Build a Toad Abode
Toads have gotten a raw deal. They have the unfair reputation of being the "ugly" version of frogs, and old wives tales warn that touching a toad will cause warts. Despite the bad PR, toads are one of nature’s hidden jewels. Having a toad hanging around your yard to catch bugs is very eco-friendly and gives children a fascinating creature to study. Creating a home for a toad is an easy and fun project.
What You Need:
- Small terra cotta pot – around 4”
- Acrylic paints
- Paint brush
- Small spade
What You Do:
- Spread some newspapers out on your child's workspace so she won’t drip paint anywhere.
- Have your child decorate her pot with nature designs, petroglyphs, or whatever she would like.
- When the pot has dried, take it outside to a spot that is in the soil – a flower bed that doesn’t get any pesticides would be great, otherwise a spot under a bush or tree.
- Next, have your child take the spade, dig down in the soil a little ways and bury the pot halfway in the ground on its side. Think of it as making a miniature cave. Leave the soil turned up, don’t pat it down.
- Now you have a toad house in your yard! If you don’t attract a toad with your first toad house, try moving it to a different location. Soon, you will have an ally in the fight against garden pests.
Did You Know?
- Toads live in drier environments than frogs and tend to burrow.
- They are nocturnal, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see much of your toad.
- They eat insects, grubs, slugs, worms and other invertebrates—up to 110 a day.