Welcome to day 14 of DIY Summer Camp at home. On this third week of DIY Summer Camp, we’re going to learn about animals, including jungle animals, farm animals, and family pets. This makes for some fun activities that you can do right in your own backyard. Or, even better, you can send the kids out to do, while you relax.
Silly monkeys and roaring lions
What do you think of when you think of the jungle? What kinds of animals live there? We think of lush vegetation, too thick to walk through, and lots of different kinds of animals, from loud lions to crazy monkeys. Let’s play with a jungle animals theme this week.
Activity: Paper plate lion mask
What you need:
- paper plates
- yellow, orange, & black paint & brushes
- masking tape
- wide popsicle stick
Here’s what you do:
First draw a lion face on the back of the paper plate. Then paint it. The rim is orange, and the middle is yellow. Outline the eyes, nose and whiskers in black.
After the paint has dried, carefully cut out the eye holes. (You may want to use a craft knife and mat to do this.) Then cut one-inch slits all around the edge of the plate, where you painted orange, to make a fringe.
Tape the popsicle stick to the inside of the mask, at the bottom. Then hold it up to your face and ROAR!
Activity: Bug Pickers
What you need:
- furry rug
- dry white rice
- cups for each player
What you do:
Lay the furry rug out flat. Then scatter the dry white rice all over the mat. Give each player a cup, and have them race to pick out all the “bugs” from the fur — just like monkeys!
Snack: Vines & Trees
- broccoli florets (trees)
- sliced green peppers (vines)
- sliced celery (fill with cheese spread or peanut butter) (swamp logs)
- lettuce (undergrowth)
- cherry tomatoes (flowers)
Wash and slice all your veggies. Let your kids make their own jungle scenes before eating! Can you make a jungle animals theme snack?
Activity: Elephant Peanut Race
You’ll need peanuts in the shell or some other small item for this activity.
Line up the racers at the starting line. Place the peanut in front of each racer. The object of the game is to be the first to push the peanut across the finish line — using their nose!
Activity: Banana Peel Challenge
- wash cloths or wipes for easy clean-up
Give each player a banana. Have them put their hands behind their backs. Now challenge them to peel the banana — without using their hands!! Use any other part of your body, but not your hands to open the banana.
Safari facts for you to share
Safaris are trips taken by tourists. While they used to mean hunting trips for exotic wildlife, these days, tourists are more interested in photographing than shooting the animals.
Generally, we think of safaris as only happening in the savannas of Africa, but the jungles are just as likely for safaris. .
Species & Location
Rainforests are fascinating places to explore, and where most of what we think of as exotic animals live. One of the largest temperate rainforests are on the northwest side of North America — with huge redwoods, curtains of moss, and a large variety of wildlife there.
The tropical rainforests are what we expect when we hear the world “jungle”. Full of vines, soaring canopies and creatures that can’t live anywhere else, the rainforest is still largely unexplored and misunderstood.
While rainforests only cover 6% of the earth’s surface, more than half of the world’s plants, animals and insects depend on rainforests for survival.
80% of the produce in your local grocery store originally came from a rainforest! Today, we cut down wild rainforest in order to grow plantations and farms to meet demand for those foods.
While you might expect coconuts, mangos and pineapples to come from a tropical rainforest, common vegetables like corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes also originated there. Cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger are also rainforest-products.
Scientists suggest that 30 million species live in the rainforest. From eagles and bats, to monkeys and parrots, to geckos and jaguars, along with the millions of species of insects, there is more diversity in the rainforest than anywhere else. Unfortunately, that means that there is more to lose there too. Some estimates are that over 100 species go extinct every day from habitat loss, and some of them aren’t even “discovered” yet.
A rainforest or jungle is determined by how much rain it gets every year. To be a rainforest, it has to get around 100 inches of rain annually! In some places, it can rain every single day.
All the water, combined with the rich soil, warm temperatures, and lots of sunlight, make for the dense vegetation and huge range of animals and insects that live there.
Surprisingly, walking through a rainforest, once you get past the edges, wouldn’t be that bad. The canopy of the rainforest blocks the sun from getting to the floor of the forest, so there isn’t as much undergrowth as you might expect. But along the banks of rivers, edges of roads, and where the rainforest meets the cleared areas, you’ll find the tangle of plants that typically mark a jungle.
End of the day: read aloud time.
There’s nothing that settles kids down like storytime at the end of the day. So after all the jungle games today in our jungle animals theme, grab a classic read-aloud and read a chapter every night this week.
Try one of these:
Come back tomorrow for another day full of animal-filled adventures. And don’t forget to subscribe so you get every day of the DIY Summer Camp at Home right in your inbox.
This is such a fun idea and such an important educational topic. I wish my little one was old enough so that I could take full advantage of your summer camp idea!
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