Latticed Learning - Jungles & Rainforests

Learn while playing with Latticed Learning!  This week's theme has plenty of activities to go along with it - keep reading to find out more!

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Welcome back to Latticed Learning!  This year, we're continuing to learn while we play - repeating many of our favorites from the past while adding in all sorts of new activities as well.

This day's post is devoted to our weekly themes - some weeks have more activities than others, but each lesson will be fun for you to explore with your little one!

Read All About It

The Great Kapok Tree was one I read every year in my classroom - it's always fun to drag out each sssssseñor found on the pages.

If Animals Kissed Good Night isn't about jungles or rain forests, but it does feature a sloth and her cub and is overall just an adorable book, so we had to read it.

Rumble in the Jungle is tons of fun - it's full of rhymes that highlight all the sorts of critters that can be found in the steaminess and I just love the colorful, happy illustrations.

In the Rain Forest has flaps to flip and cool textures to feel, along with rich illustrations of some of the inhabitants of this biome.

That's Not My Mom! is another fun flap book that is full of surprises on each page for little giraffe Gerry, who's out searching the jungle for his mama.

Animals of the Jungle

Rainforest Animals

The Umbrella

"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth

Little Monkey Lost

The Crocodile and the Dentist

The Goodnight Gecko

Have You Seen the Crocodile?

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

What Time Is It, Mr. Crocodile?

Who Is the Beast?

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Sing Some Songs

We listened to these selections this week:

The Jungle King from the album I wrote about here is loads of fun.

With so many books about crocodiles, I couldn't help but include this classic in our playlist.

We pretty much had this whole album on a loop all week.

Watch Some Videos

We watched the Magic School Bus episode In a Rainforest.

The Jungle Book is a favorite for all three of us, so we made some time to watch that as a family.

I'd never seen FernGully, so Gv and I checked it out one afternoon.

Play and Create

We did several things to correspond to our topic this week:

I printed out these masks from the Jan Brett site (I shrunk them down to print on one page, to conserve paper and ink) and Gv dropped them into an umbrella while I read her The Umbrella.

This puzzle was spread out on the floor, pretty much all week long.

We made some delicious rainforest cookies (because so many ingredients in them come from rainforests) that I adapted from this.     

You can find my recipe for these remarkable cookies here.


We stretched out our kinks by contorting ourselves into the yoga poses found here.

This one's the sloth

I put a different spin on the idea mentioned here.  I knew Gv would enjoy tracing and cutting out her hands and feet more than messing around with paint (& so would I!), so we made this:

I traced her foot onto red paper and then both of her hands onto yellow, green and blue paper.  While she cut all that out, I snipped out an orange beak.  We glued everything down together (adding a googly eye, of course!) and hung the happy bird up.

I cut out a paper snake body, then handed Gv some colored-square stickers and told her to make a pattern.  I wasn't sure that she understood the concept of "pattern," but it seems she did:

We made a little sloth on a stick.  I traced Gv's foot onto brown construction paper, then she cut it out.  I cut out little arms and legs and claws and a circle for a face and she glued it all down, then drew on the eyes and mouth.  

She went wild with the brown marker and colored in the craft stick, then we glued the little guy to his branch and sat and grinned back at him.

I created a vine maze by stringing green yarn back and forth through the kitchen cabinet, drawer and appliance handles.  

Then Gv spent an entire afternoon crawling under, through, and over these jungle "vines" (and yes, she got tangled up and needed rescuing several times!)

We said hello to our paper plate snake from week 2.  Yes, this little guy is still going strong, hanging from the ceiling fan in Gv's room.

We continued to play with these animal movement cubes.

I created this hanging rainforest to stick up next to our fireplace:

You'd think I could take two seconds and just finally wipe all that dust off the fireplace, but it's still there...

It was pretty simple to do, but Gv thought it was the most exciting thing in the world.  I just took two sheets of newsprint, taped them together, then added strips of brown construction paper for the tree trunks, green leaves and ground cover, and wound bright green pipe cleaners back and forth to represent vines.

I cut a dark green pipe cleaner in half and wound both halves around a pen to become snakes (I wrapped one around a vine and had the other dangle from a loop on another section of vine).

Three tiny red pom poms made an ant at the bottom and then we added some of our other little projects to the whole thing.

Tissue paper squares with pipe cleaner pieces wound around the middle became butterflies.

We taped the toucan up next to the top of the canopy and added the sloth here, as well.

This giant display proved to be quite helpful while reading many of our rain forest books during the week.  Gv could walk over and point to the different layers that make up the rain forest, which was cool to see.

Finally, since anteaters root around on the rainforest floor, I printed out a page of ants, had Gv cut them out, and then showed her how to suck through a straw (anteater's snout) to pick them up and move them over to a container (the colander toy I shared here).  This was a fun activity, but she definitely struggled with keeping the ant on the straw the whole time.

I can't share this printable because I used non-royalty-free clip art from my Print Shop software, but any ants will do (they'd even be easy to draw!)

Looking for all the great posts associated with this concept in one place?  Check out my Latticed Learning page here!

What's your favorite thing that we did this week?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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