Teacher FAQ's for Grow-a-frogs in classrooms My students LOVE Grow-a-frogs !

tadpoles -arrival | daily care | development | morph | stage two | guarantee

frogs - arrival | daily care | feeding | habitat | health | growth | longevity | guarantee

Questions and Answers about Grow-a-frog and native tadpole care in classrooms
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We send your order ASAP, weather permitting

We do realize that you need to receive your order ASAP. Unless otherwise specified we ship all orders ASAP, weather permitting.

We are able to ship most of the school year. We are very sorry but there does come a time when it is simply too hot or cold to ship. Most of the time ( not always, of course ) extreme heat 90 + degrees coincides with summer vacation. Also, we prefer not to ship if the temperatures are below 25 degrees as even with insulation of course water will freeze if the package is left outdoors. You can definitely help us by providing a school, work, business or 'address where someone will be home' so that the package does not stay outside or in a mailbox overnight.

We will meet your class requirements

If you are ordering by Purchase Order, simply specify a ship date / arrival date if you wish. You may do the same by calling the Gilly Hotline at 352.544.0333. If there is no specific date requirement we will ship ASAP.

If you are ordering online, the very last dialog box in the online ordering process is 'special instructions.' Simply write your ship date / arrival date requirements there. We will send on the date requested and provide tracking information so that you may anticipate an arrival date.

Please note: We guarantee that we can ship by a requested date. In most instances we can meet your arrival requirements within a day or two. However, the ONLY way to guarantee date specific arrival is to ship via a date certain method such as Next Day or Second Day Air. If you need date certain arrival please call the Gilly Hotline at 352.544. 0333. We are very sorry there is a substantial additional cost for date certain arrival as overnight and guaranteed second day services are expensive.. Anticipate a minimum 45 dollar additional cost.

We accept all school Purchase Orders.

We gladly accept all Public and Parochial School Purchase Orders from any accredited school in the U.S. Please either mail to Three Rivers Mail Order Corp., P.O. Box 10369, Brooksville, Florida 34603 or fax to 352.848.0100. We are very sorry we do not accept verbal Purchase Orders.

School address preferred

We prefer to address your order to a school as 'someone will be there' to accept the package and it will not get left outdoors or in a mailbox.

Of course, there are exceptions. If you are planning to receive your Grow-a-frog during school break or Saturday then obviously address it elsewhere such as a work address, business address, or at least an address 'where someone will be home.' If you need to use an address where someone will not be home, please pay extra special attention to tracking information so that you may anticipate arrival.

'Refill kits'

Grow-a-frog Kit prices are 'as low as possible' as they are sold for education.

We do recognize that educators teach the unit annually and we offer substantial savings on 'refills' for several Grow-a-frog Kits. If you are interested in refill kits at substantially lower costs, please click Teachers on our home page. We offer 'refills' for the Life Cycle Kit, Morphin Tube Town and Tadpole Tube Town kits.

Shipping discounts on bulk orders

If you are ordering for school district, we can definitely offer School District bulk shipping discounts for kits all 'shipping to the same place/address at the same time.' Please call the Gilly Hotline at 352 .544. 0333 so we may quote a cost on your specific district order.

Morph'in Kits

Yes !

We proudly offer Growafrog Kits in advanced stages of metamorphosis! Your students may observe tadpole to froglet development in one class period.

We invite you to consider our Life Cycle Kit or Morph'in Tube Towns. Our Life Cycle Kit includes juvenille, back limb, front limb, 'metamorphic climax' and froglet stages of development. The Morph'in Tube Towns include a back limb tadpole and a front limb tadpole. Also, our Super Delux Kit includes a tadpole and a young froglet just post metamorphosis.

Tell a Colleague

In a continued effort to keep our prices as low as possible, we depend upon 'word of mouth' advertising far more than media advertising for Grow-a-frogs.

If your students have gained knowlege and appreciation for nature by observing Grow-a-frogs in classroom we would appreciate it you could pass this along to a colleague. Although shipping costs have 'rocketed' in the past years, we still are making every effort to provide Grow-a-frogs for our wonderful teachers and students with little or no price increase.

By the way, we understand all too well how schools have been 'hit hard' with budget cuts and shortfalls. All too often educators use their own out of pocket money for school projects. With this reality in mind, we try to offer Growafrogs as a 'cost effective' lesson for your students. Our Growafrog kits are 'complete' and available in a wide selection of low to moderately priced offerings. Refill kits are available, too.

Morph time

Grow-a-frog tadpoles morph in 3-6 weeks on average.

This can and does vary a bit from tadpole to tadpole. Also, temperature affects the morph time.. In general, tads morph weeks faster at 72 than they do at 66 degrees.

If your curriculum has 'time' we highly recommend any one of our Grow-a-frog Kits. However, if the school year is coming to an end or if you simply need to complete the lesson in one class period AND watch the tads grow - then we recommend either the Life Cycle Kit, Morphin Tube Town, or the Super Deluxe Kit. All of these include more than one stage of development.

