Montessori-inspired Amphibian Activities with Free Printables (Learn & Play Link Up)

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We have been having a delightful time studying amphibians.  I had no idea how much the kiddos would enjoy learning about them. The compilation of these activities was perfect!  Each one focuses on a different skill the kiddos are working on, and/or teaches about a different aspects of amphibians, especially frogs.

Parts of a Frog and Description Match Up
It's always fun to learn about the parts of a frog, but even more fun when you learn interesting facts that go along with each body part.  The kiddos loved learning the facts on each of the description cards far more than I anticipated.

Source:  The FREE printables for this activity can be found at Montessori Print Shop.

Amphibians Around the World Continent Match Up
It's only natural that we could continue our animal studies with amphibian around the world cards.  They are such a hit on our shelves.  There are some pretty crazy looking frogs out there!  The continent puzzle pieces used for this activity are part of my Montessori Puzzle Map of World.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity. For your free copy, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Amphibian Who Am I? Cards

My kiddos are loving our "Who Am I" activities as we've gone through the different types of animals this year.  This amphibian set gave them a little bit of a challenge, but not for long.  Bulldozer can read every word on these cards!

Source:  I created the printable for this activity. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Parts of a Frog Book
It's one thing to read descriptions of parts of a frog, but another to color them in and write the words.  I chose this activity because all of the kiddos are competent writers now and I love finding ways to add writing to our activities.

Source:  The FREE printable for this activity can be found at Montessori Print Shop.

Parts of a Frog Puzzle
One would think the kiddos would have been sick of parts of a frog activities, but truth be told they weren't!  There is just something about this Montessori Wooden Frog Puzzle that draws them in.  Have I mentioned how in love with Montessori puzzles I've become this year?  They are such great teaching tools!

Source:  The FREE printable for this activity can be found at Montessori Print Shop.

Life Cycle of a Frog
I looked everywhere to find a free life cycle of a frog printable with descriptions to go along with my Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Frog figures but had no luck.  So, we had to create one.  My kiddos loved this activity. I can't figure out if they enjoyed the facts on the cards or the tadpole figures best.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity.  For your free copy, click the link at the bottom of this post.

I never thought I'd be sad that our amphibian unit has ended, but I am.  We had such a great time!

For those interested in the free printables, click the link below:


If you're looking for more amphibian themed classroom ideas, be sure to check out these posts below!  
If you're looking for more frog themed activities, be sure to check out the features for this week's Learn & Play Link Up!
Perfect Montessori May Activities from Natural Beach Living


Free Pond Pack from 3Dinosaurs


Welcome to the Learn & Play Link Up!!!
Learn & Play Link Up Every Thursday


Now it’s time for this week’s link party! This new link up is for all blog posts that include learn and play activities and hands-on education for kids. We are excited to read your blog posts and to see what you have to share! Please link up below and grab our button to display on your blog.
If you are a blogger, share your family friendly posts here. We are looking for things which include:
  • Montessori Education
  • Homeschool
  • Sensory Play
  • Tot and Preschool Trays
  • Fine and Gross Motor Activities
  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Healthy Recipes for Kids
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Natural Living
  • Free Educational Printables
  • Family-Oriented Activities
  • Healthy Living
Your post will be shown on each host’s blog where we will individually pick features every other week. That means there is more of a chance that you will be featured!
Everyone, please meet our link party hosts:
learn and play party hostesses

Guidelines for Linking:
  • Please link up 1-3 posts
  • Follow each of the hosts on social media
  • When you link up, please add our button and place it at the bottom of your shared posts or link back with text link.
  • By entering a link, you’re giving us permission to feature an image on our blogs. Proper credit & links will ALWAYS be given.
  • Please visit a couple of shared posts and leave a comment for them
  • Remember that you must link back in order to be featured
Christian Montessori Network

Children's Books about Frogs and Toads

This post contains affiliate links.

