I am an animal lover. I have been since I was a little girl. As a child, I once found some sweet kittens in the woods, "saved" them and ended up having to get rabies shots. This never dissuaded me from the miracle of being part of a little animal's life.
This year has been particularly rich with animals for my family. We were lucky enough to raise butterflies. We had a family of robins that shared our front tree. Then, JACKPOT! We were at a friend's house and found millions of tadpoles in their fish pond. Being the animal nut that I am, I borrowed some Tupperware and scooped up a bunch of algae and tadpoles of every size. I carried them home on an hour car ride and didn't lose one! Below is a picture of the first days of our tadpoles. You can't see it, but there are even eggs in the algae.
My kids and I watched as the teeny tiny tadpoles grew bigger and bigger.
It was truly amazing to watch these guys change. I spent hours in awe of being part of such a miracle.
My husband was not quite as in awe as me. Taking care of these tadpoles did require taking a trek down to a creek semi-near our house and lugging the creek water back. The water was surprisingly heavy, especially after the first 1/2 mile. :)
Every step was worth it, though! I also built some arm muscles. I looked up how to care for tadpoles in your home. Apparently, tadpoles love boiled lettuce that is then frozen. They did tear into this treat!
We watched as the tadpoles became intermediate tadpoles with little stumps that will become legs.
Then, they turned into tadpoles with legs. This was one of my favorite parts- watching them push around the water with tiny little legs and HUGE heads!
Finally, we got to the early frog stage. It is absolutely amazing to see the quick transformation that tadpoles make. It is real science in real life. These little guys even turned from brown to green. Really cool.
Finally, the day came when we were ready to let the little guys go. They were ready to jump and get out on their own.
My kids named each one and we let them go in the creek near our house. They were tiny and so beautiful. Some still had little tails, but we opted to let them all go at once.
This is Froggy. He was one of our favorites.
We visit the creek and look for frogs. Now and then, we will find one and my kids are sure that it is "Froggy, Loggy, Swimmy, Hoppy, Jumpy, etc." You get the picture. They are so engaged in the life of tadpoles and frogs, because they were part of it. It brings home that we are all part of this world and have a direct effect on the people, animals, and earth around us.
Some of the great books we read were: "From Tadpole to Frog", by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld. This book has beautiful photographs and lots of great information.
"From Tadpole To Frog", by Wendy Pfeffer. This book is beautifully illustrated and has lots of great facts about frogs. This was my daughter's favorite book to read. We read it over and over and over.
"All About Frogs", by Jim Arnosky. This was my son's favorite. This book tells about all types of frogs. You can learn tons of fun information about frogs.
We had an amazing experience with our tadpoles. Be on the lookout, because I am getting ready to share our tadpole sensory fun! We extended our learning into play and it was FUN!!!
I would love for you to share any of your animal stories with me!