This week children will learn about the rain forest and, more specifically, about the enigmatic tropical rain forest. Although rain forests cover only seven percent of Earth’s land surface, half of the planet’s animals and plant species make their homes there: from poisonous frogs to colourful toucans, to Kapok trees that grow up to 61 meters high, to orchids that grow on the sides of trees without any soil. This is an example of the astonishing and exotic variety of wildlife we can find in the word’s rainiest biome! We will also look at the different layers a tropical rain forest has: emergent layer, canopy layer, understory layer, and forest floor, as well as the different flora and fauna that find shelter in each layer. Children will act out the story of Monkey Puzzle where a baby monkey loses her mummy and sets out on a journey across the jungle. As part of our weekly art project, children will make a Cuvier’s toucan with cut-out paper plates and colourful feathers.

Home ideas:
– Trip to Kew Gardens to explore the Palm House. This glasshouse recreates a rainforest climate, a living laboratory supporting a diversity of plants from the tropical regions of the world. The plantings simulate the multi-layered habitat, with canopy palms, trees, climbers and epiphytes, as well as the shorter understorey plants and dwarf palms.
– Make a rain forest terrarium).