Mya Fenner is so serious about the Elkhart County 4-H Fair’s frog jump event that she brought her own frogs — a bucket full, caught near her Goshen home.
The 5-year-old selected Leapster for his above-average leaping abilities and he did her proud.
The tiny frog completed an 11-inch jump, close to the distance covered by much bigger frogs in the contest.
The frog jump kicked off Kids Day at the fair Wednesday, July 23, and it’s one of the longest running Kid’s Day activities according to Jill Garris, fair board member running the jump.
"This is a 30-year tradition,” Garris noted, in between announced frog jump contestants. "At this point, we are getting parents who used to participate coming with their kids. It’s just another great family tradition at the fair."
It’s a tradition that that gets kids excited every year, and each child has a different theory about the best way to convince frogs to hop across the pavement.
Tate Granberg, 4, could barely sit still waiting for his turn. He and his siblings Sage Granberg, 7, and Colt Granberg, 5, agreed that slapping the ground next to the frog or blowing air near the frog’s head are sure ways to get the animal jumping.
Tate’s eyes lit up as he stretched his arms wide to show how big he hoped his frog would be, but the siblings ultimately noted that smaller frogs can jump farther.
Another participant, 8-year-old Jorja Dirmyer, said her best advice to beginner frog jumpers is to “do your best and don’t touch the frog."
Technique aside, though, Dirmyer worries most about what she’ll name her frog.
She usually spends most of the day prior to the event thinking of a name, she said.
Other Kid’s Day activities Wednesday included a scavenger hunt, pizza dough toss, cat and dog activities, cooking classes and more.
Rides were also discounted from 1 p.m. until closing.