Young kids naturally engage in pretend play. Encourage that natural creativity with themed dramatic play activities. By rotating through different themes, you keep the pretend play exciting for the kids who will look forward to seeing what you come up with next. Most themes, including the jungle theme, are easy to create with stuff you already have at home.
Setting the Stage
The first step is to make the area look like a jungle. Even a few simple background items can create the jungle look. Start with large palm-style leaves from artificial flowers like you find at craft stores. If you don’t want to spend the money, cut leaves from green paper. Crumple brown craft paper to create the trunks of the trees. Tape the tree trunk and leaves to the wall.
Lay out a blue blanket or sheet to make a jungle river through the room. A long strip of blue paper also works. Use green streamers to create vines around the jungle area.
A safari jeep adds to the look. Use a large cardboard box to make the vehicle. Paint or cover the box with paper in the color you prefer. Cut a door on each side that swings open. Add details, such as headlights and a grill on the front. The kids can sit inside the jeep to go on a pretend safari.
You can’t go on an imaginary safari without wild animals. Use stuffed animals that you would find in a jungle to fill the forest with wildlife. You can also make cardboard cutouts of different jungle animals. Paint the cutouts to look like the animals.
The only thing left is to gather some costumes for your little explorers. Khaki is a natural for explorer costumes. Pull out some khaki shorts and a button down shirt. Add a safari hat to the outfit. Include a pair of binoculars to round out the look.
Before long, you’ll see your kids going on wild adventures in the jungle.