This was definitely one of my favorite units—there are just so many great things you can do with kids that involve jungle animals.
Unit on the Jungle
Goals: The child will be able to recognize each of the key terms.
Wall elephants. We had so much success with our recent faces on the wall that I created some elephants to go on the wall next to Charlie’s changing table. This provides TONS of learning activities throughout the week. Every time he’s on the table he begins reaching up and grabbing whatever we’ve placed there—and we in turn tell him its name. Fantastic reinforcement. This may become a regular part of our units.
Jungle room. This was another on-going learning activity. I decorated the entrance to Charlie’s room with some green crepe paper (also known as vines) and a monkey made out of crepe paper and sticky-backed foam. Every time we go in and out of Charlie’s room we mention the vines, the monkey, and how it’s just like a jungle. Funny hats. I found these hats on the aisles of Michaels and who am I to make things harder than they already are? Dad and I donned the hats and acted like fools. Then we put the hats on Charlie, which he did not find nearly as amusing.
Handprint Monkeys. I’m planning on doing a much more detailed post on these guys for No Time for Flashcards, but basically, we used Charlie’s hands and paint to make monkeys. This was a pretty cute activity if I do say so myself and Charlie’s monkeys are now hanging on my fridge.
Paper Plate Tiger. I got this one from Allie at NTFF. Again, why re-invent the wheel? We let Charlie paint the “tiger” and then I gave it a little face. Super cute and fun!
Book We Enjoyed
I’m tempted to lie here and say that we enjoyed a more advanced book, but the truth is, we liked Touch and Feel Jungle Animals edited by Nicola Deschamps. What can I say? Charlie needs a little incentive to actually look at a book. We’re working on it, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Video We Enjoyed
I know, I know! Videos aren’t the best. Studies show that if you sit with your child and interact with the video, they are more likely to get something out of it. For me, I just get tired of forcing Charlie to look at books and this way I have yet another way of reinforcing the information.
Signing Time Volume 9: Zoo Train. The kid is already wild about Signing Time. Zoo Train was a natural fit for this unit and it was available at my local library. I’m calling that a win-win situation.