Let's face it; frogs, toads, newts and salamanders are not the cutest creatures on earth (especially not salamanders.) As a wise frog once said, "it ain't easy being green." Nor is it easy to choose books for an amphibian-themed unit for kids.  However, there must be something about these slimy specimens that inspires writers and artists to create such a great variety of characters and stories, over hundreds of years.  With that history in mind, our frog and toad-themed book shelf features as many fiction books that we enjoyed as non-fiction, which is rare for most of our kiddos.  The non-fiction selections are amazing, as always, but I can't remember a more entertaining set of fiction titles around a specific theme in quite some time.  With that, let's take a look at some of our favorite books about frogs and toads (sorry salamanders. You are still too creepy.)  

300 Frogs: A Visual Reference to Frogs and Toads from Around the World is the book on our shelf this week that rates the highest with our resident animal expert Dinomite.  He has good taste in non-fiction nature books, and it is easy to see why he likes this one so much.  Written by a leading expert in the field, this book is jam-packed with information about a wide variety of frogs and toads, from around the world.  The highlight is the photography, which brings these creatures up close and personal to the reader, in all their full-colored glory.  A great choice for the serious student of nature or animal life.

The Frogs and Toads of North America: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification, Behavior, and Calls is a serious academic work of non-fiction for the young nature enthusiast.  Written by three authors, this volume stands alongside 300 Frogs as two of the best books about frogs available. What makes this one great is that it remains kid-friendly despite the sheer volume of content, due to the easy-to-follow layout and down-to-earth language.  The focus on North America is great for us, since many of these frogs can be observed in person, during a hike in the woods or visit to a nearby lake or pond.  This book also includes an audio CD which features field recordings of actual frog songs and chirps. This can create an immersive, sensory-oriented environment that some kids will find engaging and stimulating, while others might find the sounds relaxing.  

Frogs by Nic Bishop is a non-fiction book about frogs as well, but stands out from the others for two reasons. This is a slim volume and the text is simpler, but the major standout is the photography. Bishop is a renowned photographer, and has several nature books for kids published under his name. It's no secret why; these images are amazing.  This is a great choice for the student who has no particular interest in frogs, but can appreciate some cool facts and amazing photographs of these creatures in action. 

Frogs & Toads: A New Compact Study Guide and Identifier (Identifying Guide Series) is unfortunately out of print, but is still available from third-party sellers or from your local library.  We like this volume because it follows the successful model of the books we have already reviewed, plus it is only 80 pages and features some informative graphic that make it easy for early readers or non-readers to understand where these frogs can be found.  One small limitation is that the book is intended to be a field guide, but features species from all over the world. Thus, the information about how and where to find the frogs is interesting, but not completely useful, unless you plan on making your frog searching trips global.  Despite this limitation, this book is as useful and handsome as the others we have discussed, and serves its role well on your reading shelf if the others are unavailable.

Frogs, Toads & Turtles: Take Along Guide (Take Along Guides) is from the Young Naturalist Field Guide series that we have included in previous units, including Bird Unit 3.  The best thing about these books is that they really encourage outdoor exploration, with simple illustrations and basic descriptions of what to look (and listen) for, and where to look.  Observing animals in their natural habitat is the high point of any biology/zoology study, so any book that contributes to that goal is essential. These Young Naturalist books fit the bill perfectly.

Frog Song is one of those nature books for children that strikes the perfect balance between fiction and non-fiction.  Rather than simply present factual information about our froggy friends, Brenda Guiberson and Glenda Spirin provide a little bit of narrative to go along with each species description.  This book is unique in that it emphasizes the sounds associated with these animals, from chirps to slurps.  It's a nice sensory-sensitive approach to nature books, which can be of great benefit to a child who is unfamiliar with frogs or toads, or just loves the attention to these often overlooked details.  

