Summer Jungle

Summer can seem way too long for parents.  And local day camps or swimming lessons only take up so much time. One option is to pick a theme, like rain forests, and fill in your summer with learning about them. 

This last week I helped my sister turn her living room into a rain forest. For reasonably cheap we transformed the ceiling into a canopy (see pics) and the corner into a Kapok tree.  The nephews thought this an amazing treat. 

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We spent the afternoon painting long sheets of brown paper with green and brown (brown paper roll at Lowes for $10) We added a few flowers for color, but most looked like kid version of camouflage.

Most nets can get costly, so I just tied nylon string in a net-like pattern (small diameter nylon rope from Lowes). We fastened the outsides of the net to the wall just below the ceiling with small hooks. We tightened the rope so the net was close to the ceiling. 

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After the paper dried we laid it on top of the net, camo facing down. Immediately we felt part of a rain forest.  Stuffed animals and plastic bugs helped give it a more authentic look. 

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Then came time to learn more about rain forests.

1. We got books from the library and read about the tree layers and wildlife.  

2. We did different crafty art projects giving us additional animals to hang from the rain forests. 

3. We kept a science journal ($1 at Target) with notes and pictures of everything we learned. 

4. Consider visiting a local zoo specifically looking for rain forest animals. 

5. We collected cans and used the money to save an acre of the rain forest (website – http://adopt.nature.org/

Since traveling to Belize wasn’t in the family budget turning a room of the house into a rain forest was a creative 2nd place. 

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Let me know if you try it!

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