Simon is a frog-toad magnet. He found an American Toad a few months ago, and we've been keeping him ever since. His name is Mr. Brown and he lives with three other frog-finds– Mr. Yellow (who actually should be Mrs. Yellow) and Mr. and Mrs. Green; these three are all leopard frogs. Yes, I've been housing FOUR little amphibians. And catching their dinner. And even learning to like them . . . especially the one who is referred to (by Simon) as "that cute toad."
I knew we should take some time to learn about these creatures, and I was so hip-hop-happy to find the Frogs and Toads unit by NaturExplorers. It was everything I was looking for; it even had instructions for setting up our toad-frog habitat.
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We spent about three weeks on this unit. I read through all the unit ideas and highlighted the activities I wanted to complete with my boys. After that I formulated a three week plan including one day each week to go out and explore nature. These are some of the best school days we've had. Just being together outside with God's creation. And learning. And having fun.
I want to share some highlights from the unit. I'm not going to be detailed because I don't want to share too much since these ideas are from the unit and not my own.
Simon working on his toad abode
finding the first frog of the day on our first outing
there he is . . . do you see him?
Elijah found more turtles and bluegill than frogs, but he still had fun looking.
playing a camouflage game
Elijah conducting research so he could compare and contrast frogs and toads.
we learned all about amphibians and had the opportunity to observe a tiger salamander
comparing frog eggs to chicken eggs
working on a notebook page
learning about the life cycle of a frog
drawing the life cycle of a frog
looking for more frogs
looking for even MORE frogs
Simon with his nature notebook (I Spy Frogs page); he LOVED adding a sticker every time he spied a frog!
The unit comes with plenty of printables, but I added a few for Simon and a few to go with the activities mentioned in the study. You can download them by clicking on the pages below.
I plan to continue using NaturExplorers for the rest of the year. Here's why:
1. It was easy to use. I happily resisted the urge to go scouring the internet for more ideas because I didn't need to! I love time saving products.
2. I can keep my boys together, doing the same thing. Love this.
3. We had fun. We made great memories. Isn't that what we want at the end of the day– good learning + good relationships?
4. Dad was involved, and it was easy for him to be involved. He helped the boys with a few of the activities/log sheets (frog observations, hop to it, locomotion) and he was in charge of setting up and maintaining the frogs (and toad) we housed.
5. Simon adores being outside. Elijah doesn't enjoy it as much, but it's just good for him (for all of us!).
6. The Bible proclaims that God's power is revealed in nature (Romans 1:20).
Our next nature study is Incredible Creeks. Both boys are ready to go explore, and so am I!