Sensory Science Play: DIY Frog Pond

Apr 27, 2015

As we head into the spring season, the children and I have been busy studying all the sounds and sights of this most delightful season. The grass is turning green again, the birds are chirping a first light and the crocuses are starting to pop. We even found our first worm out in the garden this week. But one of the things we've been waiting oh so patiently for is the sound of the frogs outside the window in the evening. We have been discussing the life cycle of the frog from egg to tadpole to croaking amphibian, and today we built our own little frog pond in our kitchen.

This is a simple project for all ages and takes very little prep. All the materials we used were from the Dollar Store, the pet store or right outside in the yard. It's difficult finding sensory science activities suitable for toddlers and school-aged kids alike, but this little indoor frog pond kept everyone engaged. If you worry about the mess, you can surely make it an outdoor activity.

Here's What We Used:

  • large bowl or bin
  • water
  • greenery
  • dirt
  • rocks
  • sticks
  • play frogs

Materials used for this project: large bowl, watering can of water, plastic greenery, rocks of various sizes, sticks, plastic toy frogs and dirt.

If you are working inside, you may want to spread a plastic drop cloth of some kind on the table or floor where you are working.

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Here's How We Did It:


The children worked together to pour dirt and water into the bowl. They mixed up the mud with their hands until they decided they had just the right consistency.

Kids making mud by adding water to a big basin filled with dirt.

Once they had the mud just so, they washed up with our handy always-close-by wash bin...

Kids washing their hands in a basin of soapy water.


The children then placed each item from the tray—whether it was a rock, a stick, or a tadpole—into the big bowl. We discussed each item as it was placed and stated why we thought it was an important element in our frog pond. The rocks were for sunbathing, sticks for climbing, container of water for swimming and laying eggs, etc. When it was complete, the indoor frog pond was so pretty and inviting, the kids couldn't wait to get their hands in it!

Completed frog pond: a bowl filled with mud, rocks, sticks, toy frogs and water.


The children, ages 19 months to 6 yrs, played together for over an hour. The stirred up the mud with sticks, they took the frogs for a swim, and they made up all sorts of imaginative stories as they went along.


Three kids crowded around the

Yes, this activity is messy. But what's a little dirt under the nails for the sake of science and imaginative sensory play?

Helpful Hint:
*If you take the pond outside, you won't have to worry about your floors, and kids can wash off their hands in a bucket of sudsy water or the garden hose.

Article Author Arlee Greenwood
Arlee Greenwood

Read more from Arlee here.

Arlee is an Early Childhood Educator, earning her degree at BYU Idaho. She runs a government accredited care center in her home in Red Deer, AB. She studied with the New York Institute of Photography and she owns her own photography studio. Arlee is a mother of 6, an aspiring yogi, a lover of books, bento box lunches, travel, good food and wine. She’s a blogger in her “spare time” and she will never say no to chocolate. Find her at Small Potatoes, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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