Have you ever held a tiny toad? None of my students had. Their small fingers itched to hold them but I feared that they might accidentally squish them without instruction so once the cover was on the sensory table I had all the children sit down so that we could talk about what had just happened. We talked about how toads come from eggs and not from seeds in the ground. We talked about how toads would not be found in a bag of soil but rather that since I had stored the open bag of soil in my backyard, the toads had moved in when they discovered what a great shelter it was.
Then we began to talk about how to hold a tiny toad. We talked about how toads are fragile. Holding a toad too tightly could harm it. I passed around a cotton ball so that the children could experiment with a delicate touch. Then we tried to toss the cotton ball and catch it to imitate catching a jumping toad.
Once I felt that the children were able to hold the cotton ball safely, we talked about the toad's skin. Amphibians breath through their skin so it is very important that our hands be clean before touching the toads. The children washed their hands and thoroughly rinsed them and sat back down in the circle.
Finally I took out one tiny toad and showed the children how to hold it and gently pass it from one to another. What a thrill! That was the first day of the beginning of our unit study on Frogs and Toads. It actually continued on for the rest of the year. I included activities that I had done when homeschooling my children as well as activities that I had discovered elsewhere over the years. As you visit my other articles about frogs, toads, and salamanders you will be sure to discover dozens of fun activities you and your children will enjoy.