Rainforest Project at Parklands School

Flying Through the Rainforests with Parklands School

As part of our on-going programme of projects in schools, HandMade Theatre collaborated with Parklands Infant and Nursery School, Long Eaton, in a two day residence. Working with Foundation, Year 1 and 2, and using themes that the children had been exploring in class – Rainforests and the Ancient Mayan population – the company used The Flying Machine as an exploratory resource to embark with the children on a multi-sensory journey to the African and Australian Rainforest, and to the pre-Columbian Americas.

Session 1 comprised a journey to the African Rainforest through a variety of different weather conditions. Upon landing, the children were asked to listen to the sounds of their surroundings and to then imagine what animals they would be likely to see in the African Rainforest. The possibility of seeing frogs, jaguars, ant-eaters, monkeys, and birds, was discussed among the group. The group hiked through the forest, learning a song that incorporated actions. They then journeyed, in the Flying Machine, to the Australian Rainforest where, using large blue sheets as puddles, the children helped to re-tell the Australian Aboriginal legend of Tiddalik the Frog. The children were able to discover the Aboriginal tradition of Dreamtime storytelling and look at its links to the wider culture.

Session 2 involved Years 1 & 2 traveling back in time in the Flying Machine to discover and explore the Ancient Mayan civilization. The session was based around the Ancient Mayan legend of The Hero Twins, which the children were introduced to through an activity of finding a hidden scroll inside a Mayan temple. Using a variety of different props and songs, the children were able to explore the Ancient Mayan civilization’s culture and folklore.


Artists Involved: Amy Nicholson, Suzy Gunn

We received some fantastic thank you letters from the Children at Parklands Infant School – read them here


‘I thought the best bit was when we had to solve and do the missions.  That was really fun.  The reason I liked it was because solving them was tricky, entertaining and exciting! It was absolutely amazing.’ – Year 2 pupil

‘Very good.  Set excellent, props excellent, Amy & Suzy excellent! Liked the idea of an adventure in the rain forest and a problem solving trail’  – Year 2 Teacher