Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Frogs and Toads - A Lesson in Differences

“What’s the difference between a frog and a toad?” my son asked me one day. I had to admit, I didn’t know.

Thankfully, one very smart author does. Mary Firestone wrote a wonderful book that’s full of great facts about these amphibians and, not only was it instrumental in answering my son’s question, but its painted illustrations captivated us both.

Reading Firestone’s book taught us the following:

  • Frogs have a slimmer body than toads.
  • Their legs are longer too.
  • Toads have bumpy skin, whereas a frog’s skin is smooth.
  • Frogs can be found in water, trees, and on land. Toads stick to the ground.
  • Some frogs have webbed toes on their back feet; toads don't.

After I finished reading to him, I handed my son some cardstock cut-outs and asked him to compare. Which body was fatter? Was that the frog or the toad then? Which legs were longer? Are they the frog’s or toad’s legs? (Download my templates here.)

Once he got it all straightened out, he painted each. To make the frog’s body slick, we covered it in packaging tape. To make the toad’s body wart-like, he sprinkled lentils over white school glue. The legs were attached with brads.

Lastly, I gave him two pieces of cardstock that said “A frog lives ….” and “A toad lives …” and asked him to finished the sentences. Then, he painted their habitats.

My son refused to glue down his frog and toad because “then they won’t be able to jump, Mom!” A sticky dot of Velcro behind each was the perfect solution!

When Daddy got home from work that night, my son showed him the pictures and pointed out all the differences between his frog and toad. Now no one in our family is clueless about what sets these two amphibians apart!


  1. What a great project! We visited a nature center a few months ago where we learned there were 3 types of frogs and that toads fall into one of those categories. Can't wait to do this project as a refresher :-)

  2. This is fun - I love reading to my kids informational books. Of course, i feel like a big dummy since I didn't know the answers to what they asked me in the first place and I had to go to a book

  3. Big D & Me, I'm pretty sure I sounded like Elmer Fudd when my son asked me about the difference between a frog and a toad. (HA!) Whatever would we do without great children's book authors and the internet to help us answer the abundant questions from curious young 'uns?

  4. Oooh I am now well equipped to tackle that question as and when it arises.. we had a frog in the house the other day, which is very bizarre, as we live in a very urban environment!

    Thanks for joining Kids Get Crafty - always fab to have you there!


  5. I love the toad craft, it's so cute!

  6. Great project! My son would love this because he's forever correcting me when I call a "frog" a "toad" and vie versa. :) (I followed you here through the Sunday Science Link up.)

  7. Very nice! My 2nd grader learned about the differences between the two this week, as well. I even learned some things!!

  8. I love the ways you used card stock and completed sentences. Thank you for liniking to Read.Explore.Learn.

  9. Looks like he learned a lot from this! And the craft is very cute!

  10. I must admit I really was quite clueless about this myself! :) My oldest asked me once and I was a bit embarrassed I could not answer - can't wait to share some info when she gets home from school today!

    Would love for you to share this on the Sunday Showcase -

    Have a great week,

  11. My little guy will LOVE these! He talks non-stop about frogs and toads and such :) My first visit to your blog and your newest follower :) You have some really fun ideas!

  12. This is a very nice activity to work with kids.
    I just pinned it We will have to borrow you ideas here. TFS!

  13. Hi! I love your ideas!

    I would to invite you to linkup to my Frog ABC'S Blog Hop on my blog ~

    The ABC'S stands for Activities, Books, Crafts, and Snacks ~ the things I share on my blog. :-)
    I think your post fits in very well with the Activities, Books, and Craft areas, don't you?

    I hope you will stop by and link-up!

    Enjoy your evening,

  14. Great idea using the lentils for the toad's bumps! It is hard to find toad crafts (there are so many for frogs).