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Montessori-Inspired Rainforest 3-Part Cards


Did you know that the jaguar has the strongest bite force of all the big cats?  You'd think it would be the tiger, since it's the largest.  Nope!  It's the lithe jungle cat- the jaguar- that takes that crown.  There's really so much to learn about the rainforest, it's almost a never ending topic.  It's my hope that this post will get you excited about learning and give you a few places to begin your exploration.



Learn About the Rainforest

1- Many of the foods we eat and products we interact with every day come from the rainforest.  A great place to start exploring is the produce section of the grocery store, since up to 80% of our food originated there.  Things like avocado, bananas, pineapple, tomato, mango, and more!  Have the kids pick something new to try and a few of your favorites, then use the stickers on the fruit to find out where it's from.  Look at a world map and match them.  Which fruit came the furthest?  Here is a printable if you'd like to explore other foods with your kids.

2- Most adults probably know that coffee comes from the rainforest, but many kids have never thought about it.  You can spend some time learning about the coffee life cycle and how many steps coffee passes through to get to your cup.  You can also do a sensory bin with coffee beans or make play dough with old coffee grounds.

3- Due to the encroachment of humans and other factors, many rainforest animals are endangered.  Spend time time looking into why they might be endangered and how we can help them.  You can get matching cards for the Safari Ltd Endangered Species toob on my website, too.  Put them on a world map and see where animals are most in trouble.

4- Rainforests get lots of rain fall every year.  How much?  That would be a great topic to look up with your kids!  Compare your area's annual rainfall with the amount in the rainforest.  Measure out the daily amount for both if you have a rain gauge to make it more hands-on for kids.  Just for fun, find out what the driest place on earth is an how much rain it gets a year.  The kids can make a graph to show the comparison a different way.

5- Rainforests are like cake- they have layers!  Study the layers of the rainforest and make a cake instead of a diorama!  Doesn't that sound much more delicious?  Or make the rainforest diorama and program a robot to go through it (see the idea here).

6- Although a rainforest study is primarily a science and geography heavy topic, you can sneak in some handwriting practice with a themed salt writing tray.  In Montessori method, kids are encouraged to make their mark in the salt/sand before they ever pick up a pencil.  For kids who struggle with wanting their work to be perfect, a sand tray allows them to erase super easily and keep trying until they are successful.

7- Part of the reason that endangered animal and plant species are such a big deal and worth trying to restore is the interconnections between every living thing in the rainforest (and elsewhere- of course).  Look up some food webs with your kids or have them create their own.  Who eats whom?  Did you know that a bat can eat over 600 mosquitoes a night?  That's a good reason to keep those yucky bloodsuckers around!  And how many ants can an anteater eat?  Put your answer in the comments!

8- If you're schooling a wiggly bunch, work on some number identification and gross motor skills with some animal movements!  Roll the dice to see which action you should do, and then lead kids in jumping like a frog and creeping like a jaguar (get a free printable here).  What other animal movements could you create?

9- There have been people living in the rainforest for thousands of years.  It's easy to focus on only the plants and animals of the area and forget that real people and communities live there, too.  Learn more about their culture and how they interact with the jungle, the types of foods they eat, how they travel, and how they respond to the outside world.

10- Read some great books!  Click on the colored text below to see the details on these books and learning ideas.









I was helping someone this morning to come up with some ideas for a rainforest study with her kids and realized that I had never made rainforest toob matching cards!  An entire day of blogging later, and I'm finally ready to start talking about the Montessori-inspired printable!

Six years ago, when I started this blog, I almost immediately began working on creating matching cards for Safari Ltd toobs of animals.  I now have almost all of them!  Every time Safari puts out a new toob, I get to work soon after making a printable for it.  Let me know in the comments if there's one I'm missing!








This is a Member's Only Printable!
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After you've gotten the password from the newsletter (current subscribers should be able to find it in my latest newsletter), download the PDF from the protected page.  Print the first two pages twice and laminate them for long-term use.  Then, cut out all the cards and separate them by sets (11 in each identical pile).  Leave one set of cards exactly as they are- with the picture and label attached.  With the second set of cards, cut the label off the pictures to make two piece.  The card with a picture and label, the card with just a picture, and the card with the label now make the three parts of the traditional Montessori 3-part cards.



Once you have the three cards, you can present them to your child in the traditional Montessori method.  Have the child match the picture card with the label to the other two cards.  They can also match the Safari Ltd Rainforest toob animals to the picture cards or label the figurines with the cards.  The child can also spell out the words with a movable alphabet like printable cards or shaped letters.

You can also chose not to separate the picture from the label to make a set of cards for a classic memory match.  You can your child can take turns choosing two cards and seeing if they're a match.  If they are a pair, then that player gets to keep them.  If they're not a match, the player must turn them over and the other player gets a turn.

You may also want to print just one copy of the cards and allow your child to match the Safari Ltd Rainforest toob to the pictures.  Together, you can talk about the animal names, where they live, and sort them by type.  The figurines are great in messy play, sensory bins, and more!  My kids love to play with them, especially outside.

Did you like what you read?  Want to save it for another day?  Be sure to Pin It to Pinterest!  Look for the red box in the upper left corner of the pictures to save them.


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