Big Frog ♥ Little Frog

big frog hearts little frogThe world is full of delightful things for a little frog to jump over, but the absolute best place to eventually land? The loving arms of Mama (or Dada!) frog. Our story time kids jumped box frogs over several obstacles, but waiting at the finish line – with a BIG hug – was their respective grown-up, bedecked in a frog headband!

We read Leap Back Home to Me, written by Lauren Thompson, and illustrated by Matthew Cordell (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011). In this incredibly sweet rhyming book, a little leaping frog has a great time jumping over bugs, plants, trees, creeks, and hilltops, but he always returns to loving embrace of Mama frog.

You’ll need:

  • 1 small box (ours was 4″ x 4″ x 4″ – a small tissue box works too)
  • Green construction paper
  • 1 piece of (ours was 22″ long)
  • 1 mini craft stick (ours was 3″ long)
  • Scissors and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

To make a frog, cover a small box with green construction paper. Add big accordion-fold legs, arms, and eye bumps (we added eye stickers as well). Use markers to draw the mouth and nostrils.

simple frog boxTo make the bouncy jump cord, tape a 22″ piece of clear elastic beading cord to the top of the box, then knot the other end around a craft stick handle. We wrapped tape around the knot on the craft stick as well, just to make it extra secure.

jump string for frog Below is the big frog headband for grown-ups. This is also made of green construction paper. We added jumbo eye stickers as well, but you can also draw on the eyes with markers.

grown up frog headbandYour 2 frogs are done, now for the obstacle course! It can really be as simple as “jumping” over chairs, tables, and books. But we had a couple big boxes come in through our recycling program, so we got a little creative. We recruited a young man to act as both the line leader and start flag for the course…

starting flagWhen he shouted go, a kid / frog duo headed onto the course. First they leaped over the meadow, then jumped past an owl nest (which had an owl in it – another audience recruit).

meadow and owl nestNext was a log tunnel, and just beyond it, a blue twin sheet “river” to jump over.

log tunnel and river

Then the duo bounded over a “mountain” (two wooden step stools pushed together).

mountainAnd stopped to say hello to a rainbow cloud (i.e. Michelle, a Princeton University student assistant). Did you notice her little puff hat? Soooo cute.

michelle the rainbow cloudNext it was on to Miss Melinda, who had a lily pad for each frog to rest on. We made these out of green poster board and a paper muffin cup.

lily pad finish line The final step was to jump into the arms of your mom/dad frog, who was waiting at the finish line in a fine frog head band! Ready to see the course in action?