Having a pet can be an enjoyable learning experience for your preschooler. Not only will he feel close to a particular creature but also broaden his sense of responsibility to include a powerful respect for nature, as well as his environment.
However, before you embark on an adventure in pet ownership, consider your own attitude. If you are uncomfortable, you will be wise to forgo acquiring one. If pets are on your list of pleasure, you can proceed with confidence, but bear in mind that pet care must be under your supervision. You will probably have to teach your toddler how to play with an animal, since he may not recognize when he is hurting it by excess of affection. You can teach responsibility to your little one by breaking down tasks into small parts.
A child’s ability to interact varies with his age, which is an important consideration in shopping for pets. For a young child, the best choices are easy-to-manage pets that will fit readily into his small world. This is the one reason why a goldfish makes an excellent pet for a toddler, who will observe its motion with fascination and, in time, learn to feed it and clean its aquarium.
At three, your youngster can help you measure out the food flakes, and by four, he can be measuring them out himself. Still you should stay nearby him to be sure that he was given proper food at time. An older child may become bored of goldfish, so you can get an aquarium of multi-colored fish. Six is also a good age for your child to have his own gerbil, hamster or a guinea pig. But you will still have to remind him to feed his pet and help him clean its cage.
From time to time, you may find opportunity to care for a wild creature such as a newt, frog or turtle. Such animals have specialized needs and often delicate constitutions. Yet creatures from the wild can provide a memorable learning experience, teaching your child how to enjoy something for a period of time and return it to its natural environment.