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Jungle role play area

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by lizze, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. I work in a nursery and our topic after the holidays is animals. We are thinking about doing a jungle role play area but are a bit stuck on how to do it. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks
  2. I work in a nursery and our topic after the holidays is animals. We are thinking about doing a jungle role play area but are a bit stuck on how to do it. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks
  3. just a few ideas that you could try

    make a backdrop for jungle get the children involved perhaps paint the trees etc. this would cover habitat and a good speaking and listening activity generated asking the children what types of animals live where

    use soft toys as the animals in the jungle

    you could have masks for the children to wear, this could be an activity that each child makes their own animal mask for the role play area.

    i dont no what its called, but they used to use it in fruit and veg shops its like a green felt material that would be good to use as grass, (sorry thats a bit vague i no)

    you could use a army net to hang on the wall and attach diferent exotic birds butterflys, that the children had painted.

    dont no if thats anyhelp to you
  4. Ive not done this but a colleague did one year and it was fantastic.
    He used an army net atached to the back wall with one of the schools large artificial plants for realism. He hid all sorts of insects in the netting and put lots of hand magnifyers in a box for the children to use. He made a tape of jungle noises - animal and bird calls mainly with a bit of rainfall.
    The children did their bit by making leaf rubbing and butterfly pictures to add to the netting.
    It was very popular (if you can stand all of the " Mr/s X ...I've found a beekle" cries when they are in there ) but it did need looking after so that the insects were not all in a heap and the magnifyers all over the classroom at the end of the day.
  5. Oh I like those ideas! This is our next topic.

    BTW the Reception teacher was just getting his role-play area ready yesterday afternoon. He has got a tent, borrowed our binoculars and he's calling it Rumble in the Jungle after the book of that name.
  6. Hi- have just done this since half term- it is fantastic!!! Have loads of good pics I can send you- it is very other the top and involed my LSA breaking all kinds of health and safety rules using step ladders and tables (against my advice!!!)- it looks fab and we have used it loads. We kept brown laptop wrapping (bit like potato sacks) and sponged them outside to makes huge vines (they criss cross and hang from the ceiling), stamped huge leaves in variety of textures and coloured, painted huge bright tropical flowers and butterflies, the chn have brough in masses of suitable animals (including chn from other classes!), CD player of rainforest music for ICT, questions- how many monkeys can you see etc- jungle puppets for speaking and listening, box of animal/jungle stories-the floor has material for mud, lagoon, and sandy destert like areas (we have to make sure the animals that come in from home get placed in the right habitat). The photos don't really do it justice- but everyone comments on it- it has grown very big!!! Children love it and it probably best role play area we have had yet (I'm an NQT)We can all fit underneath the vines etc and we sit and have jungle story time- oh, and also have a lovely jungle forest decorated drum...(little noisy but hey ho, adds to atmosphere. Will be sorry to see it go to be honest!
  7. emylou

    emylou New commenter

  8. Hi Would you be able to send me the photos?I'm torn between doing a vets role play and a jungle - tempted to go with jungle but might just go with an interactive display and stick with the vets role play!(also if you have any good vets ideas please pass them on!) thank you!
  9. Hi clarity, Just like you I was going to do a vets, and also the Three Bears House, as we usually change the role-play area twice during a 7 week half term. But am now really hooked on the jungle idea!
  10. Thanks for all your ideas they have all been really helpful. cheers
  11. Hi Petal3, would also really appreciate you emailing your pics of the jungle role play. Sounds fab !!!!!!


  12. I would love to see the photos too!
    Rain Forest Theme

    Circle Time

    Take a trip to a rain forest! Board your canoes! Sit in two straight rows one behind each other. Paddle your canoes down the river towards the rain forest. Play jungle music or music with the sound of water! Are you hungry! Pretend to throw fishing lines in the river. When you feel a tug, reel your fish in! Paddle to land. Sit down at the edge of the rain forest. Listen! The forest is very still! Soon you will hear a storm coming. Pound lightly on the rug for a light rainfall. Now pound hard! The storm is over you! Rain falls often in a rain forest. Now sit quietly. Place the animal pictures face down on the rug. By sitting quietly, the animals that live in the rain forest will not be frightened. Each child turns over a picture. If the child turns over a parrot, say, "Look! We see a parrot!" This child then tapes the parrot on the paper rain forest. Continue until all the animals have been placed in the rain forest.

