Jungle Weeks: 2/21-3/4

Welcome to Jungle Week, the longest post in the history of my blog, only because of all the pictures. 

I first must mention that when I say jungle we mostly discussed the rainforest, specifically the Amazon, but note that the word jungle doesn't necessarily mean rainforest, that is just how we decided to define it.  

I have to tell you that jungles are so much fun to talk about because they are so full of mystery and so full of life! There is no possible way you could ever teach everything there is to know about the jungle, you can barely even scratch the surface in 2 weeks! We sure gave it a go and here it is!

I started off by creating our own little jungle canopy out of crepe paper and flowers and leis, just ready to be filled with lots of creatures, big and small! I did this myself while the girls were napping and they were sooooo excited when they woke up and saw it!

The first little guys we made to inhabit our jungle were chameleons and only because we happened to find some stickers in our cabinet and there were chameleon eyes. So we stuck the eyes on the paper and created around them.
Char's chameleon was just a head and also had some very nice ears
Charlotte's Chameleon climbing on a vine
My chameleon hiding 
I drew a diagram of the 4 (or 5 depending on what you read) layers of the jungle. We discussed each one and how they affect each other and what different animals and plants live specifically in each layer.
Drawing trails for the Blue Morpho Butterflies
A view of our jungle with a few more animals
Next we decided our jungle needed some nice broad tropical leaves so we made leaf prints. These leaves happened to be dying ones I trimmed off of our Peace Lily and they made nice tropical prints!
Charlotte is quite obsessed with cutting everything as small as possible
After we cut the leaves out, we taped them all over our jungle

I found a game online (I can't find the link to save my life) where you use lima beans (with a different color on each side) to make "dart frogs" and you shake them in a cup, count how many of each color came out and tally it up. I thought about graphing the results as well but was content with just the tallying. We counted the "frogs" in groups of five and Charlotte recorded the results! It was pretty fun trying to guess which there would be more of each turn, blue or yellow...
Proud of my baby's tally marks!
We just had to incorporate tribal face painting into our jungle theme! I looked at a few pictures online to see what kind of patterns were used most and then came up with my own interpretation. Lexi's of course wasn't as well thought out as Charlotte's, I could only get her to stand still for a second and then she managed to wipe it off from under her nose and on her chin as soon as I was done.

We made snakes with pipe cleaners and cut out pieces of straw. This originally started out as a short/long lesson with short and long pieces of straw but after a few, I realized we could turn this into a pattern lesson and so our last few snakes were pattern snakes.
Here are a few snakes blending in with the vines
Next our jungle needed some big cats, so we needed to make tigers! I thought long and hard about how I wanted to make tigers, I wanted something unique and then it hit me...spin art would make awesome tiger stripes! So I painted some paper plates orange and we proceeded to make stripes...
Putting paint on the (taped down) paper plate in the salad spinner
Add some small details: stamped on nose and eyes, yarn whiskers, ears and you have tigers!
Camouflage tiger
What jungle would be complete without jaguars...I'm gonna have to say, Asian and African jungles...but not ours!
Waiting for ears, eyes and noses to dry
Lazy jaguar, just hanging around
Imagine how happy I was to find out that the new exhibit (The Trail of the Tiger) at our zoo was having a special sneak peek to members only. All of the animals are from the jungle and they are so awesome! I'm not really an ape/monkey fan but I'm sure on my way to being one, they were so fun to watch! Previously we only had squirrel monkeys and some little tiny black things but now we have apes to enjoy as well: orangutans, gibbons, siamangs. The funniest part about the opening of this exhibit is that the tigers actually ended up not being there. The glass to their enclosure was broken so we didn't get to see them, but we were thrilled with what we ended up seeing.
The last thing our jungle needed was some rain, so we made a rain stick following this tutorial over at The Imagination Tree (there's also a post about mini baby rain sticks too) and we really have fun using this stick. Shaking it, turning it fast, turning it slow, rolling it, it has been fascinating to watch the girls  move the stick in different ways to produce different sounds, it sounds like a heavy rainstorm when you turn it normally.
We tried a few types of filling but decided on macaroni because I think the curves hold onto the nails a bit longer
Here's how our jungle looked after adding the cats, the leaves, the snakes and there are also some birds and frogs in there hiding out. 
I really wanted to add a sloth but couldn't decide how to actually make one so we pretended we were sloths by laying on our backs with our arms and legs in the air, the girls took turns laying on my tummy like baby sloths and so I made up a silly song about sloths. I make up a lot of silly songs but this one is blog worthy (even though it's embarrassing)

The Sloth Song
I'm a sloth and I swing in the trees
I have my baby on my belly with me
I go slowly when I move around
and I never ever touch the ground
I drink water in the leaves
and eat flowers from the trees
and I move

 Finally, like always, there are books, books and more books. I found out that the jungle is a very popular subject to write about but we had our favorites and here they are. (BTW, I always link to Amazon but these new links will tell you prices and add them to your cart automatically)

(We loved this book the most)

Well, I hope you enjoyed Jungle Week! We're supposed to do 'K' this next week but will be postponing it to do it in a different location than normal. So, I will have a look at my theme list and plan according to that. Keep an eye out!


  1. This is all so brilliant! I love how your rainstick turned out but also those tiger face spinner art pictures are AMAZING! We just have to make some. I will link back to you when we do :-)

  2. Anna, thank you so much for coming to see our rainstick! I am so extremely flattered you love the tigers!! Thank you sooooo much! I can't wait to see yours!!! :) :) :)

  3. This is absolutely the most CREATIVE ARTISTIC project I seen done by kids in a long time!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Thank you for the wonderful comment!


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