Student Interest

Any educator knows that K-6 students learn more when they are 'engaged' in an activity.

As you can literally see thru a Grow-a-frog tadpole's skin and watch a live heartbeat, we can tell you from now 35 years of experience that your students will become 'almost immediately engaged' in this project.

Students are simply attracted to tadpoles ! Every student should have the opportunity to see a tadpole change into a frog while they are still in school ! We have been told that Growafrogs 'bring light to childrens' eyes who are otherwise uninterested in learning.'

Although the morph may take a few weeks, growth may be observed almost daily. Kids look forward to coming to class to watch how much their tadpole has changed since the previous day.

Grow-a-frogs are extremely easy to care for in classrooms, and students love to 'take turns' feeding their frogs and doing weekly partial water changes.

Biology is defined as the "scientific study of life." We humbly submit that there is no book, CD, YouTube video, Instagram picture or film which is better suited for studying life than the study of life itself. Grow-a-frog tadpoles and frogs are a remarkable way to study and appreciate life in your classroom ! The scientific 'hands - on' metamorphosis observation of see-thru tadpoles to aquatic frogs will certainly stimulate the minds of your future scientists, doctors, veterinarians and ecologists as well as the fertile minds of all of your students including artists, musicians, and poets alike ! Life is important !

Over the course of time as students inevitably return to visit teachers from earlier grades, they are incredulous to learn that a frog they grew years ago when they were in the very same classroom is still alive and well all that time !

Window of Life

Remarkably, yes.

Growafrog Pipidae tadpoles uniquely provide students and teachers with an incredible opportunity to study life during embryonic stages.

You cannot see an egg develop in mammals at all as mammals including humans (of course) have internal fertilization.

Amphibians have external fertilization, so you can see an egg develop and watch larval forms outside of the body with a simple magnifying glass or even the naked eye. However, transparent Growafrog Pipidae tadpoles are one of the very, very few life forms which allow you to study internal structures as they unfold by direct observation. Not only can you experience the miracle of metamorphosis, you also may quite literally see life's organs develop. Watch the formation of the eyes, heart, brain, skin and digestive system as well as 'interesting' structures like tentacles and the remarkable lateral line system of these intriguing underwater amphibians.

Why dissect a frog ? Your students will gain a far more important and informative biology lesson by observing a see thru living Growafrog Pipidae tadpole. You may literally dissect a Growafrog tadpole 'with your eyes' as NO dissection is required !

Budgetary Considerations

One of the 'nice' things about Growafrogs is that they are 'affordable.' When you consider all of the expenses associated with most any other project, the expenses for Growafrogs are low indeed. All Growafrog kits include everything you'll need to grow the tads ( except water ) so there are no 'hidden costs.' Of course, the frogs need to eat - and Stage Two Food is priced very inexpensively. The 'Buy 2 Get One Free Special' lasts a good long time. A larger habitat may be necessary as the frogs grow... and most K-12 institutions have an aquarium or larger habitat 'on hand' purchased years ago.

The true cost is pennies a day, the desire to learn about biology and life science, and a little love.

They need to read

See thru tadpoles can encourage reading !

Place a Growafrog see thru tadpole kit on a table and surround it with topical books about tadpoles, frogs, amphibians and metamorphosis.

It is our experience that see thru tadpoles will stimulate students to become 'frequent library visitors.' In all likelyhood, your pupils will browse a book or two and immerse themselves in words about the vital life processes unfolding in your book repository.

Next day air

We can provide Next Day Air delivery. However there is a substantial additional charge as this service is inherently very expensive.

Please call the Gilly Hotline at 352 544 0333 if you need this service. We will have to get you an exact cost based upon your order and geographic destination. Please be advised there will likely be 'shipping shock' as the additional cost is typically minimum 35 dollars . Larger orders can cost 75 or more additional dollars for Next Day Air.

Over the weekend

One of the 'nice' things about Grow-a-frogs for classroom use is that they can easily go 'over the weekend' with no ill effects at all provided the water in their habitat is partially refreshed weekly and they are otherwise well fed. You do NOT have to transport your Grow-a-frogs home to feed over the weekend.

If you happen to have someone who can feed over the weekend in school that would be great,. but if not try and feed a little more on Friday ( perhaps 2-3 times a day if you can ) for tadpoles and froglets. However, do NOT pour lots of extra food into the habitat 5 minutes before you leave.

Underfeeding is preferred to overfeeding.

Keep away from large unshaded windows - especially in early fall / late spring - to prevent the habitat from getting far too hot from direct sunlight. Essentially, it is the same reason why you would not keep any pet in a car with the windows rolled up - it can just get far too hot.