    Look at the beautiful rain forest! We are lucky to have such beautiful places on the Earth.

    Some people who live in rain forests communicate by drum! Give two children a spoon and a pan each. These are their drums. One child beats out a message. The other child answers! Now switch and the child who answered sends the message! Give all the children a turn to send and answer a message

    Bring in products from the rain forest for the kids-coffee, spices, tea, etc. (Some to taste and others to smell)

    Get a book on indigenous people of the rainforest and face paint the children to look like the tribal people.

    Let's Talk

    While showing the children pictures of some Jungle animals, ask questions: What animals do we find in the Jungle?

    Which ones are dangerous? Which ones are loud?

    Different animals need different shelters for reasons of climate, habits, size, etc. Discuss these things using pictures.

    Play a tape of rainforest sounds----the rainforest is never quiet.

    Use steam vaporizers to enable the children to understand more about the type of weather that is found in the rainforest.

    The four levels of a rainforest.

    The emergent level is the top level of the rainforest.

    The canopy is the next layer where monkeys, apes and exotic plants live. The canopy is like living under a big green umbrella.

    The understory is the next layer. It is the home of bats, frogs, butterflies and many other animals.

    Finally is the forest floor. It's dark on the rainforest floor because the trees keep most of the light out.

    The Rainforest are becoming extinct. Big businesses are tearing down the Rainforest to build homes and businesses. Many of our medicines come from the rainforest as well as many different foods we eat and drink.

    Open-Ended Questions

    1. What do you think the Rainforest would smell like?

    2. Why do you think it is called a Rainforest?

    3. If you were an animal in the rainforest what animal would you like to be?

    Write down all answers to the questions on large paper. So the children can see it in writing.

    Discussion about some plants and animals that live and grow in the jungle

    Tell about foods that come from the jungle (chocolate, fruit, nuts)

    Science and Sensory
    Terrariums: Fill an 8 or 9" clear plastic cup ¾ way full with potting soil. Next, plant non-poisonous plant cuttings, covering the roots well. (Another suggestion is to use grass seed. Sprinkle on top of soil but don't cover.) Water lightly. Turn another cup upside-down on top. Help the child tape both cups together. Place in an area where the children can see them but not disrupt them. Make sure the terrariums receive moderate sunlight. As the water in the terrarium evaporates, it condenses on top & "rains" back down on the plant.

    Rain Forest Terrarium
    Materials: 2 gal or quart size glass jar for each child. Sand, soil, gravel (color) and a small lid to hold water. Bowls for mixing sand, spoons, Fern, moss, animals (plastic)


    1. Cover bottom half of their jars with gravel

    2. Mix soil and sand together, 1-part sand, 4 parts soil.

    3. Place soil mixture on Gravel.

    4. Place ferns and moss in jar.

    5. Put water in small lid and set in jar.

    6. Place animals in Jar.

    7. Put jar lid on tight.

    Grow Sponges: put a watch me grow crocodile in water and watch it grow

    Reptile Swamp: Squirt bunches of shaving cream all over the table and add a couple tsp. of green tempura. Let child mix the color in. Add plastic reptiles. A Jungle Swamp

    Bug Quick Sand (Goop) 1cup cornstarch, 1cup water, food coloring Add the food coloring to the water them slowly add the water to the corn starch. Add plastic bugs!

    Look for Bugs and Birds go on jungle safari looking for bugs and birds

    Wild Birdseed: Tubs of birdseed and a lot of measuring, scooping, and pouring items.

    Finger-paint with MUD 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.

    Banana Moosh!! MESSY! Put a bunch of bananas on the table for the ?monkeys? to play with. They can peel them, cut them, squish and smoosh them. BANANAS STAIN CLOTHING! Props: Plates, spoons, knives, potato mashers?.

    Tubful of Snakes: Fill your water/sand table with either fresh cut grass or shredded green paper. Mix in some plastic snakes or rubber bands cut apart to be baby snakes. Let the children?s imagination take over!

    Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! Provide a bucket full of assorted plastic bugs. Let the children examine and discuss each bug. Share bug stories. Encourage conversation!!

    Creative Art
    Rain Forest Room?Hang leaves (cut out of large green construction paper) and vines (large green construction paper cut out in a spiral pattern) from the ceiling. From the vines hang construction paper monkeys and bananas.

