Archive for March 13th, 2013

March 13, 2013

Little Sprouts: Our Tropical Adventure

by Melissa Harding

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When it’s cold outside, there is no better place to be than in our Tropical Forest. It feels like being on vacation – warm, humid and wonderfully fragrant. Our Little Sprouts agree; in the latest Little Sprouts: Singles, Our Tropical Adventure, campers went on an expedition deep into the heart of our Tropical Forest to learn more about rainforests. Campers learned why rainforests are so wet and hot, as well what plants and animals live there.

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To begin, campers made nametags shaped like sunglasses and “binoculars” to use during their impending exploration. They also splatter-painted rainforest frogs made out of recycled egg cartons. Campers put their frog bodies into a box to flick paint on them and then attached feet and eyes, creating colorful creatures to take home. They even had time to observe colorful rainforest fruits and play with books, puzzles and salt dough after they finished their crafts.

During the lesson, campers learned that the rainforest is really rainy and that plants love it there. They observed an immature banana plant, a coffee tree and a chocolate tree up close, as well as a pineapple plant; they also played a tropical fruit guessing game and had the chance to see the fruit and pods from the demonstration plants. Campers learned about animals that live in the jungle by playing a game of animal noises. They hopped like frogs, growled like jaguars and crowed like toucans!

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After all this learning, campers were ready to explore. Using their binoculars, they looked for exciting rainforest plants. They used their ears to listen for animal noises and their noses to smell fragrant flowers. Upon their return, each camper planted a tropical plant to take home. Campers planted Philodendron, a common foliage plant that lives in the understory of the rainforest. These plants also help to clean the air, which is why they are such great houseplants!

If you want to learn about the rainforest with your own Little Sprout, here are some great story suggestions:
“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly” said the Sloth by Eric Carle,
The Umbrella by Jan Brett
Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck and Valerie Petrone
The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan Mitchell and Connie McLellan

Our next Little Sprouts Singles program, We Love Veggies, is scheduled for April 18, 10:30 am-noon. This camp is currently full, but if you would like to join our waiting list, please contact Sarah at (412)441-4442 ext. 3925.

For a complete list of all our Little Sprout offerings, including summer camp, please visit our website.

Check out the slideshow below for more pictures!

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The above pictures were all taken by our wonderful volunteer, Pam Russell.

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