Learn how to make a toad that you can play with!

Toad Toy Instructions and Template

Ages: 5-8 years
Time Required: 15-30 minutes


  • Toilet or paper towel tube
  • Paper clip
  • Scissors
  • Markers and/or crayons
  • Glue/tape
  • Toad pieces template (print or trace)
  • String

Try this!

Step 1: Color the toad legs.

Step 2: Cut out all the template pieces.

Step 3: Glue/tape the eyes to one end of the paper tube.

Step 4: Decorate your toad however you like, but make sure to give it “bumpy skin” (you can even add the paratoid glands behind the eyes).

Step 5: Color inside the mouth of the toad.

Step 6: Attach the legs to the body on each end of the paper tube.

Step 7: Tape one end of the string inside the mouth of the toad.

Step 8: Attach the paper clip and the fly to the other end of the string.

Step 9: You are ready to play the game! The challenge of the game is to make the toad swallow they fly by only using one hand.

What’s going on?

When compared to frogs, toads have adapted to survive in drier conditions, which is why they have dry bumpy skin. They also have shorter legs than frogs do, so they aren’t quite as good jumpers. Since they spend more time on land and can’t jump as far as frogs to avoid predators, they have also developed glands behind their eyes called “paratoid” glands. These glands release a poisonous liquid when squeezed, that can be harmful to predators, including humans. If you wanted to make a toy frog instead, what changes would you have to do? You would probably need longer legs for example, since frogs are much better jumpers! You also wouldn’t add the parotoid glands, since frogs don’t have them. Frog skin is also generally smoother and moister when compared to toad skin, so your frog wouldn’t have “bumpy skin” like our toad has.

Extension Activity

Frog and toad tongues come in many different sizes. Try making another toad or frog with a longer or shorter tongue. Is it easier for you to catch the fly with a shorter tongue or a longer one? Frogs and toads with shorter tongues rely much more on ambushing their prey compared to others with longer tongues. In your case, you will notice that when you change the length of the string you will have to adjust the amount of momentum generated by your arm motion to catch the fly. The shorter the string the faster reaction time you will need to catch the fly, just like frogs and toads with short tongues!

Additional Resources

Learn more about the frogs and toads that you can find in Florida.