All children love animals and are curious about them, their noises and their little quirks. But the advantages to having pets in the home environment go well beyond having something to stroke and cuddle. . .
Having something to love and something to value gives children a sense of responsibility. Helping out with the pets chores, such as walking the dog, feeding them and perhaps helping to clean out the cage will enable children to realise how important it is to look after animals and what it means if these important things are not done. Having pets can also boost a child’s self esteem as they have love for a pet that loves them back and gives them attention. They can talk to their pets, play with their pets, cuddle their pets and enjoy their pets whole heartedly. It is also known that stroking, patting and brushing pets can help to reduce anxiety and stress, which can be good for children at transitional times such as moving house or changing schools.
Here at Daybreak Nurseries we encourage this positive responsibility and three out of our four nurseries have nursery pets. Our pre-school site in Amersham have a rabbit called Sunny, our baby unit in Amersham have two guinea pigs called Bubble and Squeak and one of our Rickmansworth nurseries have even had giant snails at their setting.
Sunny was brought as a first birthday present to our Pre-school site having had a successful first year and amazing Ofsted inspection. He is around about 2 years old and was over weight when we got him. We are keeping him on a strict, balanced diet, which is high in fibre. He enjoys carrots but as he is watching his weight so can’t have too many of these. He also loves dandelion leaves, broccoli, fresh fruit and vegetables. Hay and grass are very good for his digestion and help to maintain his teeth. He loves having a run around the garden and enjoys the odd cuddle when he’s in the mood.
Bubble and Squeak
Having had a really fun ‘pets week’ and enjoying visits from dogs, hamsters and even tortoises. The staff at Amersham Town Centre decided that having a daybreak pet would be very beneficial to all. The children adore the guinea pigs and like to greet them and say goodbye at the end of the day. The guinea pigs have become more confident with the children and enjoy the odd stoke (when we can catch them). They really enjoy a bath and a paddle in the water and they even had a pamper session recently at the local vets (The Wheelhouse Veterinary Centre), where they got their nails cut and their fur trimmed.
Do you have any pets for your children? Do you think its a positive experience?