Rainforest Small World – Amazon River Basin

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

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Today was a very special day – rainforest day! This is my favorite small world! I have been diligently trying to build this is my head for some time, but couldn’t quite visualize the backdrop.  I was looking for inspiration and I found it – good ol’ Martha Stewart – of course! I was so inspired after seeing her jungle, I finally was able to conceptualize it and build our own. C’s reward for the week was picking out a new set of miniature animals and thankfully, he picked the Rainforest Animals.

What is a rainforest?

It’s a dense evergreen forest with an annual rainfall of at least 406 cm (160 inches).  The Amazon Basin is covered by the Amazon Rainforest which is the largest in the world! The Amazon rainforest has been described as the “lungs of our planet” because it continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen, with a significant percentage of the world’s atmospheric oxygen being produced in this region. Fact Source

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Now, let’s break it down! Total cost = $15.  This was our most expensive small world to date, but only because we didn’t have the animals.

Rainforest Sensory Bin @ Crayon Box Chronicles

First, we recycled a cardboard box.  We cut 3 side off and left one remaining to extended the small world.  Tip: Use a plain corrugated box, not one with a picture and sheen; took 3 coats to paint versus 1 coat on the raw cardboard.  We chose grass-green acrylic paint from Michaels, $3.

Rainforest Sensory Bin @ Crayon Box Chronicles

While its drying we printed an image off the web for the background. This works best on heavier card stock, 65 lbs.  Adhere photo to the inside, then we added a wave board to contain the mess during play.  I glued 3 wave strips together in total from one piece of 12×12 paper.

Rainforest Sensory Bin @ Crayon Box Chronicles

Now, the fun part – the branches and moss!! This looks a lot more complicated than it really is, trust me. Locate a few sturdy branches outside.  Cut them a little large than the box.  Make a small hold in the box at each end.  I used a pair of scissors and twisted them in a circular motion.  Don’t pierce the box too much or it will just pop through the box.  Fill hole with hot glue, then add more hot glue to the end of the stick.  Pop in place and add a little more around the rim of the branch for extra support.  I dabbed a little hot glue in a few spots and places a pinch of moss of the glue.  I added a small piece of burlap before gluing it as and added detail for the gorilla, not entirely necessary. I repeated the same process minus the burlap in the opposite direction.  I added two cardboard shelves.  Paint, then fold down and hot glue.

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Next, add the foliage.  We bough 2 small bundles from the Dollar Tree, $2 and splurged on a nice plant from Michaels, $4.  I used small square green plant foam to hold the foliage in place, also Dollar Tree.  Lastly, we added rocks, blue gems, a lot of moss and our rainforest animals! Let’s go deep into the Amazon River Basin!

Rainforest Small World Sensory Bin by Crayon Box Chronicles

It’s a beautiful day at the basin of the Amazon River! The blue “gem” waters are sparkling and red-eyed tree frog has decided to take a ride on a lily pad!

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Look out! Look out ants, it’s an anteater! The scaly green iguana is taking a rest in the shaded stick corner!

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Sssssss snake is out hunting for food as he crosses the Amazon River.  Watch out snake, red-eyed tree frogs are poisonous!

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Gorilla had built a little cove up in the trees! Ow-ah-ow-ah! I spy a beautiful bird too!

Rainforest Small World by CrayonBox Chronicles

Spider-monkey is lounging – swinging from tree to tree on a hot summer day!

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

The clear blue Amazon waters are so reflective and magical! Careful though animals, those waters can get pretty rough!

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Hey look! It’s a Toucan enjoying a snack!! Watch out for Spider-monkey – he gets wild on those vines.

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Red-eyed tree frog is taking a ride along the Amazon River.

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

It’s a great day to go exploring deep in the Amazon River Basin!  Here’s the complete set-up!

And what a great day to go exploring!

C is still jumping up and down with excitement! He woke Daddy up at 6 am to tell him all about his rainforest! He’s one happy boy today!

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

C took a small break to admire his snail friend  – too cute!

Rainforest Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

This was such a magical day full of imaginative fun ― Amazon style! With all the different foliage textures, gems, rocks, and moss ― it was a great sensory experience!

Rainforest Small World & Sensory Play by Crayon Box Chronicles

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26 thoughts on “Rainforest Small World – Amazon River Basin

  1. Ann ~ Little Worlds says:

    Wow Heather, you did an amazing job! I’m a huge small world fan myself and I cannot wait to show my preschooler these images in the morning … I think we’ll have our weekend project sorted! I’ll be pinning this to my small world play board!

    Liked by 1 person

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