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Layers of the Rainforest Preschool Activities
Below is my lesson plan for week one. Following it are highlights from our first week of the Rainforest Adventure kit from Mother Goose Time.
Day 1: Rainforest
I Spy Rainforest
Materials provided: Theme poster and Looking Glasses
We discussed what animals and plants we might see in a rainforest. Using the Looking Glasses, we looked at the poster to match up the animal. We talked about color, sounds, characteristics and counted how many are on the poster.
Materials provided: Rainforest Animal Cards and Mosaic paper tiles, green background paper, tissue paper
Each child cut their animal cards apart and glued them on the paper. They also glued on tissue paper leaves and strips of green paper. I helped with the cutting and tearing of those because my group is young and there was quite a bit of gluing to do. They focused on the cutting and gluing for this project.
Materials provided: Color Bird: green
Introduced color green. Checked to see who was wearing green, who’s favorite color is green, looked for green items in the room. Why is the rainforest so green?
Shades of Green
Painted shades of green at the easel. This is an activity I planned in addition to the Mother Goose Time curriculum. It is a center or free time activity. I put out a variety of paints including: green, blue, yellow, white and green liquid watercolor for the kids to experiment with and create shades of green paintings.
Day 2: Forest Floor
Introducing Hexagon shape
Materials provided: Hexagon shape
Attached to “clothesline” display. Then we played a game. I cut a leaf shape from construction paper. I put a math shape (from last month’s kit) under the leaf and put it on one of our shape mats. Then we recited the opening rhyme:
Way Down Low
Way down low on the forest floor,
There are many bugs to explore.
When I looked under a leaf so green,
I saw a hexagon bug
That made me scream!
Each child took a turn looking under the leaf and naming the shape. This activity was a hit!
Wet & Dry
I scooped some dirt from a flower pot out by the garden. It was slightly damp. I asked, “What do you think the rainforest floor feels like?” (they may need prompting – “wet or dry?” or “Remember, it rains a lot.” They took turns feeling the dirt with their fingers. I introduced the word “moist” and explained what it meant.
Wet & Dry Chalk Art
Materials provided: Dark green paper and colored chalk.
First they drew and colored on the paper with dry chalk. Most of them quickly broke their piece of chalk. I said, “Now you can share a piece with a friend” and they traded colors so they each had two colors.
Then we tried dipping the chalk into water and drawing. One child spilled their water. I said, “That’s ok, just spread it around.” That led to most dumping their water out on their paper so good thing I just gave them a small amount! I loved this simple lesson exploring wet and dry as well as process art.
Day 3: Understory
My Little Journals
Materials provided: My Little Journals
Stamped rainforest images on the cover of the journals with stamp set that was included in the November toy bin.
Grateful Friendship Feather
Materials provided: Friendship feather, paper bracelets
We talked about the Friendship Feather “Grateful”. We talked about things/people we are grateful or thankful for. Each child went home with a paper bracelet that says “I am grateful”. They always like these simple bracelets. This little thing gives parents something to ask their child about.
In our writing center, I put out this coloring page that focuses on #3. I created it, you can download it here. Usually we only have plain paper available in the writing/art center so they really enjoy these sheets on occasion. I use them for a specific focus, not just coloring, as I agree with encouraging mostly open ended materials and activities.
Materials provided: Recipe Card
We made Rainforest Layers Parfaits to explore the concept of layers. This was an awesome activity! If you want to see a child engaged, let them make some food. Be sure to use clear cups so you can see the layers.
Day 4: Canopy
M is for Monkey
Materials provided: Letter Mm Letter Set – the 3 posters below plus a flower shape with letter Mm on it. We looked at these and said “Mmm-mushroom” and Mmm-monkey” and thought of other words that start with the Mmm sound.
We use (Amazon Affiliate link) Jolly Jingles phonics so we also sang the letter Mm Jingle.
Rhyme Time Poster
Materials provided: Rhyme Time Poster, Counting Monkeys
We talked about things that scare us. The 5 Little Monkeys are not scared! Look for letter Mm, Count 5 monkeys out and place on the table. Read the first verse of the rhyme and child takes away monkey. Count together the number of monkeys left. Continue with rhyme. I like how this activity incorporates literacy & math!
Bugs on a Vine
Materials provided: Bug stickers, paper leaves, tissue paper, paper twist.
We made vines with the paper and leaves, adding bug stickers to the leaves. This goes wonderfully with the Bugs of the Rainforest song on the CD (also provided in the kit). It’s my favorite song this month! The chorus is the part I like:
One at a time (bum bum bum)
A bug crawls up the vine (bum bum bum)
One at a time (bum bum bum)
A bug slides down the vine.
Our vines look wonderful in the entry way!
We also danced to the Slow, Silly Sloth song, holding our new sloth puppet.
Day 5: Emergent Layer
Danger in the Rainforest
Materials provided: Chimidyue (chim-ID-yoo-a) Storybook. This beautifully illustrated and colorful book is a story from the Takuna tribe of South America. The Takuna live in the upper Amazon River area. They have a rich tradition of storytelling. The tale of Chimidyue is unique because it features a female as the main character. (partially taken from the back of the book)
Nest So High
Materials provided: Hexagon shape
Discussed why a bird would want to build their nest high in a tree. We took this art project outside! The kids gathered nature items from around the yard and glued them to their hexagon to make nests. They turned out beautiful.
Also included for Day 5 was a Chasing Butterflies Folder Game and pieces. We didn’t get to it yet, but we will this week so I can share it another time.
As you can see our days are full! We are richly experiencing many aspects of the rainforest right here in Wisconsin! The children are engaged in hands on learning and excited for our daily activities with Mother Goose Time. We did all these things and MORE. I will continue to share our Rainforest Adventure experiences – this was just week one!
All of these bloggers are currently writing about their experiences using the same mateirals from the Rainforest Adventure Mother Goose Time curriculum:
- Kristy at Book Wishes
- Svetlana at Buzz On In
- Amber at Family Fun in Dexter
- Nicole P. at Journey to Josie
- Nicole W. at Mama of Many Blessings
- Karen at Playing at Grandma’s
- Elyse at The Blue Elephant
- Kelsey at August Twelfth
- Christy at Blessed Little Thistle
- Alison at Living Joyfully
- Heather at Only Passionate Curiosity