Friday, March 9, 2012

Rainforest

Book Suggestions:

Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Berkes
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynee Cherry
A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini
A Rainforest Habitat by Molly Alonian
Hug by Jez Alborough
Rainforest by Helen Sharman
Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein
The Saggy Baggy Elephant by K. Jackson
The Umbrella by Jan Brett

Activities:

Rainforest Animals:
Materials: pictures of a variety of different animals (print from clip art, find them in magazines, draw them etc.), glue, a large piece of white paper
Description: After reading several books about the rainforest and talking to your toddler about what kind of animals live there, show your toddler a variety of pictures of animals. See if your toddler can pick out the animals that live in the rainforest. Have your little one glue all the rainforest animals to a large piece of white paper, creating a rainforest collage. Write the name of each animal under its picture.
Extension: You could extend this activity by drawing grass, trees, and a sky onto the piece of white paper and have your toddler glue each animal where it spends most of its time in the rainforest. (For example: glue a macaw in the sky, a monkey in a tree, and a jaguar in the grass)
Skills Targets: teach your tot animal recognition, teach your tot to better understand animal habitats, teach your tot language development, teach your tot motor skill development

Rainforest Animal Mask:
Materials: paper plates, popsicle sticks, paint, scissors, construction paper, markers, additional craft items if desired
Description: You and your toddler can make rainforest animal mask together. Read books about rainforest and talk about rainforest animals with your toddler. Decide which animal or animals you want to make. Start by painting a paper plate the color of the animal. Cut out two circles for your toddler's eyes to show through. Cut out a nose, ears, and mouth from construction paper and glue it onto the mask. You and your toddler can decide what detail you want to add. (For example, paint stripes if you make a tiger, add yarn for a mane if you make a lion etc). You could also glue a Popsicle stick to the bottom of the mask and they could hold it front of their face. Have your toddler pretend to be the animals.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot animal recognition, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot language development, teach your tot to enhance imagination and pretend play

Vines:
Materials: green and brown paper (the larger the paper the better this will work)
Description: Read books about the rainforest to your toddler and talk about things that they might see in the rainforest. Show your toddler a picture of vines. Together you and your toddler can make vines. Simply twist long pieces of green and brown paper. You can tape them to your toddler's ceilings or walls to create a rainforest atmosphere in your toddler's room.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot to better understand different habitats, teach your tot language development

Pretend to Be Rainforest Animals:
Description: You and your toddler can pretend to be a different rainforest animals, walking crawling and slithering round your house.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot pretend play, teach your tot to enhance imagination, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot to understand how different animals act

Snake:
Materials: paper, markers, scissors
Description: Read books about rainforest animals to your toddler. Talk about different snakes that live in the rainforest. Create a snake, draw a spiral shape onto a piece of paper. Have your little one decorate it (they could draw or paint stripes, triangles, circles etc). Cut along the spiral. You could even punch a hole in the head of the snake and hang it from the ceiling.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to better understand the habitats of rainforest animals, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot language development


Sort Flowers:
Materials: Cut or print flower shapes in a variety of colors (be sure to have at least three of each color)
Description: Read a book about rainforest flowers to your toddler. Talk with your toddler about all the beautiful flowers that grow in the rainforest. Lay out a variety of different colored flowers in front of your toddler. See if your toddler can recognize some or all of the colors. Help your toddler sort all the flowers by color. Count each group of flowers. Talk about what group has the most/least.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot color recognition, teach your tot sorting by color, teach your tot to count, teach your tot to understand most and least, teach your tot to compare and contrast, teach your tot language development, teach your tot to understand different habitats

Trees:
Materials: paper, brown construction paper, sponge, green paint
Description: Read books to your toddler about the rainforest. (The Great Kapok Tree is a good one!) Talk to your toddler about how many trees live and grow in the rainforest. Your toddler can create their own rainforest tree. Cut a long rectangle from brown construction paper for the trunk. Show it to your toddler and see if they can tell you what shape and color it is. Have your little one glue it to a piece of paper. Your little one can create the green leaves by dipping a sponge into green paint and dabbing it all over the top of the trunk. (You can make several rainforest trees to give more of a rainforest look!)
Skills Targeted: teach your tot language development, teach your tot to understand different habitats, teach your tot to recognize shapes and colors, teach your tot motor skill development

Rainforest Bugs:
Materials: Styrofoam ball or pom poms, paint, googly eyes, pipe cleaners or any other crafts objects, glue
Description: Read books to your toddler about the rainforest. Talk to your toddler about how many different kinds of bugs live in the rainforest. They are all different shapes sizes and colors. Your toddler can create their own rainforest bug. Simply have them paint a Styrofoam ball (they can paint it any color and add their own designs to it) or use pompoms for the body. When the paint is dry have them glue on googly eyes and use pipe cleaners or other crafts items for the antennas and legs. Have your little one give their rainforest bug a name!
Skills Targeted: teach your tot creativity and imagination, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot language development, teach your tot to better understand different habitats of bugs




Songs and Fingerplays:

In the Rainforest:
Sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb

In the rainforest, I see a tiger,
I see a tiger
I see a tiger
In the rainforest, I see a tiger
Creeping along the forest floor.

In the rainforest, I see a macaw
I see a macaw
I see a macaw
In the rainforest, I see a macaw
Flying in the sky.

In the rainforest, I see a monkey
I see a monkey
I see a monkey
In the rainforest, I see a monkey
Swinging from the trees.

In the rainforest, I see a hippo
I see a hippo
I see a hippo
In the rainforest, I see a hippo
Soaking in the water

You can continue this song singing about other animals and plants that you can find in the rainforest.

Rainforest, Rainforest
Sung to the tune of Jingle Bells

Rain-for-est
Rain-for-est
Deep in the rainforest
Tigers creep
Flowers grow
Monkey's swing to and fro.

Rain-for-est
Rain-for-est
Where hippos and crocodiles live.
Panthers do live there too.
And so do cockatoos!

Online Fun:

Coloring:
visit http://www.coloring.ws/ to print free color pages

Print a variety of different rainforest animals by clicking here.

Videos:
visit www.sesamestreet.org to watch videos about rainforest and more.

Hidden Jungle Animals
Monkeys climb a tree to get bananas
Grover and the Elephant

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