Project Work in Kindergarten: From Tadpole to Frog – How we Found our First Project in K1 

“So cute!“, “What are they eating?”, “Where are the legs?”, “Where is mummy frog?” Questions upon questions as our K1 class children watches the tadpoles we caught three weeks ago. It should take at least six weeks until the first legs are visible but until then there is a lot to observe. For example, what tadpoles eat (we found out that they like fish food and small algae), how fast they swim, whether they prefer to stay on the water surface or dive to the bottom, and how rapidly the algae multiply in the container. 

Why do we also need to observe the algae and not only our tadpoles’ behaviour? This is very important, because for the tadpoles to survive, there must be enough oxygen in the water. An overpopulation of algae ensures that this balance is quickly tipped, because the plants consume the oxygen in the water. Therefore, once a week we take fresh water from the fish pond and sort out some algae so that our tadpoles have a clean home where they can breathe well and have enough to eat. And maybe there is a tasty mosquito larva or two in the fresh water – a special treat for our tadpoles! 

So our project in K1 started with discovering frogspawn and tadpoles during a walk on the school grounds. The children were immediately excited! Following the interest of the students, we came back with a container and collected a handful of tadpoles. At first it was just a small jar, but we have since cut open a large water jug and set up a new home for the tadpoles.

Projects in kindergarten are particularly fun when they have a practical connection to the children’s environment and we can observe a development over the course of several weeks. The life cycle of frogs is ideal for this. The students can observe their growth and at the same time take responsibility for their care and develop empathy for other living creatures.

They naturally learn the biological background and relationships, supported by learning materials in class. For instance, in Guided Reading Class and in Thai class, we read books about frogs in both languages, using small plastic figures to represent the different stages of frog development. But not only that – with the help of green paint, water, glue, and swelling chia seeds, we made our own frog spawn in Physical Science and displayed it for a few days in a Sensory Bin that we lined with rocks, twigs, and leaves. Almost like a real frog pond, right?

The project is not over yet. We have just made individual frog ponds out of paper and recycled materials, to which we can gradually add parts of the frog life cycle. In doing so, we are guided by the actual development of our real tadpoles. Currently, the frog pond model includes water plants made of paper, frog eggs made of bubble wrap, and tadpoles with tails made of egg carton. We enjoy recycling materials and using them for our project because it is more sustainable and gives a new purpose and interesting shape to things that others only see as waste. It stimulates the imagination of the children who conjure up frog spawn from some bubble wrap or breathe the life of a tadpole into a piece of egg carton.

Let’s see when the first little legs grow and we can finish our frog crafts, it remains exciting!