Tuesday is unlike any other book on our shelf this week; in fact, it's not quite like any book we have seen before. A picture book featuring only a few printed words, this is the work of famed children's author and illustrator David Wiesner.  He has a beautiful, dynamic art style, painting watercolor images that usually spread across two pages.  What makes his art unique is the whimsical, absurd vision he brings to each page; in this case, frogs floating through the air on lily pads!  A simple book that requires more careful study of the images rather than text, Tuesday is a nice choice to give our offerings this week some variety and a little bit of magic.  

 I Don't Want to Be a Frog is a fiction book that earned favorite status of Bulldozer.  A cute story about the virtues of being a frog, told in a comic-book style format. with a bit of a twist ending.  Dev Petty's text is just dialogue between the characters, with no other narration or exposition, a cool trick that she pulls of well, and it serves the story perfectly.  Plus, illustrator Mike Boldt draws one heck of a cute frog.  Bulldozer read this book every day it was on our shelves.

.A Frog in the Bog is another fiction title in our lineup this week, and it is also Princess' favorite book of the bunch.  She is a big fan of wordplay and rhyming words especially, and this book delivers in that department.  The text is similar to the song about the old lady who swallowed a fly, building the tension, and the fun, as the story progresses.  The charming illustrations accompany the tone and text of the story perfectly.  Plus, it's fun to read! 

Frog and Toad Are Friends is one of four volumes by Arnold Lobel, and all four carry the same recommendation. If you are unfamiliar with the Frog and Toad books, you are in for a treat.  A classic "odd couple", the optimistic, fun-loving Frog and his melancholy, somewhat pessimistic friend Toad have simple adventures doing everyday things, often with hilarious and charming results. If you are already a fan, then the best thing about these is listening to your beginning reader narrate these stories out loud, since the vocabulary and story lines are just right for them.

If you enjoyed our amphibian book recommendations in this post, be sure to visit these posts:

When Food is Your Child's Enemy (Learn & Play Link Up)

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Food has always been an enemy in this house.  Dinomite has never liked it.  He refused to nurse at one week old.  As a young toddler we'd hide food in his toys, in hopes that he would find the pieces and "accidentally" put them in his mouth.  There came a time when our pediatrician said if things didn't change, drastic measures would need to be taken.  Thankfully Dinomite continued to gain just enough so that wouldn't happen,  If there was a pill that one could take, instead of eating food, he'd do it.  Challenges with food are part of Dinomite's autism.

Bulldozer's story is just plain crazy.  How many children do you know who are born allergic to over 40 foods?  You can read more details about our adventures HERE.  Then, add autism sensory issues to the mix.  Meal time is HARD.  Food is definitely the enemy.

Princess' story is one of trauma and neglect.  When she arrived at 6 months, she didn't know how to eat.  You would hold a spoon out and she would avoid the exercise of eating at all costs.  I used to think it was because she was clueless, but experiences have led me to believe that there was also a fear factor.  Princess has definitely been known to refuse food for long periods of time.  I can attest, the situation definitely feels like a battleground.

Sunshine has everyone's issues combined.  She has food allergies (which you can read about HERE), autism sensory issues, and a past that involves trauma and neglect.  I must not forget her need to over stuff.  Sometimes this leads to gagging and vomiting.  Oh how I wish food weren't the enemy!

Over the years I have had to figure out ways to work through mealtimes, making sure meals are safe, healthy and include foods my kids will eat.  I won't lie, this has been VERY challenging.  My husband and I have tried things that work, and definitely tried things that don't work.  One thing I have learned more than anything else is that forcefulness only brings about tears and usually vomit.  So what has worked?  

1.  Grocery shopping with your child can be challenging at times, but it has yielded so many rewards for our family.  Usually I only take one at a time.  Each child has other sensory issues they're trying to work through in a grocery store, so having more than one with me is a little much.  When Dinomite was in a summer preschool day camp, he had to bring his lunch everyday.  I was mortified because I had no idea what I was going to pack.  His diet was so limited.  Each week we went to the grocery store together and I told him he had to pick out something new.  I didn't care if it was healthy or  junk food, but it had to be something he had never tried before.  He LOVED this exercise.  Usually the item was a variation of something he already liked, but for a child who refused to eat chicken nuggets ever again because the packaging on the front of the box changed, this was progress.

