Over in the Pond

Over in the Pond

Activity: Pond Study

Use nets to scoop in the water. Dump the contents into a dishpan with water in the bottom. As the contents settle, your mini pond will come to life. Many flying insects begin their lives as aquatic insects. Can you catch a tadpole? Look to see if it has any legs yet.

Activity: Underwater Pond Viewer

Investigate underwater pond activity with this cool homemade underwater pond devise: First, rinse out an empty half-gallon carton of milk, cut off top and bottom. Let dry. Next, cover one end of the carton with plastic wrap, securing with a rubber band. Then submerge the wrapped end partially in water (requires close adult supervision!), and look through the top to see what’s going on below.

Activity: Lily Pad Seats

At home: Using green paper cut out a lily pad shape for each child to sit on during story time. Cut a large piece of blue butcher paper in a semicircular shape (or use blue towels, scarves, or blanket) to place between you and the children. They can pretend to sit on lily pads at the pond’s edge during story time!

Activity: Go Fishing

Make fishing poles with dowels or sticks, string, and magnets. Use metal juice lids as fish. Float the “fish” in a large tub or children’s wading pool. Show your tot how to use “fishing poles” to catch the “fish.” You could also get creative and make a pond in the living room by laying out pieces of blue construction paper on the floor in a somewhat circular shape. Use long pieces of yarn to define the edge of the “pond”. Throw juice lids, paperclips, or refrigerator magnets into your pond to use as fish. See how many fish you can catch with your magnet pole.

In another tub let your tot use strainers or her hands to “catch” fish, corks, ping pong balls, sponges, plastic worms, etc. Add some sticks and catch them too! See what else floats in the water.

Go fishing in dish tubs, swimming pool, or in case of rain, in the bathtub.

Activity: Indoor Pond

Another great sensory activity and an extension of “Go Fishing:” Place play sand in a large plastic tub. In the middle of the tub, dig a hole large enough for a second, smaller plastic tub. Place the smaller tub inside the larger tub and fill the small tub with water. (Make sure the second tub is small enough that you have plenty of “beach front.”) Place plastic pond creatures (snakes, frogs, and insects) around the sand and in the water. Let your child explore your indoor pond!

Activity: Ice Block Building

Make colored ice blocks by adding tempera paint to water. Large blocks can be made by freezing water in quart or half gallon paper milk or juice cartons. Use the blocks to make a wall or castle. Ice cubes travel easier, so create with those while waiting for dinner at a picnic.

Activity: Super Pond Mud

Create your own pond mud by adding soil or brown paint to water and a handful of cornstarch. Experiment with the amount of cornstarch. Make a ball of mud in your hand then open your hand and let the mud ooze through your fingers. This is a great sensory experience.

Activity: Freddie the Frog

This is a fun group activity that can be played sitting or standing. For this activity you will need a bean bag box and bean bag. First, put a box in the center of a small circle of children. Give one child the bean bag. Everyone chants:
Freddie the Frog went to jump on a log
And, SPLASH, he fell into the pond.
On the word “SPLASH”, one child throws the bean bag into the box in the center of the circle. Keep repeating until everyone has a turn with the bean bag. This activity could be used at playgroup, birthday parties, or with Mom, Dad, and the children.

Activity: Paper Plate Fish Bowl

Cut the top of a paper plate in a very shallow U so that it looks like a fish bowl. Draw fish shapes on the plate with crayons. Use watercolors to paint the plate blue. The crayon resists the color and makes a pretty fish bowl.

Activity: Paper Plate Snake

Gather up a paper plate, crayons, and string for hanging. Have your child color on both sides of the paper plate. Then cut the plate around and around in a spiral so that when you are finished, it resembles a snake. Draw an eye on one end. Hang your finished product. What does a snake say? “Sssssssss….”

Activity: Lizard with Scales

Cut bubble wrap in the shape of a lizard. Have your child use brightly colored paint and mini-paint rollers: Roll paint on the bubble wrap then press pieces of paper over the bubbles to make scaly lizard pictures.

Activity: Frog Toss

You will need: small stuffed frogs, permanent marker, and green foam (which you can purchase at any craft store).
Directions: Cut lily pads out of the green foam. Put your lily pads in a playing area. Play a tossing game with your child by tossing the stuffed frogs onto the lily pads. You can number the lily pads and try to get the same number of frogs on that lily pad. For more frog fun, find a square (cube-shaped) cardboard box. Tape the lid shut, and number the sides 1-6. Players take turns rolling the “dice”. Try to toss a frog on the same numbered lily pad as the number that you rolled on the dice.

Activity: Snake Rubbings

Do a tire rubbing (preferably and old tire not attached to a vehicle) on long strips of paper. Cut it out in the shape of a snake.

