Learning about the jungle can include lessons about colours, landscapes and exotic animals. The possibilities are almost endless with jungle games, crafts and projects to teach children about the diversity of jungle wildlife. Whether teaching a unit at school or searching for a rainy day activity at home, the jungle is a theme that children of all ages will enjoy.
Kids love to touch and feel objects they are learning about. Create a diorama using a large box and have the kids decorate it with construction paper with colours typically found in the jungle, like brown, green, and dark blue. Use empty paper rolls to make trees by painting them and attaching leaves made of crepe paper. Use small figures of jungle animals and place them in the appropriate place in the "jungle" (birds in the trees, lions on the ground, monkeys climbing). To create a more permanent and durable display, use an empty fish aquarium and make a terrarium using these techniques.
Role-playing is a fun activity preschool- and kindergarten-age children enjoy. Have the kids act out the behaviours of jungle animals while wearing their very own jungle mask modelled after an animal. Using a paper plate (small or large), cut the appropriate shape for the animal of choice and be sure to also cut eye and mouth holes. Have the children decorate their mask with paint and magic markers to create lions, tigers, elephants or giraffes. Use yarn for the animals' mane or foam shapes for horns and noses. Once the children are finished and the paint and glue has dried, punch holes on either (horizontal) side of the mask and tie a piece of yarn through both holes. Help the children tie the yarn at the back of their heads to wear their mask.
An easy rainy-day activity for children is a game of charades. Have the children all act the part of an animal from the jungle. Write the names of jungle animals (rhinoceros, lion, elephant, monkey) and place them in a hat or a box. Next, let the children choose an animal from the selection at random and take turns acting it out for each other. The rest of the group must guess what animal they are pretending to be. Encourage the children jump, skip or make noises to express the animal's habits and behaviours.
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