles.

Caring for Tadpoles - Food
A lovely reader told me that they fed their tiny tadpoles steamed lettuce (so it is almost see-through) so we followed their advice. Once the tadpoles grew to froglets, they weren't interested in lettuce anymore so we began putting moths, flies, crickets and other big bugs into their water for them to eat. 

Once our little froglets lost their tail, my children were excited to be able to handle them. My son remembered from a animal documentary he had seen about making our hands moist before touching frogs. We researched it a bit more and found that washing our hands so they are free from creams, soaps and perfumes was also needed. Once our hands were washed, we carefully watched our little frogs jump from one finger to another. They even walked at times (like spider-man) up our hands! They are so gorgeous and so tiny.

How Frogs Breed
After we had had our tadpoles for almost two weeks, we had a visit one morning from another pair of  Green Tree Frogs. The pair of frogs managed to jump into our tadpole container and right in front of us, they laid their eggs in the water! I have never seen frogs lay eggs before so it was pretty awesome to see this happen. My children were a mixture of giggles followed by questions! Let's just say that we had a good discussion about how babies are made.

Their eggs were so tiny, both black and white in colour and were stuck together with see-through gel. 

Within twenty-four hours after the eggs were laid, they hatched and looked like tiny little worms. A day later, they looked like teeny tiny tadpoles (picture below)!

The adult frogs who had laid their eggs in our tadpole container, hung around in our garden for a few days. They liked to hide in our palm trees which are a nice wet, cool place to sit now that we are in the wet season.

In part two of our learning about frogs, I will share what other resources we have used to learn about frogs as well as my free printable frog life cycle cards. If you'd like to see more activity ideas on frog and other animal life cycles, you can find these on my Life Cycle - Science pinterest board


  1. What a fabulous activity! Thanks so much for the amazing printables and pictures. Awesome post. Sharing and pinning. :)

  2. What a wonderful post. Your kids are very lucky. We have never seen anything like that in person before.

  3. Wow! That's really neat! My kids found a Pacific tree frog (USA) in our yard this spring so we've been keeping him for observation. I'd love to raise tadpoles someday too.