A few weeks ago, we found a bunch of tadpoles in a puddle at Panther creek and brought home a few to raise.
Tadpoles are very easy to raise. We keep ours in the Insectlore Frog bog habitat we got a few years back. In the past, we have also them in a 10 gallon aquarium. i prefer the smaller frog bog though, it's easier to keep clean and unless you a have a ton of tadpoles it is plenty of room for them.
Make sure the container you use is very clean, and free from any soap residue.
In the wild, Tadpoles eat decomposing plant materials and insect larva found in the water. Some websites recommend feeding them fish flakes. However, we've had good luck feeding ours spinach leaves. We use fresh organic spinach from the garden. Wash it well, and place the leaves in a bit of boiling water to soften them up. Then rinse, cool and add them to your aquarium/habitat. The tadpoles will nibble away at these and produce a lot of poo that will need to be cleaned out every few days.
They grew really fast. The kids check them almost daily to report any changes. i usually get pictures of the whole process, but this time i totally missed getting of picture of the legs buds. When the kids checked on them one morning, we were surprised to see they had grown their legs!
By the next day, we had the feeling they were ready to be released.
So we took them behind our house to the creek, and let them go. They were so super tiny. i believe they may have been toads, rather than frogs because of the size. We released them in a wet/swampy area, where a spring was coming up from the ground. So there was a bit of water, but it wasn't fast moving like a stream or creek. We placed the little guys on some moss and dried leaves so they could decide where they wanted to go from there. It seemed like the perfect location for frogs or toads.
Just as we release the last one, and get the frog bog container cleaned out and put away, we came home with a new batch of tadpoles.
Just for fun, here is a really neat Tadpole Puppet printable you can print up from Scholastic to show how tadpoles transform into frogs through metamorphosis.
Here is another good printable coloring page that shows the life cycle of the frog. No matter how many times we experience watching the tadpoles transform, it just never gets old!