The Amazon rainforest covers more than 2,123,561 square miles (5.5 million square kilometers). Its verdant landscapes and massive waterways pulse with life, making it one of the most spectacular destinations in the world. And one we need our children to understand and appreciate as good global citizens. When it comes to the rainforest for kids, captivating their imaginations proves essential to teaching them about this critical environment.
Here are some of our favorite mind-boggling rainforest facts to spark their imaginations and make them thirst to learn more.
Verdant Plant Life
To call the Amazon rainforest’s ecosystems rich represents a huge understatement. It plays host to some 50,000 plant species. This jungle vegetation pulls carbon dioxide from the air replacing it with oxygen. In fact, these plants work so hard that it’s estimated nearly 20 percent of the Earth’s total oxygen gets generated in the Amazon.
To help your kids wrap their minds around the sheer density of the plant life, here are two crazy facts. First, the top branches and leaves of rainforest trees prove so lush that the forest floor remains enveloped in constant darkness. Second, when it rains, it takes approximately ten minutes for the rainfall to filter down through the trees to the ground.
The Animals of the Rainforest
Besides the incredible diversity of plants supported by the Amazon, it boasts a tally of rainforest animals that include:
- 2.5 million species of insects
- 3,000 species of fish
- 1,300 species of birds
- 430 mammals
What’s one of the coolest and most colorful creatures kids can see? The rainforest houses more than 1,000 species of amphibians including brightly-colored poison dart frogs, emerald tree frogs, and even translucent glass frogs. In 2015 alone, seven new species of frogs were discovered in southern Brazil!
Layers of Life
Because of the many layers of vegetation in the rainforest, organisms live in “layers,” too. These layers include:
- the forest floor
- the understory
- the canopy
- the emergent area
The forest floor remains cooly shaded all day long. Large snakes and mammals too heavy to live in the canopy roam here as do countless varieties of insects. The next layer up, the understory, sits just beneath the canopy. Here, animals such as salamanders, tree frogs, and bats reside.
The canopy teems with life from howler monkeys to sloths to macaws and toucans. Finally, the emergent layer represents the uppermost layer above the canopy. Here, flying birds and bats reign supreme including Harpy eagles, the largest raptors in the Amazon rainforest.
The Rainforest for Kids
Visiting the Brazilian Amazon will change your family’s views about ecology and the importance of protecting our planet. When you travel with local guides and experts with an impeccable track record, you’ll make it a safe and enjoyable experience for the whole family.
Interested in learning more about the Amazon rainforest for kids? Check out our Brazilian Amazon River Cruise itinerary. This family-focused tour takes you deep into the heart of the Amazon rainforest. You’ll hike through a pristine forest, swim with river dolphins, explore waterfalls, and much more.
Let’s Go Adventuring
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures.
Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.