“What is the difference between a rainforest and a jungle”
This was Lil B’s question that sparked this easy yet interactive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) art project for kids. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of the answer myself.
I mean… I know what a rainforest is…and I know what a jungle is… but how do you describe the difference to two preschoolers?
So, we looked it up together.
And because I know you are dying to know….
A jungle is a dense overgrown area while a rainforest is a dense overgrown area with canopies that are formed by tall trees or to put it another way, a rainforest is a type of jungle.
Of course the above answer is simplified a bit, but it helped explained the difference to my two young learners.
While we were researching our jungle/rainforest question I remembered a website I used in the classroom with my students.
The National Gallery of Art has a wonderful interactive site for kids called the NGA Kids Art Zone.
On the website they have many interactive art activities that the NGA has specifically designed for kids. They also have a jungle interactive scene inspired by the artwork of Henri Rousseau.
My students loved creating their own digital works of art from the site and I had a feeling my two young preschoolers would enjoy it as well.
Preschool is a great age to introduce technology.
We have done many projects that incorporate technology, art and creativity. If your child is unfamiliar, teach your child how to work the mouse, tablet or in our case a touch pad. This is a good time to model how we use technology to expand our learning.
Lil B and M-Woww loved working on the interactive site.
They enjoyed how easily they could create a scene and move the pieces around. They easily could click on the item they wanted to add whether it was adding vegetation or an animal. They also loved that they could change their rainforest scene into daytime or nighttime.
Since we were discussing rainforests, I challenged them to create their own rainforest scene.
We reviewd that a rainforest had taller trees that covered the ground and so each of them incorporated the taller trees into their own rainforest digital collage.
After they were satisfied with their collage we printed out the final picture to hang up and display. Read our full tutorial below.
Creative Challenge: Build a Digital Rainforest Collage
Colored paper (optional)
Step 1: Discuss with your child what a rainforest is and what types of plants, animals and vegetation live in a rainforest.
Step 2: Go to the NGA Kids Jungle website.
Step 3: Create your own rainforest or jungle scene.
Step 4: To save your child’s design either print out the photo (there is a print button) or take a screen shot to capture a digital image of the scene.
Looking for more ways to encourage your Preschooler’s creativity? Be sure to sign up for our Growing Creative Preschooler’s Newsletter and receive our FREE download, How to Unlock Your Child’s Hidden Talents.
To learn more about the rainforest, be sure to check out our Creative Preschool Friends.
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