Homeschool Science
Rainforest for Kids Activities

Homeschool science comes alive in the rainforest! If your child likes animals and is aged 5- 7 and older you'll love our Rainforest for Kids activities.

You'll start by making a homeschool rainforest scene, including the largest spider in the world!

If you are looking for SCIENCE ideas for all ages, including a FREE E-BOOK of experiments, click on the link at the bottom of the page.

We'll go to the Rainforest to meet brightly coloured poison frogs, turn a pineapple into a bromeliad, catch insects in a pitcher plant and listen to the forest at night.

rainforest for kids activities

I've added a whole load of rainforest activities for all ages in my free Newletter, Explorers in the Rainforest. See how to make a blowpipe, get free clip art and watch Ray Mears build a rainforest shelter by subscribing to my Homeschool Newsletter.

Back in the rainforest, you'll finish your homeschool science activities by finding out what you use in your house that comes from the rainforest and see how you might help save them. It's easy to turn these activities into a fun rainforest lapbook.

quote from bradley millar

This is what one of my Facebook fans said after seeing this page:

"We are going to do this and then at the end head to the Rain Forest Café."~ Nancy

I can't think of a better way to round off your Unit Study!

The first thing you need to make homeschool science fun is a large piece of green cardstock - the bigger the better.

You need to start by making the habitat your animals will live in - and, by the way, you've just added a lovely word to your homeschool science curriculum.

This is an 'all in it together' homeschool science project with you working alongside your kids. My daughter Catherine was age 4 when we did this, and my son William 6.

If your kids love animals they will love this project.

And with more than half the known animals and plants in the world - Rainforest for Kids activities is a perfect subject for a Homeschool Unit Study.

  • You could begin by painting the trunks of the emergents towering above the canopy.
  • Metallic bronze paint is great for those enormous tree trunks. Add a few branches coming off to support your leaves.
  • Wool makes fabulous liana vines.
  • The canopy layer is nice and thick.
making butterflies to go in the rainforest

You can block out the sunlight by using finger-prints. Just get your kids to stick their fingers in lots of different colored green paint and add a few swathes of green with a big brush.

This was part of the forest activities William and Catherine really enjoyed! What a way to work the word 'canopy' into your homeschool science.

  • A few more golden branches sticking out will support all the bromeliads, toucans and spider monkeys you're going to add to the understory.
  •  Dark felt tips do well for the forest floor. 
  • Remember to add big buttress roots coming off your trees. Ours look more like lumpy fingers but you get the idea!
frog

Now is where your Rainforest for Kids activities come alive as you add all the animals.

  • How about starting with some butterflies? The choice is overwhelming. How about a birdwing butterfly or an African sunset moth? 
  • William's chosen a blue morpho. Sometimes it's exciting to plump for the world's largest. Records are something rainforests have in spades, and it's another way to make homeschool science memorable for kids. For beauty and the world record, add an Atlas moth. 
  • To make it easier, you could cut out butterfly shapes and let your kids stick bits of holographic paper on top to make the patterns. 
  • You could download pictures from the internet and stick them on. We didn't, but it would work just as well.

The Rainforest Alliance has facts, virtual storybooks and online games to play.

Kids Rainforest Crafts

Try out some of these wonderful ideas on Pinterest from making a rainforest biome in a jar to a tree sloth and a rainforest pinata.

(Special thanks to Anne's page on Pinterest for finding many of them!).

Rainforest Activities: Carnivorous Plants

pitcher plant

Wow! William loved the idea of plants setting traps for animals and Rainforest for Kids was the beginning of his fascination with carnivorous plants.

  • Cut out an outline of a pitcher plant which you can fold in half. Stick the bottom half down on the paper so you can fold it open.
  • Get your kids to draw the trapped insects inside!

As part of your activities to celebrate rainforests, why not buy your own pitcher plant? There is so much homeschool science to learn in the way plants attract their prey.

Maybe it's going a bit far to suggest that part of your homeschool activities might include leaving your cat food out for a few days to mimic one of the smelliest plants in the world - rafflesia!

But I can easily show you how to make a terrarium for carnivorous plants like this sundew and I'm sure your kids will love watching them catch insects.

sundew carnivorous plant
bird of paradise


Birds of Paradise have to be one of the stars of the rainforest.

  • Holographic paper makes some attempt to imitate the beauty of this male blue Bird of Paradise.
  • You can make him display to a female by sticking him on a flap below a branch. If you draw him upside-down he bobs up and down!