Native tadpoles

It sounds simple. Everyone 'growing up' just went to the pond and caught tadpoles, so why not use them for classrooms ?

Frogs typically breed in the spring... so most tadpoles are likely not 'available' in fall and winter months. If you are able to find native tadpoles during that time likely they are larger bullfrog tadpoles which can take up to two whole years to morph ! If you are able to find young tadpoles or eggs in spring the morph typically takes two months or more. This varies considerably according to location and kind of tadpole... but the morph probably will not be completed before the end of the school year.

Of course, if your school is in a major metropolitan area there may not be any ponds, let alone tadpoles, near your school at all. Grow-a-frogs are a wonderful way for 'city kids' to have a positive 'natural history' experience with tadpoles in your classroom !

Sadly, there is a 'disease of the frogs' called Chytrid which can be lethal to native frogs and tadpoles. Chytrid is a relatively recent discovery and the Chytrid fungus is responsible in part for amphibian declines worldwide. It is with great sorrow that we need to say the seemingly harmless act of collecting tadpoles from the pond for nature study and re-releasing them after metamorphosis could actually contribute to the proliferation of Chytridiomycosis. We want to be sure that your students do NOT spread this fungus! Your Grow-a-frogs are NOT affected by this fungus as they are captive bred and routinely monitored.

The study of amphibian metamorphosis is an integral part of nearly every K-8 curriculum. When you employ Grow-a-frogs in class for education, your students are observing a valuable lesson in life sciences and are also allowing native tadpoles in your region to remain where they need to be - in the pond.

When your anatomy lesson plans include transparent Growafrog tadpoles - your students are enriched with an unparalleled biology lesson and you are allowing native frog populations to remain undisturbed. Growafrogs are good for local frog populations and academic requirements !

Grow-a-frogs are wonderful tadpoles and frogs before and after the morph, but you should NEVER release your Growafrog or any other amphibian into the local environment even it came from there in the first place !

If you or your students are able to care for the froglets after the morph and will be responsible to never release them into the local ecosystem, then we highly recommend our captive bred see thru Grow-a-frog tadpoles. However, if you or your students are not willing / able to care for them after the morph then we highly recommend that you do NOT use Growafrogs. The release of any non native animal into your local ecosystem is a serious cause for alarm. Please do not release any non-native animal or pet into the environment - ever !

Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances arise and you may not be able to keep your Growafrogs. This can happen for many different reasons. We want you to know that Growafrogs are relatively easy to care for and in all likelyhood you will be able to find a kind-hearted student, faculty member, family member, co-worker or friend to care for your frog. Also, we will ALWAYS welcome your frog back home ! If you need breathable bags for safe journey 'back home' simply email us

If you are using locally collected tadpoles for study, try and be sure that the local tadpoles are not from endangered frogs. Many endangered frogs are right here in the U.S.! We highly recommend that you visit the U.S Geological Survey tadpole page to help with identification. To prevent the spread of Chytridiomycosis, you may want to consider studying tadpoles in the pond without collecting them. If you are collecting tadpoles, make absolutely sure that these tadpoles are kept by themselves and never mixed with any other tadpoles or frogs at all.

As Educators, now more than ever it is imperative to inform your students about concerns of releasing any animal... and indeed any amphibian native or non-native into your local ecosystem. Pure and simple - Don't let 'em go ! When planning for care of native frogs in classroom post metamorphosis, please take into consideration that in nearly all cases you will need to provide a steady diet of live insects as most native frogs only eat live food. Most native tadpoles have relatively easy care requirements, but most native frogs have very demanding care requirements. Are you really going to keep that bullfrog or even grass frog in classroom and provide the spacial requirements and steady diet of live moving insects for the frog's entire lifespan ? If so, this is a wonderful thing to do and we encourage you to do so - but if you are planning to simply 'let 'em go' after the morph we urge you NOT to do so ! Survival of amphibians and the well being of the environment depend upon what your students learn now. You can and will make a difference for future generations !

Endangered Species Breeding Program

Amphibian declines and extinctions are a huge worldwide concern. There is no 'one cause.' Lots of factors are contributing to this sad state of affairs, some of which may still be unknown.

Scientists around the world are literally in a race against time to help save these wonderful amphibians. However, time is running out.

We now offer an 'in depth' Amphibian Decline Lesson Plan at no charge to help teachers educate students about this immediate global concern.

Traditionally, Conservation efforts are centered around preserving habitats and lands for animals to thrive with limited human intervention such as parks, preserves, and designated wetlands. Development ordinances can also help amphibians and humans to coexist. However, today's crisis was unforeseen as amphibians are disappearing at an alarming rate even from preserves, wilderness, undeveloped regions and rain forests..

Conservation efforts are now being focused on captive breeding of endangered amphibians. We will 'try and do our part' by breeding smaller Pipidae species endangered in their natural habitat and distributing them to as many classrooms as possible to help Save the Frogs !