Activity: Turtle Puppet

Color a paper plate to resemble a turtle’s top shell and color another plate for the bottom shell (you can use dinner or sandwich-sized plates). Staple or glue green construction paper legs on either the top or bottom plate. Sandwich a green sock between the colored 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. Slip your hand into the sock and you have a turtle puppet!

Activity: Talking Frog

Use a 9” paper plate to trace a circle onto a piece of green paper. Cut out the circle. Fold this circle in half and glue two cotton balls on the top half for eyes (add a black circle about the size of a regular paper punch for the pupils). Cut four long strips of green for the legs and attach a red tongue in the fold. Make the frog “talk” by holding it in your hand and opening and closing the fold.

Activity: Bobbing Frogs

Materials needed: an old cork, green marker or crayon, green pipe cleaner.
Directions: Take the cork and color it with a green crayon or marker. Next take a green pipe cleaner and wrap it around the cork, twist it, then bend the long ends into frog shaped legs. Let your child take the cork frog in the tub for some fun playtime. Push the frog down to the bottom of the tub and let go. Watch it bob back up to the surface.

Activity: Pond Creature Play

This is a fun adult-child or group activity:
Can you:
Slither like a snake?
Hop like a frog?
Swim like a fish?
Flutter like a dragon fly?
Crawl like a snail?
Hide like a turtle?

Activity: Sensory Seed Box

Fill a large container with grain, like flax or rice. Use cups, containers, and spoons, to fill and dump just like you would in a sandbox. Hide plastic frogs, fish, and pond insects in the box. Ask your tot to feel around and find the hidden items.

Fingerplays and Songs

Five Little Frogs
Five green and speckley frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs (yum, yum)
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were four green speckled frogs. (glub, glub)

4 green and speckled frogs…
3 green and speckled frogs…
2 green and speckled frogs…
1 green and speckled frog…
*use a flannel board with 5 frogs and a pond to illustrate.

Five Little Froggies
Five little froggies sat on a shore (children crouch in a row like frogs)
One went for a swim then there were four (first frog leaps, swims off)
Four little froggies looked happy as can be
One went swimming and then there were three
Three little froggies said “What can we do?” (children repeat)
One jumped in the water then there were two
Two little froggies sat in the sun
One swam off and then there was one
One little froggie said “This is no fun!” (last frog repeats)
He dived in the water and then there were none.

Little Tadpole to the tune of Frere Jacques
Little tadpole, little tadpole
Lost his tail, lost his tail.
Now he has two feet
Now he has four feet
Look a frog! Look a frog!

Six Little Frogs
(Tune: six little ducks)
Six little frogs that I once knew,
Green ones, brown ones, red one, too.
But the one bullfrog with the freckles on this throat,
He ruled them all with a croak, croak, croak.
Down to the blue pond they would go,
Hop, jump, hop, jump, to and fro.
But the one bullfrog with the freckles on his throat,
He ruled them all with a croak, croak, croak.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream!

Will You Read to Me?

Take time to enjoy a story.
Little White Duck by Walt Whippo
Inch By Inch by Leo Lionni
Baby Bird’s First Nest by Frank Asch
Marsh Music by Marianne Berkes
Seven Froggies Went to School by Kate Duke
The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner Jump, Frog, Jump! By Robert Kalan
Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni
One, Two, Three Jump! By Penelope Lively
The Rainy Day Puddle by Ei Nakabayashi


Fish Tank
Put blue food coloring in vanilla frosting to make it light blue. Spread the frosting on graham crackers to make the tank’s “water.” Sprinkle half of the cracker with chocolate sprinkles to make the tank’s “floor.” Coconut tinted green can be the tank’s “plants”. Add some graham gold fish and you have a fish tank!

Frogs On A Log
Take a small pretzel rod and spread peanut butter (or another spread) on it (the log). Then add green m&m’s on the rod for the frogs. Eat and enjoy!

Lily-Pad Float

  • Lime sherbet
  • Lemonade
  • Cup
  • Gummy frog
  • Spoon

Place a small scoop of lime sherbet in the bottom of a cup. Fill cup with lemonade. Add a gummy frog.

Snake Sticks
Buy pre-made bread stick dough. Give your child one dough stick. Have her roll it out in the shape of a snake. Put the snake onto a baking tray. Have your little one sprinkle her snake with grated cheese if desired. Bake according to the bread sticks direction.

Activities provided by:

E Resources Group
2550 Stagecoach Road
Webster City, Iowa 50595-7375
Toddling on the Wild Side was supported by REAP-CEP.

_ 0-1
✓ 1-2
✓ 2-3
_ 3-4
_ 4-5
_ 5-6

Category: Adult-Child

30 minutes

spring, summer, fall

Iowa Early Learning Standards:
1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.3, 4.2, 5.4, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.3

Related Kindernature Resources: Other Resources: