Did you know that the Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical ecosystem in the world?! Can you even begin to imagine how big that is?! The rainforest covers roughly 40% of South America, touching ten countries in South America, and is almost as large as the continental United States!
That is really, really big!
Parts of the Amazon inhabit 8 countries!
- Brazil (60%)
- Peru (13% )
- Colombia (10%)
- French Guiana
Help kids understand the size of the Amazon by getting outside and engaging with them today! Engage and understand the size and location of the Amazon in a couple of ways! For this one, all you need is some space outside, a few large strings/rope, and an open mind!
1. Get Outside and Visualize!
- Take your kids to their favorite local park or “forest” nearby! Go on a hike, explore the woods, and get kids thinking about the size as you go along. Bring their attention to how vast their natural environment is and how small we are in comparison. As they get outside and explore, point out how small their bedroom, house, neighborhood, school, etc. all are in comparison to the mountains, oceans, and forests around the world.
2. Map it!
- Grab your map, globe, or favorite Google map of the world! Have kids sit with the map and engage with it in a number of ways. See what they know about different parts of the world, those environments, and the people. Have them mark where they are on the map, and how small that part is in comparison to the entire world. Then, start to share about South America, noticing its size and the countries. See how many countries they recognize and if they know which parts the Amazon resides. If not, share this with them!
3. Make it!
- Now find a big, clear patch of grass and make a more life-like map! Using string and creativity, have kids (get a group together if you can!) outline the countries that the Amazon inhabits! Don’t worry so much about getting the exact shapes right, but really focus on outlining the size. Have kids step into the space of each country and imaging what the Amazon is like there! You can even have them bring elements of the Amazon into each space! Feel free to take photos, videos, and document this day!
While we are small and the Amazon is big, empower kids by sharing with them what they can do from their own backyard to support and sustain this essential natural environment!
“Where Is The Amazon Rainforest Located? Map & Facts.” Active Wild. N.p., 13 Apr. 2016. Web. 29 June 2017.