This time of year the frogs and toads are out in force. You can hear them talking to each other when the sun starts to set into the evening. Kids love to find tadpoles in ponds and frogs hiding in their yards.
Have fun this week exploring the world of frogs and toads.
Making a Toad House
This is an easy project to do and you’re creating a home for the toads living in your back yard.
What you’ll need:
Clay pot , small or medium size, you want to insure it’s big enough for a toad.
Non toxic Paints (optional)
What to do:
You can leave the pot the way it is and continue to the last step or you can paint the clay pot. Use your imagination and get creative. Remember this will be outside and exposed to the elements.
Once you’ve painted the clay pot and the paint has dried, you can coat with a non-toxic clear coat to keep your creation preserved.
Frogs and toads prefer a moist and shady place in your yard. Lay the clay pot on its side and bury half of it, filling the inside partially so the toad is sitting on dirt.
To add an extra special touch, make a sign inviting your new toad friends into the house. What you’ll need:
Card board or construction paper
What to do:
Cut the card board or paper to the size you want your sign to be.
Decorate any way you like.
Take the packing tape and cover the face of the sign as a protective cover. Attach the popsicle stick to the back with packing tape.
Place sign near your toad house.
This is a fun project for around your garden or to create markers in the garden.
A fun summer activity is to take a nature walk through your neighborhood or backyard. How many plants and animals can you identify? Keep a log of what you find and then go to the library to find out more information.
If you started a backyard log book from last weeks post, you can use that to write your discoveries. Or you can start a summer vacation journal and write all your summer adventures in it.
You can add this to your nature walk or make this a separate expedition. Draw each insect you find in your journal. How many different kinds of bugs and insects can you find?
Random Frog and Toad Facts and Myths
Myth – Frogs and Toads give you warts if you touch them. Not true.
Fact / Myth – Some Australia Aborigines and Native American believe that frogs bring rain.
Fact – The Chinese see “Toad in the Moon” not “Man in the Moon”
Myth – Toads are considered one of the five poisons of yin.
Fact – Frogs are a symbol of good luck in Japan.
Fact – Frogs can measure from 1 inch to over one foot in length, depending on species.
Fact – Frogs live between 4 – 15 years.
Fact – Fossils of the earliest known frog were found in Arizona at the Navajo Indian Reservation. Scientist determined the remains to be about 190 million years old. Frogs haven’t changed much since then.
Myth / Fact – One theory of science is that frogs grew their long legs as a way to hop away from dinosaurs.
Fact – Toads and frogs eat bugs and worms.
Dinner and a Movie – The Princess and the Frog
It’s always fun to relax in the evening with the kids after a long day and unwind. What better way than watching a movie together.
Sticking with our theme of Frogs and Toads I suggest The Princess and the Frog. Below is a sample menu for the dinner part of the evening. I’ve included a recipe for Benyas for a great finish to your meal.
Fried Chicken or Chicken Nuggets
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy or Baked French Fries
Vegetable of Choice (you know what your kids will eat)
Butter Milk Biscuits
How to make Benyas
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
Oil, for deep-frying
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together.
Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture.
In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour.
Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
Add the confectioners’ sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares.
Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color.
After benyas are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners’ sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.
Here are the Fun holidays for this week:
30th – Tour De France
1st – International Chicken Wing Day
1st – 3rd – Rosewell UFO Days
Have a great week.