Teach children about the rainforest through a variety of methods — with art projects, songs, games and with rainforest-themed snacks. Talk about what kinds of plants grow in the rainforest and the animals that eat them. Introduce your kids to unusual foods and present familiar items combined with new ones served up with lessons in history, agriculture, sustainability and geography mixed in.
Bananas, mangoes and pineapples grow in the rainforest. Show your kids a photograph of the trees these fruits grow on and let them hold a whole fruit. If either your budget or your setting prevents you from serving fresh fruit, give them dehydrated mango, pineapple slices or banana chips.
Show your kids what a whole coconut looks like. Discuss the rough, hairy-textured surface and let them watch as you crack it open to reveal the bright, white meat and coconut water at its core. Shredded coconut is available in the baking aisle at the grocery store is usually sweetened with sugar. Chip off pieces of the coconut and let the kids have a taste. You can also buy coconut water at the grocery store in cartons — give each child a small cup of coconut water and ask them to describe the flavor.
Slice avocados and mix them into a salad or mash them and mix them with lime juice and chopped cilantro to make fresh guacamole. Serve the guacamole with tortilla chips.
Chocolate comes from the cacao plant, which is native to South America’s rainforest. Present a variety of chocolate to discuss and taste, including stone ground fair trade chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate.
Talk about monkeys in the rainforest and have a snack to reinforce the lesson. Monkey bread is a sweet, pull-apart bread baked in a pain and drizzled with a sweet, sticky, cinnamon glaze. Make monkey bread using a boxed mix or from scratch and serve it with a big stack of napkins.