    Crocodile Skins: Newsprint, three different shades of green paint, sponges

    Let the children crinkle their paper up in a very tight ball. Then have them lay the paper flat and smooth it out. Use sponges to paint all over. The crinkles will make it look just like crocodile skin.

    Paper Plate Frog
    Materials needed:

    9-inch paper plate

    Green construction paper


    Green and black crayon

    Cut out frog legs (about 4 inches long, and 4 inches across) - imagine the letter L, only make it puffier, like "bubble letters". Draw a few misshaped black circles on the legs. Frog Eyes--Cut out 2 oval shapes from green construction paper. Color a black circle at one end of the oval. Glue eyes onto plate, and glue legs onto plate. Legs should have about 2 inches glued onto plate. Glued legs should face this way on plate: __| |__ Draw a mouth on the frog like this: //\/\/\/\/\/\/\

    Trees: Make newspaper trees by taking 3 sheets of newspaper and roll them up overlapping as you go. Tape the bottom. 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.

    Squawking parrot beaks: Pre-shape paper to form cones. Have children decorate. Use hole punch to make a hole on each side of the beak. Tie piece of yarn on each side to hold beak on child?s face.

    Rain Forest Animals

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


    1. Have children put thumb on inkpad and put on tree, 2 thumb prints one above the other.

    2. Add faces, arms, legs, tail, and details with felt tip markers.

    Rain Forest Trees

    1 large sheet of construction paper

    1tree trunk cut 3 inches less in width than the large sheet but same length.

    3 large palm tree shape leaves (The should be almost one third the length of the large paper.

    Paper fasteners

    3-4 cut out animals from the rain forest

    The animals can be colored or painted by the children and then pasted on the large paper. The paper should be with the short side toward you. After the animals are on the page fasten the tree trunk and leaves at the

    top so they hide the animals of the forest but can be moved to reveal them. The purpose is that you cannot see all the animals in the Rain Forest because they hide (explain reasons) Also it helps to understand the density of the growth.

    Take A Trip to the Rainforest

    Butcher paper


    Felt pen



    Calendars and magazines

    Optional-jungle or water music


    Cut at least three long sheets of butcher paper. Cut them as long as six feet! Draw a tall tree on each paper. Lay them on the floor or tables. Color them with the help of the children. Tape them near each other on a wall. This is the rain forest! Cut out pictures of animals that live in rain forests. Calendars and magazines are a great source of pictures! Common rain forest animals are frogs, sloths, anteaters, tigers, elephants, jaguars, ocelots, snakes, monkeys, parakeets, toucans, macaws, parrots, plus a variety of butterflies and flowers.

    Easel painting:

    Provide several shades of green paint (lighten & darken shades by adding white or a little black paint to the green).

    Rain Sticks


    Heavy tubes (For example, the ones that postal supply places have for posters. They have lids that come off at each end. You can use heavy gift-wrap tubes and tape the ends shut. The true test of durability is whether the tube can withstand hammering small nails into it. Make sure the tube is a length that can be easily maneuvered by whoever will be using it.)

    Sack full of nails (A good choice: drywall nails that are about 3 1/2" [8.87 cm] long. The size and number you need depends upon how wide and how long your tube is. Nails should not poke through the opposite side.)

    Small hammer

    Sack of aquarium gravel, rice or split peas

    Markers, tempera paints, watercolors, acrylic paints

    Optional: Large roll of clear tape (used for packing)


    Decorate your tube with markers, paints or any other art medium you would like to use. When dry, begin to hammer nails into the tube covering it top to bottom in random patterning. Tape one end of your tube if it doesn't have a lid. Fill with 1/2-cup (125 ml) aquarium gravel, rice or split peas. Cup the other end with your hand and roll back and forth. Do you want to add more gravel? Do you need more nails? If you are satisfied with your sounds of rain, then seal the tube at the other end with tape or the lid. You may want to tape around the tube with the clear tape so the nails will not come out and the design will be protected. And now, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain . . .

    Rain stick
    Teacher Rain stick?poster tube, nails and aquarium gravel

    Child Rain stick?paper towel roll, rice

    Sponge paint the towel roll with several bright colors. Cover one end with a cardboard circle, and taped with clear wide tape. Place two spoonfuls of rice into the opened end and cover like the other end. Tie several bright colored yarns around each end to add color, and to help hold the tape on. Slowly move back and forth to make the sound of rain.

