Finding Frogs: Catch and Release

While doing some weeding around the yard (yes, we have a lot of weeds) SquiggleDad found this frog.  He carefully caught the little guy to show the kids.  We have a lot of Cane Toads here in Queensland, so our children are cautious about picking up frogs and toads without a grownup.  It can be hard for kids to tell the difference!  We put the frog into a viewing container and had a close look.

After observing the frog’s movements, and helping the kids to look at the frog’s

  • shape
  • colour
  • markings
  • feet

we decided he was probably a Striped Marsh Frog.  Marshies are common around here, and I’ve often heard their tok-tok-tok call on balmy nights.

My daughter really wanted to take the frog to kindy to show the other kids the next day, so we made the container a little more homely for our amphibious friend.  We talked about where the frog was found, and tried to recreate that environment in the container.  We added sand, sticks, leaves and fronds as well as a shallow dish of water. We also got busy catching any bugs we could possibly find in the garden to add to the container in case our friend was hungry.

I’m pleased to report that the frog traveled to kindy quite well.  I laughed out loud when my daughter told her class it was a… “Striped Marshmallow Frog!!”  The name stuck.

Once we brought Marshmallow-the-frog back home, we were eager to return him to his real home – our backyard.  While I love having the opportunity to show my children creatures up close, I think it’s also important for them to understand that it isn’t right to keep wild animals in captivity (without the right setup, at least).

We removed the lid from the container, and gently tipped it onto its side in a sheltered spot in the garden.  We poured the water out of the shallow dish and into the big container, and Marshmallow quickly settled into the puddle.

We then added the sticks and leaves to keep Marshmallow safe from swooping Butcher Birds and help him to relax, after being passed around a kindy class and ogled by 20 pairs of eyes!  We said goodbye to our frog, thanked him for letting us take him to kindy, then left him there.

And in the morning, when Marshmallow had hopped away and was nowhere to be found – the kids were pleased.  We’ll know he’s back when we hear the tok-tok-tok…

12 thoughts on “Finding Frogs: Catch and Release

  1. Great post! Wish we had frogs here in Los Angeles, CA, to see, touch and learn about. We settle for bugs, which we house for a while, then release, same as you. It’s a great way to learn more about the animal, but also about the importance of keeping wild things wild.

  2. lovely …loved Marshmallow story.
    A very interesting learning experience and lesson in kindness to animals .

    My husband found some frogs (12) in the toilet cistern at the farm. He put them in my tupperware container (uh oh) and then we took the boys on a moonlight walk down to the dam to relocate them.They were just brown frogs and I didn’t have my camera (pity).
    The toilet at the farmhouse 5km away has huge GReen frogs who jump out when you go for a ‘twinkle’ in the middle of the night …now I turn the light on LOL
    .-= Trish´s last blog ..Strolling down memory lane =-.

  3. You’re so good with the kids, Catherine. When they grow up, they are going to look back on these times with love and know how much they are loved by their mum and dad.

  4. It is lovely for children to be able to catch frogs in their very own backyard (cane toads are a different story altogether!). Loving the little habitat you made for him.

    My oldest son loves frogs – he wants to be an amphibean biologist when he leaves school (yes, there is such a thing apparently). We listened recently to one speak on frogs and she said that it is great to take kids out into the backyard at night with torch headlamps to hunt for frogs and follow their calls because that is when you will be most likely to find them.
    .-= jenny @ let the children play´s last blog ..i love the way their minds work =-.

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