Preschool Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Rainforests of the World

Books to Share

Animal Babies in Rain Forests by Jennifer Schofield.

Bearum Scarum by Vic Parker.

Edward in the Jungle by David McPhail.

Who is the Beast? by Keith Baker.

Books to Show or Booktalk

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.

The Monkey and the Crocodile by Paul Galdone.

Rain Forest Animals by Angela Wilkes.

A Rainforest Habitat by Bobbie Kalman.

Verdi by Janell Cannon.

Bulletin Board

Read About Rainforests

Decorate the bulletin board with rain forest animals and flora, using the photograph at Bulletin Board Pro,, as a model.



Use the pattern from DLTK, =, or a die-cut to make elephant nametags.


Line the bottom of your display with green cloth or felt. Display books about rainforests for preschool age children and add stuffed animals and birds.


Plastic “Animal Bookmarks” in the shape of rainforest and jungle animals are available from US Toy,


Let the children make their own animal face sandwiches following the instructions provided by Preschool Rainbow,

Introductory Flannel Board Activity

In advance, make a Texas Traveler out of flannel using the template from Making Friends at Also in advance, make camouflage jungle clothes using the patterns from Making Friends at Place your “Texas Traveler” on the flannel board. Talk to the children about rainforests. Explain to the children what a rainforest is, and show them pictures of what a rainforest looks like. Point out where rainforests are located on a globe or map. Let the children dress the traveler for a jungle adventure.

doll with shirt, shorts, and shoes outfit, the pattern looks like fish scales

Rhymes and Poetry

Recite “Five Grey Elephants” on page 86 in The Big Book of Stories, Songs, and Sing-Alongs by Beth Maddigan.

Recite “Alligator Pie” by Dennis Lee. If the book is not available, the words are online at Canadian Poets, 7.htm. Match actions to the words and add as many stanzas as desired, making up new ones.

Recite “Jungle Animals” from The Best Kids Booksite at http://www.thebest Select the rhyme from the drop-down menu.


Sing “Rain Forest Animals” to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Lyrics are available from Preschool Education at srainforest.shtml.

Sing “Ten Little Hippos Fat” to the tune of “Ten Little Indians” found on page 62 in Storytime Crafts by Kathryn Totten.

Audio Recordings

”Bear to the Left” on What Kind of Cat Are You? by Billy Jonas.

“The Hippopotamus Song” on I Love My Shoes by Eric Ode.

Puppet Plays

Perform the puppet play “The Monkey and the Crocodile.” The script is available on pages 63-66 in One-Person Puppet Plays by Denise Wright. (Available through NetLibrary, a TexShare database.) Use any monkey and crocodile puppets available, or make them as stick puppets or hand puppets.

Stories to Tell

Tell “The Two Monkeys” on pages 171-174 in Multicultural Folktales for the Feltboard and Readers’ Theater by Judy Sierra. Patterns to create flannel pieces to accompany this story can be found on pages 175-177.


Chain Snake

  • Construction paper in various colors
  • Glue sticks
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Stapler (optional)

In advance, cut the construction paper into 2” x 9” strips. Also in advance, cut one snake head and one snake tongue for each child using the patterns provided in this program. Distribute at least 8 to 10 of the strips, a snake head, and a snake tongue to each child. Glue the first strip to create a circle. Thread a second strip through the circle and glue it, continuing until all of the strips have been used to create a paper chain. Glue or staple the snake head to the last piece of the chain. Glue a pair of wiggle eyes and a tongue on to the head.

Find the chain snake pattern at the end of this program.

chain snake pattern, the chain is made of colored interlocking rings, red tongue and face

Zoo Pal Puppets

  • Hefty® Zoo Pal plates
  • Large craft sticks or paint stir sticks
  • Craft glue
  • Tape (optional)
  • Assorted decorations like rickrack, ball fringe, yarn, and fun fur

In advance, purchase Hefty® Zoo Pal plates available at grocery stores. Attach a large craft stick to the back of the plate using glue that will adhere to coated paper. Alternately, tape the stick in place. Use the decorative materials to embellish the animal, adding ball fringe to make fluffy ears, yarn to create a mane, etc.

Paper Tigers

Make a tiger following the directions on pages 120-121 in At the Zoo: Explore the Animal World with Craft Fun by Judy Press. The body of the tiger is made from a standard mailing envelope. Add paper circles for the head and ears and a rectangle for the tail using the patterns in the book.

paper tiger

Swinging Monkeys

Make a “Silly Swinging Monkey” following the instructions on pages 82-83 in The Big Book of Stories, Songs, and Sing-Alongs by Beth Maddigan. The patterns provided make a monkey that swings on a branch made from a drinking straw. It requires construction paper, pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes, and a pompom.

Games and Activities

One Elephant Went Out

(Traditional. Start this simple game with all of the children sitting in a circle on the floor. Choose one child to start the game. That child stands and imitates an elephant, dangling one arm in front of his or her nose like a trunk and the other arm behind like a tail. Sing the song as the child walks around the circle until he or she picks a friend. That child then stands up and holds hands with the first child. The song repeats, substituting the correct number, until all of the children are standing in a circle.)

One elephant went out one day,

Out to the park where he (or she) could play

He (or she) had such enormous fun,

He (or she) called another elephant to come. (place hand like a megaphone to call)

Hey, Elephant! (Next child stands up and joins the circle)

Two elephants went out one day,

Out to the park where they could play

They had such enormous fun,

They called another elephant to come. (place hand like a megaphone to call)

Hey, Elephant! (next child stands up and joins the circle)

Guest Speakers

Invite someone from a local zoo or conservation society to talk about endangered species, bringing small animals for the children to see, if possible. Check with the Texas Library System office for potential presenters such as Jungle Jim's Bugs of the World,, who can bring animals to your program.

Web Sites

Kids Go Wild

Sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society, this web site provides fun facts and age-appropriate interactive games.

Professional Resources

Hefty® ZooPals

This web site includes games, activities, and crafts that use this brand of animal plates.

PBS: Journey in Amazonia

Linked to the public television program, this site includes educational materials, teacher materials, and an interactive game for older children.

Program Materials

Rainforests of the World – Chain Snake Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (13 KB)

Chain Snake Pattern - Four snake heads and four snake tongues

Texas Reading Club 2010 Programming Manual / Catch the Reading Express!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011