Kids' craft of a sloth made of clothespins
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Ascend into the rainforest canopy for a week of science crafts, activities, coloring, and guided videos for ages 4-8.

Tropical rainforests only cover about 6% of our planet’s surface, but they’re home to more living things than anywhere else on Earth. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of these incredible, endangered ecosystems and learn more about how they are part of your everyday life.

Please note: While Science @ Home activities are designed to be conducted by kids, some little ones might need adult help with reading instructions and preparing crafts.

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Wide-angle view of the indoor rainforest at the Academy

Day 1: Welcome to the rainforest

Explore the Academy’s Osher Rainforest, meet rainforest plants and animals, and discover how things you use every day in your own home have their roots in tropical rainforests. (30-45 min)

Rainforest layers and animals (coloring)
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Meet a few different animals that live in rainforests—and color them in! Can you find any of these animals in the Academy’s Osher Rainforest the next time you visit?

Scavenger hunt: Rainforests at home (activity)
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In our interconnected world, items from the rainforest make their way into our homes and daily lives. Embark on an indoor scavenger hunt to see which products of the rainforest appear in your home. 

Rainforest tour with macaw (video)
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Learn about rainforest ecosystems as you tour the Academy’s incredible four-story indoor rainforest with a scarlet macaw puppet guide!

While you watch this video, think about the four questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.

  1. Which rainforest animal was your favorite? What did you learn about them?
  2. What other types of life do you think live in the rainforest?
  3. Why do you think that rainforests are special to our world?
  4. We can all support ecosystems around the world. How do you think that you can help rainforests in your life?

Listen to guiding questions (00:00-00:47) 

Rhinoceros beetle on a branch in Osher Rainforest

Day 2: Rainforest biodiversity

Biodiversity describes the variety of different kinds of living things in an area. Rainforests are thought to be the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth, home to more living things than anywhere else. Say hello to some of the unique creatures that call the rainforest home—and create a few of your own. (45 minutes)

Clothespin sloth (craft)
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Sloths are found in the rainforests of Central and South America. They’re slow movers and spend most of their time hanging in trees. Make your own sloth with clothespin feet and see where it can hang.

Listen to instructions

Rainforest color-and-cut (craft)
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Rainforests are amazingly biodiverse ecosystems, home to a wide variety of plants and animals. In this activity, learn about some examples of plant-animal interactions that happen in the rainforest and try to match each plant with its specific animal.

Listen to instructions
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Rainforest arthropods (video)
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Come meet the smaller, lesser-known animals of the rainforest as Academy volunteer Trevor takes you on a tour of the arthropods—a group that includes insects, spiders, and crustaceans—that live there.

Mighty arapaima (video)
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Join Academy volunteer Shehara in learning all about the largest freshwater fish in the world, the arapaima.

2 boys peer into an exhibit in the Academy rainforest

Day 3: Rainforest around you

Bring the rainforest home with you! Experience the sounds of tropical birds and falling rain, and build your very own rainforest habitat. (60 minutes)

Rainforest sound journey (video/audio)
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Explore the rainforest in your imagination through a guided audio meditation!

While you listen to this video, think about the four questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.

  1. What kind of animal did you transform into with your imagination? What did you imagine that you looked like in your mind?
  2. Were you surprised by any sounds that you heard? Which sounds were surprising?
  3. What did you hear during your journey that you would want to learn more about?
  4. What was your favorite thing that you imagined during your journey? How do you feel that you are connected to rainforests around the world?

Listen to guiding questions (00:48-01:37)

Rain stick (craft)
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Today's weather forecast: 100% chance of rain sounds! Make your own rain stick craft to immerse yourself in the sound of the rainforest.

Listen to instructions
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Bromeliad blanket fort (activity)
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Bromeliads are a group of plants whose leaves often grow in a spiral, collecting water at the center. Many animals live in bromeliad pools, including mosquitos, snails, and even frogs and tadpoles! Build your own bromeliad blanket fort and color a frog hat to wear while you relax inside.

Listen to instructions

2 macaws play in the Academy rainforest

Day 4: Rainforests of the world at the Academy

Color, cut, create, and investigate as you get to know the plants and animals of the Academy’s Osher Rainforest. Can you find any of your new rainforest friends the next time you visit the Academy? (45 minutes)

Rainforest animals coloring pack (coloring)
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Scales, feathers, and skin! What vibrant colors can you give to these rainforest animals? What colors and patterns will you encounter on your next visit to the Academy?

Handprint macaws (craft)
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Macaws are colorful, intelligent birds that pair-bond, or choose a companion. Make your own pair of bonded macaws with this handy craft! Can you find macaws the next time you visit the Academy’s Osher Rainforest?

Listen to instructions
Download instructions

Escucha las instrucciones
Descargar instrucciones

Macaw feather investigation (activity)
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Zoom in and take a close-up look at a blue-and-yellow macaw feather. What details do you notice?

Listen to instructions

Green and red day gecko on a leaf in the Academy rainforest

Kid & caregiver extension activities

Take your rainforest adventure to the next level with these extension activities for intrepid young explorers and caregivers to do together.

Rainforest scavenger hunt (activity)
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Set your sights on these residents of the Academy’s Osher Rainforest the next time you come in for a visit!

Listen to instructions

Expedition Malaysia: A top-to-bottom rainforest survey (video)
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Join local experts and Academy scientists as they study the incredible biodiversity of the Penang Hill rainforest in Malaysia.

Creature closeup: Golden mantella frog (resource)
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Meet this tiny, bright orange rainforest dweller from Madagascar! It produces strong toxins that it gets from eating poisonous ants.

As you learn more about this fascinating animal, think about the four questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member!

  1. Why would it be helpful for this tiny animal to be poisonous?
  2. How do the frog’s bright colors help it survive?
  3. What would happen to the frog if it couldn’t find poisonous ants to eat?
  4. What is special about this frog’s feet?

Listen to guiding questions (01:39-02:21)

Academy @ Home

Enjoy an eclectic array of science content for all ages, from distance learning resources to in-depth livestreams.