Amazing Ways to Teach Preschoolers about Interacting With Animals
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Amazing Ways to Teach Preschoolers about Interacting With Animals

Teach Preschoolers About Animals

Getting preschoolers to interact with animals from a young age is a very enriching experience which can help your child learn important life skills. These kinds of enriching experiences help with your child’s social and emotional development, they learn empathy and respect for all creatures, they learn that animals have feelings, they too feel pain, hunger and thirst and that it is wrong to harm any living creature.

These first hand interactions also aid in the child’s intellectual development as children not only learn different facts about animals like how different animals look and feel, but also where they live, the sounds they make, the food they eat and the differences between domestic, farm and wild animals.

Little children are curious and are naturally attracted to animals, so it is necessary for us to teach children how to interact with animals in the right way so that they don’t get hurt or scared of the animal.

Here are some amazing fun-filled ways to teach preschoolers about animals-

  • Introduce them to the concept of animals-

Draw your child’s attention to toy animals that they have, or point to the different animals in picture books, story books, or the TV programs they are watching. Teach them the names of the animals and maybe one or two characteristics of that animal, like the long neck of the giraffe, the horns of the cow, the bark of the dog and so on.

  • Teach them how to interact with a pet –

Introducing your child to the family pet is a good first step in having an actual encounter with an animal. Pet animals are friendly, clean and used to being around people. Instruct your child how to approach the animal, how to gently pet them, feed them. You can also teach your child simple commands like come, sit, stay to enable them to get appropriate responses from the animal. Once comfortable with the family pet, you can then show them different pet animals in the neighborhood like cats, birds, bunnies and how to interact with them.

  • Visit a zoo or aquarium

By visiting a zoo or aquarium, your child gets to see different creatures that live in the wild, in water and fly in the air. They learn some animal facts first hand that sea creatures or marine animals breathe differently, they cannot live outside water, they don’t have legs but fins and flippers instead. In a zoo they can see how some wild animals are big and large, maybe even hear their cries if possible and even learn that wild animals are dangerous. You can even talk about the habitat of these animals and how they differ from each other, the food they eat, their color and so on.

  • Visit a Farm or Petting zoo

Farms and petting zoos are ideal places for children to interact with the animals up close. The petting zoos are designed for child interaction and the domestic farm animals also don’t mind people being around them. Your child can get a chance to pet and feed a variety of animals and they will learn how different animals feel apart from being in their habitat and observing the animals as they move about. It is a good place to teach children how to approach an animal slowly and not to startle them. There are wonderful places for children to see first-hand how different animals interact with each other.

  • Watch wildlife documentaries –

Wildlife documentaries are extremely informative for young and old alike. The vibrant photography, videography to the continued explanatory commentary is packed with enlightening information. These programs are good to teach children about different habitats, biodiversity and how each animal has its own role to play in an ecosystem. Children can be taught the importance of planting trees and protecting nature, with older children you can even discuss extinct and endangered species and the things we can do to protect our environment. 

  • Enjoy a nature walk –

Taking a nature walk is an ideal way to show your child animals in their natural habitat. Nature walks taken in the monsoon are especially enjoyable as you and your children can spot lots of little rain creatures all over the place. While on your walks draw their attention to the crawling snails, the frogs hopping about, the birds flying around, the beautiful flitting butterflies, maybe you can even spot a stray cat or dog close by. Teach them that it is important not to scare or startle the animals and even refrain from touching them as they could be dangerous.

  • Visit or volunteer at an animal shelter –

Take your child to an animal welfare center, spend the day with them volunteering your services for the care of animals there. Your child will learn that animals and pets are not toys to be bought and left aside, they too have feelings and need taking care of. Animals need to be cleaned, fed, and exercised or played with. Children will be able to see where sick and injured animals come, to be taken care of. This will sensitize them and hopefully they too will care for the well-being of animals around where they live.

Simple acts like keeping bowls of clean water for the animals and birds to drink from, a cool and clean place for them to sleep, feeding them from time to time, building bird feeders, birdbaths and regularly refilling and cleaning these will go a long way in teaching children how to care for animals and treat them in a humane manner.

At EuroKids, the children are taught about various animals during their entire time at preschool. The curriculum is designed with facts and information that is useful and yet enough for them to understand, the amount taught gradually increases as the child moves on from one grade to the next, and by the time they finish preschool they are able to confidently talk about a wide range of animals. To find a center closest to you and enroll your child who will grow up loving nature and animals.

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