    Tie Snakes
    Old ties (the busier the print the better), Polyfill, Medium/light gauge wire, wiggly eyes, felt

    Cut open one of the ends, and fill 2/3's all the way with Polyfill. (Use a dowel rod to push stuffing) Then, insert either a straightened hanger or a length of wire. (Leave out the wire if for young ones or if being able to shape the snake doesn?t matter.) Fill the rest of the way, and sew/glue/web-iron the tie closed again. Leave the tag on the underside to hook finger into to make move. Add wiggly eyes and a long felt tongue with the "v" shape at the end!

    Alligator Puppet
    Draw and cut out the eyes, nose and the upper section of the alligator?s mouth from construction paper. Glue them to the bottom of the paper bag. Draw and cut out the inside of the mouth and the two front feet from paper.

    Glue them to the front of the bag. Attach a tail to the back of the bag. Place your hand inside the bag and curve your fingers over the fold to move the puppet.

    Table centerpiece for jungle animals

    Pick an apple that will stand up by its self nicely. Cut the apple in half, horizontally. Place the two cut ends in a little lemon juice, to ****** browning. Cut a plastic straw into 3 equal pieces. Pick 3 jungle animals from a pkg. of animal crackers. Place the straws into the bottom half of an apple evenly. Attach each animal cracker with a dot of peanut butter. Press top half of apple into bottom half of apple. Instant animal carousel.

    Snake Painting: Cut several lengths of white string or yarn. Set out two trays of paint-one with yellow and one with blue. Let the children slither their little snakes through the trays and across the paper. Soon the snakes will turn green-see if the kids notice. Make a game out of it by saying the baby snakes had played in Momma?s flour bag and were all white. Momma might be upset when she sees her babies are not green any more. The kids will be tickled that they turned the babies green before Momma found out!

    Printing?Use cookie cutters and sponges of Jungle animals

    Make rainforest collages from rainforest products------coffee, sugar, and tea

    Feather Painting: Remind them the less paint they have on their feather the more feathery their picture will be.

    Cork Frog:

    Color a cork green with crayons and loop a green pipe cleaner around it and twist. Bend the pipe cleaner ends to resemble legs. Tie a short string to the pipe cleaner to pull the floating frog through the water.

    Macaw Bird
    Have each child trace its foot with shoe on. Then trace 10 hands using BRIGHT colors. Use the "foot print" for the body. For the wings glue three hands per wing (one a little lower than the other) and attach to side. Do the same thing with the other 4 "hands" and slip them in back of the body for the tail. Children cut 2 small black eyes and a "hooked" beak.

    Banana Peel Art Put banana peels, yellow paint, and construction paper on the table. Let the children use their imaginations to paint with the peels.

    Fluffy Birds
    Glue 2 Popsicle sticks together to form a cross. Glue real colored or paper feathers onto the cross leaving the top for a head. Glue paper head on top OR use markers as eyes & beak.

    Zany Zebras
    Give each child a construction paper picture of a zebra with no stripes, mane, or tail. Use a fine brush or Q-tip & have them make stripes with black tempera paint. When paint dries, glue strips of fluorescent paper on neck &

    tail. Have the kids fringe paper.

    Cardboard Tube Snakes: 5-6 toilet paper tubes, paper for tongue, paint, glue, yarn or string to connect tubes

    Monkeys Paint cotton balls brown and let dry. Have children glue cotton balls on monkey pattern

    Thumbprint monkeys: Give each child a sheet of paper with the outline of a tree drawn on it. Set out inkpads 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

    Make Jungle Drums Before children come glue lids on oatmeal boxes. Have children paint glue all over a piece of white construction paper. Roll the oatmeal box on paper until the two are glued together. Provide other materials to decorate the surface of the box.

  13. Hi
    I am setting up a rainforest role play room to be used throughout school, key stage 1 and 2. Your ideas sound really good and would love to see the pictures for extra inspiration. Thanks.
  14. I was browsing through Teachers' TV and there are some videos of a teacher in uncut classes doing lessons on the jungle and being observed by an inspector. Worth a look.
  15. Hi, I am a year 4 teacher and my theme for the first half of the autumn term is heathy me. Have you any ideas for a roleplay area.
  16. Miss Sparkley, your ideas are fantastic! Thanks very much!
    Petal3, I was wondering if I could also have a look at your rainforest pictures? My email is: martin0885@hotmail.com.
    Many thanks!

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