Bulldozer loves to grocery shop.  His favorite day to go is Saturday because Wegman's has stations set up all around the store with free samples.  Never in a million years would this child try new foods at home, but because we're at the store and it's the "cool" thing to do, he loves the ritual.  This has expanded his diet in so many ways.  Princess enjoys free samples of foods as well.

Once the kiddos were able to master going along for grocery shopping trips, they started doing some shopping of their own (with parent supervision of course).  They would each be in charge of selecting a day's worth of food for our family to eat each week.  I'm not sure who enjoyed this more out of the three older kiddos.  There were so many benefits.  It gave the kiddos such a sense of pride to know that everyone would eat something they selected and that they could choose what they wanted.  You can tell from the pictures below that they all have very different tastes.

2.  Meal planning with kiddos has been crucial to maximizing success at mealtimes.  Before grocery shopping, we sit down at the table and plan the menu for the week together.  We have a Meal Planner dry erase board that I fill out as we go.  Each person in the house selects one breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as one fruit and one vegetable for snacks.  No choice can be repeated by another person.  This has worked very well for us, after the kiddos became comfortable with the grocery store, and didn't need the visuals to help them make their food choices.

Over time we developed a 30 day meal plan calendar without a single meal being repeated in the cycle.  This was HUGE as it provides such a variety of foods everyone can enjoy.  Now, let me be clear, this doesn't mean that everyone eats everything on this menu.  There are MANY nights when Dinomite eats a PB&J sandwich instead.  The key thing is that he's willing to sit at the table and eat with us in close quarters.  At least two times a week he will eat part of a meal served.

The magical component that makes this menu work is that the ingredients for each meal are prepared separately, and then combined to create the final product.  So, if someone can't handle food mixed, we make their plate before combining ingredients.  If someone can't have one or more ingredients because of food allergies, we make their plate before the last ingredient is added or let others add the ingredient on their individual plates.  If a child will only eat one part of the meal, and not the others, they can.  I'm no longer making 3 different meals, and everyone is happy.  
Once we were able to create one 30 day meal plan, we worked on creating two, one for Autumn and Winter, the other for Spring and Summer.  I'm not going to mislead you into thinking this was easy.  This process has taken YEARS, and has only been successful with the kiddos' 100% involvement.
If you'd like to see our meal plans up close and print a copy for your own personal use, you can obtain your free copy HERE.  Recipes for all meals can be found on my Dinner Ideas and Recipes Pinterest Board.  

Now that we've conquered the dinner menus, we're moving on to breakfast and lunch.  The kiddos have decided on their own that they don't like eating the same things each day, because they know just how many choices are out there.  Sunshine and I just spent time bonding yesterday while seraching Pinterest for lunch ideas she can enjoy.

3.  A Montessori weaning table can make all the difference in the world at mealtime, especially for children with sensory sensitivities.  I only wish I had known about it sooner.  For more information about the weaning table be sure to check out these posts:  Benefits of a Montessori Weaning Table from The Kavanaugh Report and Preparing Montessori Toddler Spaces from Living Montessori Now
Sunshine has a weaning table and uses it at every meal.  This helps her focus on her food and eat it correctly.  She feels in complete control of her surroundings and can be independent which is something she needs.

4.  Teaching practical life skills in the kitchen has created an environment of self care and independence. This has resulted in a feeling of safety and comfort, which has then lead to more positive mealtime experiences.  For more information about how we created a more kid friendly kitchen atmosphere that invited multiple practical life experiences, read the post below.

