Small World Play: Rainforest in a box

Small World Play: Rainforest in a box
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Create a fun rain forest in a box for a pretend play session and a fantastic learning opportunity.

We still have the big box! In fact we made this rain forest even before our box throw ball painting and our glow in the dark box fun.

If working with an older child, you can easily make the 4 layers of a rain forest and make the activity realistic. For a 4 year old I think just a lot of dense vegetation is enough. Besides it was my 4 year old’s idea to make a giant “rain forest in a box” and I’m pretty sure she did not have “learning the layers of rain forest” in her mind when she suggested this project! So we kept it simple, fun and primarily focused on storytelling with animals.

What we did

With our stash of small branches from our nature walks my preschooler and I taped them to the insides of the box. I lined the floor of the box with a simple play mat made with a regular white paper painted with brown and green paint.

pretend play rainforest

Next we set our paper roll trees. Those are kitchen rolls with tissue paper leaves. My 4 year enjoys making simple crafts – simple being the key and we  love our paper rolls crafts.. To make sure the trees don’t tilt down during play time we put down play dough and it held up the trees.

tree crafts

To create a water body I cut out a blue poster board and we added a few rocks along the edges. >As with many small world play setups, I set out the materials needed to play and the kids explored and enjoyed making an animal scene. You can also see a white yarn hanging for the monkeys..

set out materials

[It was pretty difficult to take pictures during playtime.]


We used our SAFARI TOOBs and other stuffed animals we had on hand to make a fun rainforest scene

close rainforest scene

Here is our creation. This child of mine has a deep passion for creating animal habitats! If you have kid like that at home, this activity  will keep them entertained for a long time. After creating the scene, playing and making up animal stories inside the box was the highlight. By the way Diego ( from the tv show) was mentioned during play time many times.

rainforest craft

Animal habitats sensory/small world we have shared

blogmemom earthday activities        SENSORY ACTIVITIES WITH POND

desert small world play

Affiliate links to the SAFARI animals

Thanks for reading!

Kids will have fun playing in this rainforest in a big box

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