FREE Rainforest Activity Workbook and Video for Kids ages 4-8
Today, lets explore our amazing Rainforest, and learn some very important facts.
Well, a Rainforest is a thick warm, wet, woodland area that has heaps of rain all year, in fact they get more than 80 inches of rain in twelve months. If you compare that to the U.S. their average yearly rainfall is 28 inches. There are two types of rainforest, temperate and tropical. Temperate Rainforests lie in the temperate zones (between the tropics and the polar circles) of the globe. They are found in a few regions scattered around the world such as western North America, (Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon, US), south-eastern Australia and New Zealand. Tropical rainforests lie in the tropics. They are found in many areas near the equator such as Asia, Africa, Central America and the Pacific Islands.
Besides the vivid beauty of a Rainforest, that comes with great diversity in plants and animals, rainforests also play a practical role in keeping our planet healthy. By absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing the oxygen that we depend on for our survival. The absorption of this CO2 also helps to stabilize the Earth’s climate.
Well, about 30 million species of plants and animals live in the Rainforest. The Rainforests hold more than two-thirds of the world’s plant species. Many of the foods we love come from the rain forest, like Bananas, Chocolate, Coffee, Nuts, Coconut, Cinnamon, and Rubber. Animals and reptiles that live in rainforest habitats include: boa constrictor, capybara, forest elephant, giant anteater, jaguar, macaw, marmoset, poison dart frog, sloth, spider monkey, tamarin, tapir, toucan, and tree frog.
Rainforests have a canopy of dense branches and leaves. Rainforests cover less than 3 percent of the planet. The world’s largest rainforest is the Amazon rainforest. Much of the life in the rainforest is found in the trees. A number of tribes in areas such as central Africa and Brazil still live in rainforests, having no contact with the outside world.
The rainforest habitat has lots of layers: 1-Forest floor – the ground of the rainforest, with soil and fallen trees and leaves. 2- Shrub layer –which includes shorter plants like shrubs and young tree saplings growing above the ground layer. 3-Understory – a layer just below the canopy that includes ferns and vines that start growing above the ground, on trees. 4-Canopy / forest roof – which is the top layer of the rainforest where most of the trees have stopped growing, and where 80% of life in rainforest habitats can be found; it can be as high as 100 meters above the ground. And finally, Emergent – which is anything that grows above the canopy. These are all the layers to a Rainforest, how amazing is that!
The term “jungle,” is a descriptive term, not a scientific one, it doesn’t actually refer to a specific ecosystem. (that makes sense!) A rainforest, like a jungle, is filled with thick vegetation, but a Rainforest unlike a jungle, has a layer of tall trees called a canopy, that blocks out most of the sunlight. So while jungles have a ton of stuff happening below your feet, rainforests don’t, most of the action is happening in the trees above.
Scientists believe that there may be millions of plant and insect species in rainforests that have yet to be discovered. Over 25% of natural medicines have been discovered in rainforests. Rainforests used to cover 14% of the Earth’s surface but due to deforestation now only cover around 6%. Remember, rainforests also play a practical role in keeping our planet healthy. Rainforests are often called the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and releasing the oxygen that we depend on for our survival. The absorption of this CO2 also helps to stabilize the Earth’s climate.
Things You Can Do to Save the Rainforest are: Eliminate Deforestation, Buy Responsibly, Choose Products That Give Back, Support Indigenous Communities, and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. We all need to do our part to save Rainforests, we are depending on each other to keep the earth healthy.
If you would like to learn more to save our rainforests go to: https://www.amazonconservation.org/
I hope you enjoy the video and workbook! Have an awesome day!