The rainforest provides a wealth of study topics and activities for both younger and older children. The animals of the rainforest often capture the attention of children and draw them in to learn more about the habitat. Hands-on activities allow kids to learn about the rainforest while having fun, which generally increases the knowledge retention and effort put forth by the kids.
Stuffed Rainforest Animals
Stuffed paper rainforest animals allow the kids to create an artistic version of the animals they have studied. Butcher paper provides a workable medium for this rainforest animal craft project. Have each child select an animal and draw a large picture of it on the butcher paper, adding colour with markers, crayons or paint. Place another piece of butcher paper behind the drawing and cut out around the animal so that both pieces of paper have the same shape. The kids can draw the back of the animal on the second piece of butcher paper if desired. Staple the two pieces of paper together, leaving a wide opening on one side for the stuffing. Crumple tissue paper or newspaper and gently stuff it into the animal. Staple the opening to hold the stuffing inside the animal.
Devote one corner of the room to creating a rainforest habitat for the kids. Include vines, giant leaves, tropical flowers and rainforest animals in the rainforest environment. Ideas for the rainforest include tree trunks made from large cardboard tubes, leaves cut from green paper, flowers made from tissue paper and vines made from twisted brown butcher paper. The rainforest habitat provides a fun display method for the stuffed rainforest animal activity. The kids will likely have other suggestions for the materials and construction of the rainforest. The rainforest corner can be used for reading, quiet time or rainforest study time.
Dramatic play is an enjoyable and educational activity for kids of all ages. The rainforest provides a topic full of possibilities for a child-produced skit. The contents of the skit will vary based on the ages of the kids. Younger children may present a skit with basic information about the rainforest habitat and animals. Older children can go in depth on the rainforest, including the importance of conservation efforts. Allow the kids to lead the production of the skit, assisting as needed. The skit can be presented to other classes, staff members or parents.