We’ve built fairy houses before out of sticks, stones, and other yard stuffs, but we’ve never tried for a toad habitat. When we do make one, here’s how we plan to go about it (though I’m sure my four-year-old will be changing the plan as we go along!):
We’ll use my old coffee cans for the homes themselves. My daughter and I will paint them with fun, earthy colors—nothing to bright to attract predators, but also nothing too dull, either. Maybe we’ll paint some fun symbols on them; she really likes the ones we did on her rain stick.
After we seal the paint, we’ll simply put the toad homes out in our yard in the shadiest areas and perhaps wedge them between rocks or cover them with moss for security. We’ll also bury it a little in the ground so the bottom will be lined with dirt; I doubt a toad would find aluminum very comfortable!
For a very cool idea using flower pots, click here. (We may have to use some of those elements, like the pretty rocks and pine cones!) You might also want to use a coffee can or cottage cheese container. Other ideas I’ve run across include making an entire toad village (complete with multiple houses and signs), placing small saucers of water nearby for the toads to drink and get wet in, and planting plenty of toad-friendly foliage around the homes themselves.
Other tips include:
- Leaving an opening in the back so the toad can escape from predators
- Keeping family pets away from the toad house
- Placing the house in shady, cool area since toads have to stay damp
- Keep the doorway wide—and you might even want to consider making the home bottomless so they can lay in the dirt
- Make the home smooth-surfaced so the toad—and little fingers—won’t get cut
- Keep a battery operated nightlight or motion light nearby to attract bugs for the toad to eat
- Don’t pick up the toads—just peacefully observe them and they’ll keep coming back year after year
Have you ever made a toad home? I’d love to see your pictures and instructions!