Which Pet Will Be Suitable for Your Classroom?
Your science center is the perfect spot for learning about pets and caring for one. But, which one? Dogs and cats are too large and need an abundance of daily care and potty visits outdoors, taking you away from the classroom, the kids and valuable learning time. So, thinking small is the answer.
Guinea pigs are even-tempered and will accept lots of touching and handling without getting nervous. They are big enough for children to hold easily, slow enough to catch, and easy to find if they escape the class area.
Rabbits are also as popular with kids, but they tend to be more high strung and could scratch if picked up suddenly. They make squeaky noises that entertain children and they love being hand-fed carrots, apples, and other crunchy raw fruits and vegetables.
Gerbils and hamsters are close in popularity, although they are smaller and more likely to escape and get lost.
Other animals to observe and learn from are birds, fish, land hermit crabs, and lizards. They can’t be handled like the animals above, but make entertaining pets in the classroom. They also need care in the form of feeding and keeping their living environments clean.
Always check with your school administrators and local health department before purchasing a pet. There may be limitations on the types of animals that are allowed in the classroom and under what conditions the children may interact with them.
Now, if you are running a home daycare center, the decision will be between you and the local government regulations. Don’t forget about the parents – they should be informed about your newest addition to the classroom and their voice should be heard about this new classmate.