Rainforest – Co-op Pics
This banner above, made by a family in our co-op who own a sign company, was FANTASTIC! We placed this banner out in front of the building we rented so our members could find our location.Thank you Shannon!
We also used it to take family portraits in front of for the year.
Our Committees: Decorating Committee, Games and Limbo Dance Committee, Photography Committee and Coordinating Committee including the food.
We found that with a larger group, more committees were needed so that all in the group could have fun and so that Leaders could get a break.
We wanted to share how we planned: This was our agenda and then at the last minute we had one speaker’s husband become gravely ill. But because we had planned on two speakers in case something unexpected happened, it worked out nicely. Thankfully our member’s husband recovered nicely.
|Rain Forest Agenda||Time|
|Members Arrive – Check In – Name Tag||9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.|
|Co-op Begins||10:10 a.m.|
|Opening Remarks – Tina Robertson||10:10 – 10:25 a.m.|
|1st. Speaker – Native Amazonian||10:30 – 11:00 a.m.|
|2cd. Speaker – Descendant of Amazonian||11:00 – 11:30 a.m.|
|Lunch – Serve South American recipes off of banana leaves||11:30ish
Face Painting Set Up/ Begins
Blow Dart Set up/ Begins
Tarantula Craft Set up/Begins
|1:00 to ???|
|Clean Up||3:30 ish|
One of the wonderful things about a co-op with lots of diversity is that you can use the co-ops strengths. The “strength” we feel is it’s members. It just so happens we had two families in our co-op that had South American heritage. One dad lived in Ecuador and one mom was from Brazil.
We bought banana leaves and served the kids some foods from that region prepared by the family from Ecuador.
Before they brought out their food, the family from Ecuador brought some food he grew up eating.
Here is a picture of Yuca (the brown one) also called Cassava in other parts of the world. It is cooked like a potato in Ecuador. It is also tasty if fried like a potato chip. Also in this picture is Plantain (the yellowish one). Plantains are cooked like you would make a dish with bananas. Plantain can be fried too like chips.
In addition, we had spices from the rain forest and put them in green tulle to see if the kids could get guess what they were by “smelling them”
Yuca and Plantain and Spices in Green Tulle
Yuca cooked like a potato.
Pork is traditional food in South American
(like a rice but not, it comes from Andes and Peru in South America)
Some of the ladies starting preparing the “banana leaves” so that we could serve the kids. It had a teaspoon of each food on it so they could have a “taste test”
Rain Forest Trees, with a bridge and a canopy, table decorated with banana leaves, fruit, nuts and a chocolate fountain to top it off. We also put a bromeliad on the table.
The kids that wanted to, brought a craft and we scattered them on the tables throughout the building to decorate with. We have a snake made out of panty hose, birds made out of a child’s hands, dioramas, miniature rain forests in a jar and some toilet roll birds.
Trees made by Vikki in our group – They are stand alone trees made out of boxes that were wrapped with some brown heavy material that her father in the law had in the garage. She also used some burlap she had to wrap around them. The green leaves were green plastic table cloths that were on sale. She used floral wire that was doubled to drape the cut out leaves over. Also she used some clothes hangers. The boxes were sturdy and wonderful and were premade.
So set up time was kept to an hour from the time we got there to set up. Then she used green tulle to drape a canopy and made a bridge. She used cardboard for the steps on the bridge and placed plastic animals on the bridges.It is absolutely cute and the kids love it! Too, she downloaded lots of free tropical rain forest music and placed it under the burlap so that it looked like the sound was coming from the trees.
Banana leaves draped the table, cut up fruit filled the platters and we had both a whole coconut cracked and shredded coconut.
Of course strawberries and watermelons are not in the Amazon, but HEY we can’t have a party without those fruits.
Emerald Tree Boa – one old pair of pantyhose, styrofoam packing, black and red felt scraps, green, white, black and red poster paint and brush.
Fruit Skewers: I simply cut a pineapple in half and use the top part to place on a platter. I then used skewers to make a pattern of strawberry, pineapple, grape, grape and pushed the skewers into the pineapple. Then I laid other fruit on the platter. It was very easy.
Did we mention, we placed bubble gum all throughout the table?lol.
Also on the table, we split a pineapple in half and laid plastic frogs on it.
By focusing on spot on the room as a focal point, we felt it was a lot better than trying to get frustrated by decorating a whole room. When the kids arrived, they placed their crafts and lapbooks on the table. It all looked beautiful.
GAMES, FACE PAINTING & LIMBO DANCE
The kids played a lot of games that were good groups and varying ages. Here are some of the games.
Turtle Crossing Game
Two teams. Each team receives two pictures of turtles to stand on. First player stands on turtle and takes turtle from behind and places in front until reaches other side. Give team member on other end two turtles and that member crosses back to other side until last member crosses.
Coffee Race (Grown in Rain Forest)
Note: We changed this game to a “chocolate kiss” on the spoon. It made it easier for our little guys to partake in the fun too.
Two teams. Each team has spoon and cup of coffee grounds. First player must run to other end of room with spoon full of grounds and fill cup. Then take spoon back to next player. The next player does the same and so on. First team to fill cup at other end of room wins.
Here is my son, who thinks he is in the race for his life..ROFL
Coconut Relay (Grows in the Rain Forest)
Two teams. Place coconut (used inflated blown) between legs at knees. Race to other end of room and hand off coconut to team member who places coconut between legs and races back to other team member on other end. First team to finish wins.
(And here is on of our BRAVE, CRAZY homeschooling moms, Tracie, who probably never wished she demonstrated this for all of the kids to see and now that we have captured for the whole world to see..ROFL..She is a great sport and we have fun when she is there.)
PVC pipe is what game called for, but we found STRAWS worked just as good.
Q-tips dipped in washable paint
This game was a HUGE HIT. We used Straws instead of PVC pipe and used Q tips and try to add some safety features to the Q Tips. We set up one table to be the Blow Gun Station. However, if the child was 5 or younger, we made sure the parent came to the “Blowgun Station” with their child to be sure we didn’t have any choking hazards.
We made a target and draped a plastic cloth behind it. My oldest son manning that station at the table. (BTW, be sure to put your high schoolers to work.They are so much help).
Pin the Tail on the Jaguar Game
(Colored by Kelley and her daughter)
This game was good for the wee little ones as we did not blindfold them, we just helped them turn around and around and then pin it. The older ones got blindfolded.
Pipe Cleaner/Pom-pom Tarantula Craft
Pipe cleaners, Pom-poms, Googly-eyes, Glue
We limited choices to Amazonian symbols, snake, lizard, flower and butterfly. We had the members vote before they came so we would know how much face paint and supplies to bring. Here is another one of our highschoolers “manning” this table and helping out with the little ones.
Lapbooks and Crafts
Ayriel actually made two lapbooks and a necktie bromeliad.
Darius’s beautiful lapbook
Caleb did a rain forest in jar. So cute Caleb!
Ayriel’s boa made out of panty hose and two lapbooks