Classroom Pets in Childcare
Classroom pets in childcare can be very rewarding and an excellent teaching tool. It can foster responsibility, compassion, and gentleness as well as bring an aspect of science to your class. The age of your class can help determine what kind of classroom pet is best suited for them. And don’t worry there are several pets that are wonderful for young children as well with the proper guidance the options can be endless.
If you’re like me and you teach young toddlers 14 months to 2 ½ years, then maybe classroom pet ownership is not in the cards just yet. But if you or a family friend have a pet at home that can come and visit your class a couple of times a year this can be a wonderful alternative to having a pet full time. A short visit from a pet can be beneficial, especially for very young children who can sometimes fear an animal.
What kind of pet?
There are many kinds of pets out there and there are a ton of things to consider. Are any of the children in your class have an allergy to certain animals? Does the childcare licensing agency in your state allow for a classroom pet? Guinea pig, bird, or fish maybe? Ensure you research this with your licensing agency and then plan your next steps to introduce a pet into your classroom and childcare program.
A Pet in your classroom will undoubtedly enhance your day-to-day activities. There are lots of lessons to be shared from our furry or scaley friends that can last a lifetime. After careful consideration, research, and parental support a pet should be a part of every early childhood education classroom.
This blog was written by Gina Bonfandio who is a current Child Development Associate (CDA) student with CDAClass.org. Gina Bonfandio is a mother to a 9-year-old. She has been teaching toddlers for 23 years.