Frogs, Turtles, Fish
Activity: Take a hike around a pond or lake
Take your children outside and discover all kinds of wonderful things.
On a sunny day look for:
- Turtles on a log
- Fish swimming in the water
- A frog hopping
- Tadpoles swimming
- Listen to frogs and toads calling
- Look for food that frogs, turtles, and fish eat
Activity: Go Fishing
Activity #1: Make fishing poles with dowels or sticks, string and magnets. Use metal juice lids as fish. Use “fishing poles” to catch the “fish.”
Activity #2: Use strainers or hands to “catch” fish, corks, ping pong balls, sponges, plastic worms, etc. Add some sticks and catch them too.
Go fishing in dish tubs, swimming pool, or in case of rain, in the bathtub.
Activity: Fish Collage
Cut out simple fish shapes. Give your child some glue and a box of cut up pieces of colored paper/collage materials to “stick” onto fish to make a colorful fish. This is a good opportunity to teach about colors.
Activity: Observe a Real Fish
Fill an aquarium and observe goldfish. Ask the children to describe the fish’s behavior. Remember to sanitize children’s hands if they touch a fish. Please have the children be respectful when observing or handling live specimens.
Activity: Fish Printing
This is an ancient Japanese art form that is particularly fascinating to children. You may find that your children are as interested in feeling the texture of the fish as they are in making the print. You can use a whole, uncut fish or you can order a rubber fish. Lay the fish on a flat surface and have your child paint one side of the fish. Make sure the paint is spread evenly over the fish. Place a piece of paper over the painted fish and use a roller to press the paper onto the fish. Peel the paper off of the fish and enjoy the print.
Activity: Paper Plate Fish
Give each of your children a paper plate. Show the children how to cut a triangle shape out of one side of the paper plate. Then let each child do this. Have the children glue their triangles to their plates to make tail fins. Let them decorate their fish plates with markers.
Activity: Fish Puff Paint
To make puff paint, use equal parts Elmer’s glue and shaving cream. Add a few drops of food coloring and mix. Children can use craft sticks to paint.
Observe real tadpoles and frogs. Always release tadpoles and frogs to the same area you captured them in. Remember to sanitize children’s hands after touching. Please have the children be respectful when observing or handling live specimens.
Activity: Frogs in the Grass
Have your child stand on the far side of the yard and close her eyes. Hide the frogs in the grass in different spots around the yard. When you yell “Frog in the Grass” your child must run and find the frogs. Make sure he grabs them before they hop away.
Activity: Frog Bean Bags
Using a clothes basket as a pond, have children throw bean bag frogs into the pond.
Activity: Hopping Frog
Using plastic frogs, beanbags or inflate a green balloon and add a frog face with a marker. Obtain a bed sheet or parachute and take the children outside or into the gym. Instruct them to grasp the edge of the cloth with their hands and work together to keep the balloon (frog) up in the air.
Activity: Splish, Splash FROGS!
Floating lily pads and plastic frogs make the water table a “ribbiting” destination! Cut two or more kitchen sponges into lily pad shapes and place in the water table. Add a few plastic frogs, too. Invite children to use the supplies to explore a variety of froggy behavior, such as sitting on a lily pad, hopping in to the water, and swimming.
Activity: Tadpole Beanbags
Dye toddler socks green and dry. Fill a tube sock about 3⁄4 full with dried beans. Adults tie a knot in the open end of the sock. Use marker to draw eyes, gills, and fins (or glue on felt or foam). Use the tadpole beanbag to play catch, hide-and-seek, or try to throw it in an empty laundry basket.
Activity: Hoppy Frogs
Play Froggy tiddlywinks with the frogs provided. Name the color or count the numbers of frogs as you play.
Activity: Frog Puppets
There are several designs for frog puppets.
- Children can color the frog paper cut out, glued onto a craft stick
- Paper sack with frog cut-out, have children color and glue on sack
- Paper sack with circles, squares and triangles cut to make a frog puppet with a tongue.
Activity: Frogs Inside a Bag
Fill a zipper-bag with shaving cream. Drop colorful plastic frogs inside and seal the bag. Let children handle bag and find the frogs. Ask them to name the color of the frogs and then count how many they find.
Activity: Turtle Shell
Turn a paper bowl upside down and have your child paint it green. Let dry. Cut out front and back feet from brown construction paper. Staple these to the bowl. Then cut head with neck. Draw eyes and mouth. Staple this to the bowl. Poke a hole in the top of the bowl in the middle. Insert a piece of yarn and tape to the inside of the bowl. Take your turtle for a nature walk.
Turtles have scales. To create a turtle with scales, use a roller to roll paint onto bubble wrap. Then press bubble wrap (paint side down) on the paper. Have the children use a crayon to add head, feet, and tail.
Activity: Compare Turtle Shells
Using different real, empty turtle shells have children compare sizes. These can be bought from Acorn Naturalists.
Activity: Play with Turtles
Have two tubs, one filled with mud and the other with water. Using several green plastic turtles, have them hop in the mud and then clean the frogs in water.