5.  Cooking in the kitchen with kids has always been something we've done with our children, but this year we stepped up our game and all of them are now preparing full meals with us.  Most often it's the meal they've picked on our weekly menu.  We've found that as the kiddos actually touch and prepare the meals they're more apt to try a bite.  Dinomite has taught us that it's not just taste that turns him away, most often it's the look, the sound, and sometimes the feel of the food.

Bulldozer loves cooking and baking more than any other child in the house.  He craves visual stimuli.  Cooking and baking provide some great opportunities to meet that constant need.  When he prepares a meal he goes all out, as seen in the photos below.  The night these photos were taken he made homemade bread, chocolate chip cookies, spaghetti with red sauce and meat, and a salad for everyone.
Princess enjoys cooking almost as much, but is still very anxious about it.  The night these photos were taken, she was making Chicken and Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo.
Dinomite struggles with cooking because he's working with food.  Usually he won't bake, but when we give him free reign of the stove he perks right up, deciding to make steak, asparagus, and pasta for dinner.  Have I mentioned Dinomite HATES pasta?  For the longest time he wouldn't even sit at the table with us if we were eating it.  And now...  He still won't eat it, but he'll prepare it and sit right next to someone else eating it.  Cooking has helped him with this.
6.  Planning and preparing celebrations that include "feasts" is a task my children look forward to.  And by plan, I mean they all have a say in what we eat.  Usually we'll all agree on a main dish, and then each person in the family will choose a side.  The four kiddos also request a dessert each.  Why do we do this?  The kiddos are researching foods and reading through recipes.  They search Pinterest, using the visuals provided.  They're willing to try new foods.  Every party with a feast has been a success.  As we prepare the foods, they're definitely getting their hands dirty.  Before every big event we take a couple days off from our usual routines and spend all of our time in the kitchen.  They LOVE this and always ask for more.  Even Dinomite is prepared to work.  All of the kiddos have come so far!  Some celebrations only include sweet treats but others include healthy meals.
For examples and ideas about kid friendly celebrations and "feasts," feel free to check out the posts below.


7.  Sensorial activities outside of mealtime environment have been crucial to Dinomite's success in the eating department. When you take him away from mealtime and from the dining room table, it's as if part of the threat that's usually there, is gone.  In our Montessori-inspired Fruit Unit w/ Free Printables he touched and sampled every fruit we worked with.  It was amazing!  Though he didn't find many options he enjoyed, he at least tried them on his own.

Overall, we've found that the more the kiddos participate in all food related events without pressure, the more likely they are, over time, to decide they want to try something new.  Since they've all participated in every aspect of a meal, the need to meltdown and/or act out has lessened.  I'm starting to believe that food isn't as much of an enemy as it used to be!

This week's Learn & Play Link Up Features all focus on healthy eating.  Please visit them and show much you enjoy them.  





Welcome to the Learn & Play Link Up!!!
Learn & Play Link Up Every Thursday


Now it’s time for this week’s link party! This new link up is for all blog posts that include learn and play activities and hands-on education for kids. We are excited to read your blog posts and to see what you have to share! Please link up below and grab our button to display on your blog.
If you are a blogger, share your family friendly posts here. We are looking for things which include:
  • Montessori Education
  • Homeschool
  • Sensory Play
  • Tot and Preschool Trays
  • Fine and Gross Motor Activities
  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Healthy Recipes for Kids
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Natural Living
  • Free Educational Printables
  • Family-Oriented Activities
  • Healthy Living
Your post will be shown on each host’s blog where we will individually pick features every other week. That means there is more of a chance that you will be featured!
Everyone, please meet our link party hosts:
learn and play party hostesses

Guidelines for Linking:
  • Please link up 1-3 posts
  • Follow each of the hosts on social media
  • When you link up, please add our button and place it at the bottom of your shared posts or link back with text link.
  • By entering a link, you’re giving us permission to feature an image on our blogs. Proper credit & links will ALWAYS be given.
  • Please visit a couple of shared posts and leave a comment for them
  • Remember that you must link back in order to be featured
Christian Montessori Network

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