The Rainforest

Book List

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Songs & Fingerplays

Itsy Bitsy Monkey - sung to Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Itsy Bitsy monkey climbed up the coconut tree.
("Climb" up the tree, by alternating cupped hands one on top of the other in the air.)
Down came a coconut & hit him on his knee---OWWW!!!!
(Make a double fist above head & hit your knee on "ow!")
Out came a lion a-shaking' his mighty mane---ANNND---
(Frame your face with your hands, fanning fingers out for the mane.
Shake head & hands. Slow down the tempo on "And")
The Itsy Bitsy monkey climbed up the tree again!
(Increased the tempo & climb back up the tree)

Boa Song

I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor, boa constrictor, boa constrictor.
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor,
Now what do you think of that?
Oh no---he's got my toe
Oh gee--- he has my knee
Oh my---he's up to my thigh
Oh fiddle---he's up to my middle
Oh heck---he's up to my neck
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor, boa constrictor, boa constrictor.
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
No! No! No! (In a high squeaky voice)

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Ha Ha Hippo - sung to "Baa Baa Black Sheep"

Ha-Ha hippo, have you any hair?
Hurrah, hurrah, you have hair.
Hair for my horses & hair for my hog,
And hair for my "H", Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!
Ha-Ha hippo, have you any hair?
Hurrah, hurrah, you have hair.
(For hair can substitute: Hats, hammer, or houses)

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Ten Baby Kangaroos - poem

Ten baby kangaroos standing in a row
When they see their mama, they bow just so
They kick to the left
(kick to the left)
They kick to the right
(kick to the right)
Then they close their eyes & sleep all night.
(pretend to sleep)

*other verses: repeat the poem, going down a number each time - that is, begin with "Nine baby kangaroos." and so on

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

I'm a little Monkey - sung to "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little monkey in the tree
Swinging by my tail so merrily
I can leap and fly from tree to tree.
I have lots of fun you see.

I'm a little monkey, watch me play.
Munching on bananas every day.
Lots of monkey friends to play with me. We have fun up the tree.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Mr. Lion And His Sneeze

*Mr. Lion and his Sneeze
Mr. Lion said, "I am going to Sneeze!"
(Point to self)
So he put his head down between his knees!
(put head down between knees)
He opened his mouth and out it flew
(open mouth)
(kids sneeze loudly)
The jungle floor jiggled and the trees all wiggled
(kids wiggle and jiggle body)
And the birds were flown to Bombay
(make a flying motion with hands)
And the elephants were tossed every which way
(slap hands on knees)
Mr. Lion looked up and roared
(have kids pretend to look up)
"Oh my, a windstorm just passed by!

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Arts & Crafts


Decorate 2 toilet paper rolls as desired. Cellophane may be used to cover the ends. Glue the two together or wrap with colored tape or yarn. Punch a hole on the side of each roll near one end. Thread string or yarn through holes to produce a neck strap. Knot at each end.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Tie Snakes

Take an old tie. Cut open one of the ends, and fill 2/3rds with pillow stuffing. Insert a hanger or a length of wire, and fill the rest of the way. Sew or glue the ends back together. Add googly eyes and a tongue.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas


Fill an 8 oz clear plastic cup with potting soil. The cup should be about 1/2 full. Plant small plants or sprinkle with grass seed. Water lightly. Place another cup on top so that the mouths of the cup touch each other. Tape the cups together. The water rises and condenses and 'rains' back down on the plants.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Rainforest Collages

Make a collage with rainforest products. Coffee, sugar, tea.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas


Use 18 inches of foam pipe insulation and stick toothpicks through the foam all the way. Glue a round of cardboard to one end. Make sure there are lots of toothpicks throughout the pipe. When done, put a small handful of rice, popcorn, pebbles, anything into the tube. Glue a second round on the other end, let it dry and turn over for the sound of rain.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas


Make newspaper trees by taking 3 sheets of newspaper and roll them up overlapping as you go. Cut about 4 or 6 slashes 1/3 of the way down the top. Gently pull up on one of the inside 'leaves' and then you have a paper tree. Paint if desired.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Forest Painting

Provide many different shades of green paint. Cut paper to large leaf shapes before or after painting and create a large tree on the wall. Tie Snakes (especially appropriate for the rain forest theme). Take one of dad's old/ugly ties- the busier the print the better. Cut open one of the ends, and fill 2/3's all the way will polyfill (that pillow stuff). Then, insert either a hanger you have made straight or a length of medium-light gauge wire. Fill the rest of the way, and sew/glue/web-iron the tie closed again. The wire or hanger seems pretty important to giving the body some shape and letting you give it that "s" shape, but I guess you could skip that part if you had to. Now, add googly eyes and the long tongue with the "v" shape at the end, and you have a rain forest andaconda! Young ones should be able to most of the project! We left out the wire as it has a tendency to poke through the ends. When making your snake leave the tag on the underside, the children put the snake around their neck and put their finger through the tag to make them move. (we used Dowling to poke the stuffing down the tie).

~Contributor Unknown

Rain Forest Art

Outline of a tree on construction paper. Ink pads and felt tip markers.

1. Have children put a thumb on the ink pad and put on tree, 2 thumbprints one above the other.
2. Add faces, arms, legs, tail, details with felt tip marker.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Paper Plate Lions

On the back of a yellow or orange paper plate draw a central circle about 2 inches from the edge. Draw lines from the circle to the outer rim of the plate (make 13 equal sections). Have the kids cut the lines & fold every other one forward to make a mane. Use markers to make a lion's face & add a tuff of hair.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas


Make long curly vines (paper plates cut in spiral painted green); cut out large green and yellow leaves..attach to vine...hang from the ceiling; cut out monkeys (sorry I don't have a scanner so I can't send the pattern we used); color or paint and hang from vines.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

More Art

Make large mural complete with tree trunks, leaves, snakes, monkeys, lions...add an animal to the room each day make cardboard tube snakes: 5-6 toilet paper tubes, paper for tongue, paint, glue, yarn or string to connect tubes; mix dirt and water in a big bowl to make mud. Put the mud on a table and let the children finger paint with it. Have children make handprints on a large piece of butcher paper.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

Thumbprint Monkeys

Give each child a sheet of paper with the outline of a tree drawn on it. Set out ink pads and felt markers. Let children make thumbprint monkeys on the trees. To create monkeys, have them press thumbprints (two, one above the other, connecting) then complete the monkeys by adding faces, arms, tails.

~Submitted by Tracy from Texas

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