Activity: Make a Turtle Puppet
To make a puppet, paint or draw on two small paper plates. Staple or glue, green construction paper legs on either the top or bottom of the plate. Sandwich a green sock between the paper plates so that the toe sticks out for the head and the top of the sock sticks out the back for the tail. Staple the two plates together on both sides, add eyes. Then slip the child’s hand into the sock.
Activity: Counting Turtles
Put the correct number of turtle shell counter into the appropriate turtle bowl.
Activity: Match the Colors
Match the colors on the turtles and count different colored scales too.
Activity: Turtle Races
Make three to five turtles out of green poster board and number or name each one. Punch a hole just above the center of each turtle and put a five to eight foot long piece of string through it. Get one chair for each turtle. Tie on the end of each pieces of string to one of the legs of a chair. Line up the chairs along the finish line. Have the children who are racing their turtles stand in a row at the starting line. Each child should hold the loose end of one of the strings. Begin the race with turtles near the children’s hands. When you say “GO” the children who are racing should start jiggling their pieces of string so that the turtles bound toward the finish line. The other children should pick a turtle and cheer for it. Which turtle made it to the end first? Which one was last? Race again.
Activity: Turtle Catching
Using a clothes basket as a pond, have children throw bean bag turtles into the pond.
Activity: Turtle inside a Bag
Fill a zip lock bag full of shaving cream, insert plastic turtles and zip shut. Have children feel bag for turtles.
Activity: Wear your Turtle Shell
Cut large ovals out of tag board. After cutting feet and tail out of green paper, have the children glue feet and tail onto shell. Using different shapes, cut out of construction paper, have children glue on the shapes to act as scales for their turtle shell. Adults can staple elastic onto the shell, so the child can wear around their neck with the shell on their back. Or use safety pins and pin the shell onto the child’s shirt at the shoulders.
Activity: REAL Turtles
Contact a local county conservation board naturalist and see if they have live turtles that they would be willing to bring to your home or classroom. Observe how the turtles move, watch them eat and see if they hide in their shell.
Activity: Turtle, Frog, and Fish Stamping
Using washable stamp pads have children stamp the different animals on blue paper.
Activity: Play with Clay
Using the cookie cutters, cut shapes out of the clay or play dough. Can you make a turtle, frog, or fish from the shapes?
Fingerplays and Songs
From Tadpole to Frog
(Sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”)
The tadpole hatches from an egg.
Then it sprouts two strong back legs.
Soon it gets its front legs too.
Now the tadpole is a frog
Jumping on a great big log!
This little Froggy broke his toe
This little Froggy said, “oh, oh, oh!”
This little Froggy laughed and was glad
This little Froggy cried and was sad
This little Froggy did just what he should
He ran for the Doctor as fast as he could.
I’m a Little Fish
(Sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot.”)
I’m a little fish with great big fins (flap extended arms)
I swish them around when I want to swim.
When I want to breathe I flap my gills (Place hand on sides of mouth and move them back and forth)
And I wave hello with a flip of my tail (wiggle your “tail”)
There was a little turtle that lived in a box
It swam in the water
And climbed on the rocks
It snapped at a mosquito
It snapped at a flea
It snapped at a minnow
And it snapped at me
It caught the mosquito
It caught the flea
It caught the minnow
But it didn’t catch me
- 1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
- Blue food coloring
- Pretzel sticks
- Goldfish crackers
Add a couple of drops of coloring to cream cheese and mix. Give each child a spoonful of cream cheese, and then use their pretzel rod to fish. They dip their pretzel into cream cheese and then
touch the goldfish until the goldfish stick to the fishing rod, then eat!
- Paper cup (one per child) Lime sherbet
- 7-Up or Sprite
- Mini marshmallows
Put one scoop of lime sherbet into a cup. Pour in 7-Up or Sprite. Add marshmallows to the sherbet for the frog’s eyes. Yum!
Snappy Turtle Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup margarine, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat waffle iron to medium heat.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Stir in the eggs, melted margarine, and vanilla until well blended. Drop batter by spoonful’s into the sections of the preheated waffle iron. Close the waffle iron and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Carefully remove cookies and cool on wire racks.
Will You Read To Me?
Take time to enjoy a story.
Frogs by Gail Gibbons
Fish Colors by Arthur David Zoller
Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert
A Fishy Shape Story by Joanne & David Wyie
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
All About Turtles by Jim Arnosky
The Icky Sticky Frog by Dawn Bentley
Frogs Live on Logs by Melvin and Gilda Berger
Frog in the Kitchen Sink by Jim Post
Activities provided by:
E Resources Group
2550 Stagecoach Road
Webster City, Iowa 50595-7375
Toddling on the Wild Side was supported by REAP-CEP
Iowa Early Learning Standards:
1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.4, 3.3, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.1, 6.2, 7.3
Related Kindernature Resources:
- A Little Turtle
- Create a Classroom Pond
- Fish Songs
- Fishy Circle
- Five Little Speckled Frogs
- Frog Cupcakes
- Have You Ever Seen a Tadpole?
- Tasty Turtles