Monday, June 17, 2013

Simple Small World: Frog Habitat

Our frog habitat is probably the simplest small world that we have created. And being simple, it is one of those habitats that will be fun to return to again and again. Especially because the weather has finally begun to warm up and besides, water bins are always super fun to play in!

To set up a simple frog habitat, all you need is a bin (or bowl or bucket or pool) filled with water, a drop of green food colouring (or liquid watercolors) to make it look like pond water, a few frogs and something to act as a lily pad (in this case, we used two different leaves that floated perfectly even after being submerged several times). 

The frogs sunk straight to the bottom and hung out there, waiting their turn to be played with. This one was the first to be selected to test out the make-shift lily pad. 

Bean really liked looking at the bin from above. She kept leaning over it and shifting the bin around to create ripples on the water. 

And of course, because it is a bin filled with water... a foot had to be dunked in.

Step-brother L liked tossing the frogs to see if they would land on the lily pad.

They submerged the leaves quite a few times and each time they lifted it up the leaves floated again.

The water looked really pretty when it rippled against the leaves.

The kids spent a lot of time playing in this bin before we went on a walk down to the river where we didn't see any real frogs, but we did see a ground hog! It will be fun to add some colourful gems or rocks and sticks to the habitat the next time we make it. Then the kids could make little diving boards for the frogs. :)

One of my ideas to add to this bin will be incorporating black tapioca pearls (aka Boba) as part of a "life cycles of a frog" series. Boba pearls would be perfect to use as frog eggs. They are squishy, almost the same size as frog eggs, and the right colour. They are also safe to be played with or eaten. We haven't tried any activities involving water beads yet, since my son still occasionally puts things in his mouth.

Another idea would be to use foam sheets as lily pads, since we could reuse them several times and wouldn't need to keep plucking leaves from plants. Or a plastic water lily plant could be used as well.

Always keep a close eye on your child(ren) when they are playing in water.

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