If that sounds too complicated, Rainforest for Kids was the start of our love-affair with making things move on the page.



See how your rainforest comes alive once you start getting things opening and closing and making things slide along.

You can find out how to do it in this page on paper crafts for kindergarten

Watch the pterosaur fly!

pterosaur flying in paper crafts

You can use just the same simple techniques we used to make our flying pterosaur and leaping ichthyosaur.

tree boa made from cardstock

How about an emerald tree boa slithering along one of your branches?

Rainforest Activities

Listen to the Sounds of the Rainforests

Before your kids decide who else to add, you could wake their interest by listening to them!

Live Rainforest

So many animals to learn about for homeschool science!

If you want to look at some gorgeous photos of them, William and Catherine loved this adult reference book:

Our ring-tailed lemur comes from grey felt with a card tail.

ring tailed lemur painting

You couldn't let your kids miss out on the arachnids! There are more species here than anywhere else, with 850 species of tarantulas alone.

  • Our Goliath spider is not only the world's biggest spider but the only one with eyes like that! A bit of artistic licence is allowed sometimes, and googly eyes are easy to buy and fun for the kids to stick on. 
making a spider to go in the rainforest
  • The rest of him is from black felt and card. Your kids will certainly learn how many legs a spider has as part of homeschool science!
  • For fun, you can add some cotton thread to represent the flying hairs he uses to shoot at attackers.
frogs and bromeliad

Rainforest Activities for Kids: Make a Bromeliad

Poison frogs are fabulous.

  • Choose lovely bright cardstock and glossy paper.
  • Iridescent paper works well to show off ballooning throat patches.
  • My kids really enjoyed adding baby tadpoles to the mother's back and putting one inside a bromeliad pool. 

How about having even more fun with your Rainforest for Kids science activities by making your own bromeliad?

The Remarkable Rainforest by Toni Albert has this great homeschool science project:

  1. Chop the top off a pineapple, leaving about 3 inches of fruit attached to the leaves.
shadow of a frog
  1. Let the pineapple top dry for a day or two.
  2. Then remove the soft fruit, but leave the core attached to the leaves.
  3. Fill a container with soil.
  4. Plant the pineapple top with the core in the soil and the leaves above the soil.
  5. Get your kids to water the pineapple plant.
  6. Set the pineapple in a sunny place.
  7. Water when the soil gets dry.
  8. After your pineapple plant has grown some new green leaves in its centre, put the plant outside during warm weather.
  9. Place the plant in its container under some shrubs or trees and leave it for several weeks. (Water when needed.)
  10. Check the pineapple plant every day to see if it is collecting water in the center of the plant or at the base of the leaves.
  11. Look out for particles of dirt, leaves, pine needles, or flower petals. Are there any insects or worms on the plant? 

Facts for homeschool science:

  • Real bromeliads are part of the pineapple family.
  • Up to 250 different species of animal have been found living inside bromeliad pools.
  • Tank bromeliads can hold up to 10 gallons of water.

Don't forget the forest floor!

Millipedes are enormous. You could use corrugated card to show off the segmented body.

millipede

How about a rhinoceros beetle?

rhinoceros beetle

Bring the Rainforests Home

Part of the fun of Rainforest for Kids is to make it real. Why not go round the house and see what you can find that originally came from the forest?

  • Bananas - you could eat one too!
  • Rubber
  • Cloves, pepper, nutmeg, ginger...

Your homeschool science activities could include finding out what else comes from there!

Save the Rainforests!

jaguar in pattern card

This jaguar isn't going to be the only one to suffer if we keep on chopping down the trees.

Field Trips

Part of your rainforest activities should really be visiting one.

  • In the UK, The Eden Project has a fabulous tropical forest biosphere.
toucan

Once you've all begun to see how marvelous rainforests are, you'll probably want to help try and save them.

world land trust rainforest certificate

You could add writing activities to your homeschool science.

  • Pretend you are an orang-utang in the forest.
  • Imagine what it would be like to have loggers come to cut down the trees to grow palm oil.
macaw

Where would you like to go now?

Here are some of my most popular homeschooling  pages.  Click on the pic to go to the page.  And - enjoy!

ocean creatures craft
make a lava lamp
dinosaurs for kids activities

By now you should have met spider monkeys, harpy eagles and tree sloths. Rainforest for Kids is all part of the delight of homeschool science.


Homeschooling Science › Rainforest


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