Planning a rainforest theme for your preschooler? Looking for all the best rainforest activities for play-based learning?
Rainforests are the oldest ecosystem on Earth and have such beauty to them. I’m sure your children will have as much fun learning about their plants, animals, ecology, and climate as much as mine did.
In this post, we’ll share 13 of our favorite rainforest activities for preschoolers.
Rainforest Activities for Preschoolers
Listed below are 13 preschool activities for a rainforest unit study. This unit covers pre-writing, counting, sensory play, literacy, arts and crafts, and more.
Sand Writing Tray
Sand (or salt) trays are a wonderful pre-writing activity for preschoolers.
For our rainforest unit study, we found some green sand at our local Dollar Tree and printed off some alphabet cards from this Rainforest Bundle Pack.
I also gathered some sticks from outside, and my preschooler had a great time writing all of her letters with them. If there’s a letter she’s not certain how to write, she usually has me write it in the sand first, and then she will trace mine.
Animal Matching and Fun Facts
Matching develops so many different skills and helps get preschoolers ready for math.
Object to image matching games are always a win in our home, and this week I made some rainforest animal cards to go with the Safari Ltd. Rainforest Toob. I also made some fun fact cards about the different animals as well.
This hands-on approach helps develop vocabulary and teaches children how to identify common rainforest animals. They also get to learn some pretty neat information about these amazing animals along the way.
You can find these FREE printables over at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Switching up your counting manipulative is a great way to keep your preschooler interested and engaged.
For this unit, I decided to purchase this frog party pack, which included 12 red-eyed tree frogs and 12 poison dart frogs. Absolutely perfect for a rainforest theme.
My toddler worked on counting 0-5, and my preschooler worked on 0-20. We added in some tweezers to carry the frogs with in order to strengthen those fine motor skills.
This idea and leaf printables came from the rainforest bundle pack.
Butterfly Number Sequence Cards
Not only should your preschooler work on counting, but they should also begin to grasp number order. These butterfly sequence cards from the Rainforest Bundle Pack are great for working on that skill.
Your preschooler will need to figure out which number came previous to the first number on each sequence card and fill in that slot.
"R for Rainforest" Coloring Book
Another great activity from the Rainforest Bundle Pack I mentioned earlier is this “My First Alphabet Reader” booklet.
The kids enjoyed coloring, and my preschooler got to work on some phonetics, hearing various words that begin with the letter R.
Rainforest Play Dough Tray
Play dough makes a very frequent appearance in our homeschool. There’s just so many different things you can do with it.
This week, the kids have been making little replicas of the rainforest. It’s been so neat to watch them create and see what they come up with.
In the tray, I provided them with:
Do-A-Dot Rainforest Animals
Dauber dot markers are some of our favorite art supplies. They’re a great way to review colors, develop hand-eye coordination, and inspire creativity.
We found these Do-A-Dot Rainforest Animal Pages for free over at Easy Peasy Learners, and they fit in perfectly with our unit study. They have black and white pages, as well as colored ones you can print.
Rainforest Sensory Bin
Sensory play is very soothing and also helps develop vocabulary and fine motor skills. You can use sensory bins to help enhance retention and even use as a form of narration.
I personally just like to sit back and see what my children have learned come out in their play.
This rainforest sensory bin was actually fairly easy to make. All I used was:
Rainforest Floor Puzzle
We also always try to incorporate some type of puzzle into our learning, as they’re great for logic and fine motor skills.
For this unit, we enjoyed putting this super sized rainforest floor puzzle together as a family.
The Umbrella Coloring Page
We also do lots of coloring in our homeschool preschool.
She has several sheets based on her rainforest book, The Umbrella. There’s a toucan, quetzal, tapir, jaguar, and an animal mural (as pictured above).
Rainforest Stamps and Coloring
Another easy art activity for preschoolers is to give them some stamps, paper, and colored pencils.
Melissa & Doug have a wide variety of fun stamps, including this Rainforest Set.
Forewarning, it can get a little messy, and there most likely will be stamps on some part of your preschooler’s body. 😉
Rainforest Felt Board
Felt play inspires the imagination and creativity.
I found these felt rainforest animals over on Amazon, and so I decided to make a DIY board to go with.
I cut out some tropical trees, vines, a waterfall, and some ground plants, and then I hot glued them to a tri-fold presentation board. I do plan to put more green felt on the sides, so the kids have more room to rearrange the animals.
I also pulled out our Plan Toys balancing tree for this unit to sneak in a little STEM.
You can do this same balancing activity with a mail tube or paper towel tube and some green popsicle sticks. See how many “branches” your preschooler can balance on top the “trunk of the tree.”
A Preschool Rainforest Unit Study
I hope this post gave you plenty of ideas for your preschool rainforest unit study.
A rainforest theme is so much fun, and you can cover quite a bit of different subjects with it, including literacy, writing, pre-math, art, and more.
There’s really nothing that compares to the beauty of the rainforest, so just have fun with it and see where it takes you!
What About You?
Which rainforest activities are you planning for your preschooler? Share your favorite activities in the comments below, and be sure to share this post with other homeschool moms and dads, and even teachers.