I just love when life presents those "teachable moments." For us this happened a few weeks ago when the boys stumbled across some tadpoles.
Days of nonstop rain brought large puddles and ponds to normally dry areas. While at my parents house for Sunday lunch, all the boys went on a 4 wheeler ride and found a huge puddle filled with tadpoles. They ran back inside, grabbed one of my mama's mixing bowls, and filled it up with tadpoles. They were thrilled and wanted to bring them home. I thought sure...why not? It would be a wonderful learning experience for all of us. And then I began researching how to take care of tadpoles...clean the water twice a week, use non-chlorinated water, boil lettuce to freeze for their food, find a large enough aquarium, etc. My goodness!!! They had been living in a mud puddle for crying out loud. But for the sake of learning, I smiled and brought them home. :)
And I'm so glad I did!! We had such a special time watching this miracle take place...one that only God could have designed. Watching this transformation reminded me of our time with the butterflies.
Here is our journey with the tadpoles.
March 17--We brought home the tadpoles.
We placed the aquarium in the kitchen so that we could always watch them.
Sidenote: While I initially thought all of the guidelines for tadpole care seemed ridiculous, I'm so glad I researched and followed through. All of our tadpoles developed correctly, and they are healthy little froglets.
March 25--The tadpoles grew their back legs. Their lungs were also beginning to form...we saw them come to the top to take a breath and go back down in the water.
April 1--They now have their front legs. Soon after this, their tales began to shrink. Their eyes are also bulging and their head is shaped like a frog. Their lungs are fully formed and they float on the top of the water. They are also no longer interested in eating the lettuce. Their appetites are changing as well. ;)
April 3--The tadpoles have now completely changed into froglets. They can now jump out of the water and onto the rock. Their tales have completely disappeared.
April 6--We released the froglets back into their natural habitat.
A few of the tadpoles developed more quickly than the others. We released them a few days earlier. Now that the remaining ones were ready to find flies and crickets we found them the perfect spot.
And that's it...until the cycle begins again. :)
While we were watching the metamorphosis, we read books about tadpoles and frogs. Here are the books we kept in our book basket.
Growth and Life Cycles: Tadpole to Frog by Jim Pipe
Tadpoles by Theresa Greenaway
From Tadpole to Frog by Shannon Zemlicka
From Tadpole to Frog: Following the Life Cycle by Suzanne Slade
From Tadpole to Frog by Wendy Pfeffer (A Let's Read and Find Out Science book)
The Mystery of Nature: Tadpole to Frog by Oliver Owen
If you happen to run across some tadpoles, don't hesitate to bring them home. You'll love watching this miracle unfold.