Welcome to the first installment of Kid’s Corner! Each month I’ll be posting some fun ideas to get us out of the house and into nature. Summer is surely the best time to be a kid. No, it isn’t because school’s out (well maybe that helps), it’s because summer is the perfect time for adventure and exploration. Whenever you leave the house there’s a whole world bursting with life to be discovered! In and around every bush, under leaves and in trees, from flower to flower the world is alive. All sorts of creatures emerge to claim the hot days and warm nights of summer as their own.
One such beast is the Toad. Brown, bumpy, and most likely to pee on you if you are skilled enough to pick one up. How good are you at catching toads? Do you use a net? Are you quick enough to grab one bare-handed? No matter your technique, always remember to handle our little friends with care and respect! Don’t worry if a toad does pee on you, it won’t hurt you and it will not cause warts. They do this as a defense thwart any would be predators; after all, who would want to eat a toad after it did that? Just be sure to wash your hands when you are done visiting.
How do you tell the difference between a frog and a toad? Well, frogs have moist smooth skin and are usually near water. Toads on the other hand, have dry bumpy skin and don’t need to stay as close to water as their amphibian cousins. Did you know that toads are an important part of our environment and are good to have around our homes and gardens? They eat many of the insects we consider pests, hundreds, even thousands each day!
Let’s go outside and find a toad!
- During the day, toads like being in cool places, out of the sun. Let’s start by looking around and under any bushes in our yard. Check under debris, toads like hiding under piles of leaves and sticks. Look under rocks and logs. Always put things back as you found them so that the toads will return, and you can visit with them again.
- At night check under outdoor lights, these attract the insects that toads like to eat! You can also build toad houses to attract toads to your yard. There are many different ways to do this, one of the easiest is using old flower pots that may not be being used anymore. It’s recycling and giving someone a home! I’ll post a few links below to help you along and give you some ideas. I’ve also posted a link to an awesome Toad coloring page! Send us pictures of your creations to our Facebook page or email (email@example.com), we’d love to see what you do with this activity!