Fun with frogs

The first thing I notice each time I hit the Phoenix Zoo is a large frog sculpture just outside the entry walkway, near an area for visitor drop-off and pick-up. He seems a happy sort, and always helps me feel welcome.

I got frogs on the brain after reviewing April events listed in the online calendar for Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

In the “On stage” section, I spied “The Frogs” — a “musical comedy adaptation  by Stephen Sondheim from an ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes.” The piece runs through Sun, April 10 at Grand Canyon University’s Ethington Theatre in Phoenix.

In the “On exhibit” section I found something called “Once Upon a Time…Fairy Tales, Frogs & Fables.” It’s “an opportunity to explore some of the world’s favorite stories” through imaginative characters and sets, dress-up, puppet theater and more — running through May 29 at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa.

Alas, I learned too late that children could make frog puppets, and learn about the life cycle of frogs, at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix April 1-3. But I’m including a photo of some of their fine work to inspire your own frog follies at home — which could also include old-fashioned games, like leapfrog, that help kids stay fit.

But happily, I’m way ahead of the game for the third annual “Save the Frogs Day” — being celebrated April 29, 2011 by those with a special fondness for frogs and other amphibians. Some will even be rallying at the U.S. Capitol for more frog-friendly legislation.

The organization that specializes in amphibian conservation, called “Save the Frogs,” is currently holding several frog-related contests as part of “Save the Frogs Day.” Think poetry and art contests –plus a “build a frog pond” contest (open to schools and homeowners).

If you’re keen on wearing your frogs loud and proud, you can shop the “Save the Frogs” website for necessities like pro-frog clothing, bumber stickers, tote bags, wristbands and more.

There’s also plenty of frog-related fare at the Phoenix Zoo gift shop. Think T-shirts, books, plush toys and more.

“It’s Not Easy Being Green,” laments Sesame Street’s “Kermit the Frog” in the song of a same name. But maybe if we all work together, the world’s most celebrated frog will soon be singing a different tune.

— Lynn

Coming up: Children’s theater meets classic storybooks, Down to the final two

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