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Keeping animals in kindergarten

Text: A.W., mother / Last update: 16.01.2021

Animals in kindergarten - experience mice and Co. in a group

In Germany, too, the positive effect of animals on the human psyche is being discussed more and more frequently. Even smaller children benefit from the presence of an animal companion, as a sense of responsibility, empathy and social behavior are promoted.
(Also read: Animals as comforters of the soul) Therefore, it can make perfect sense to keep animals in kindergarten as well. Animal-assisted pedagogy in kindergarten is becoming increasingly popular! However, to ensure that animals and humans are doing well, some questions should be clarified in good time.

Which pets are suitable for animal-assisted education in kindergarten?

In principle, keeping animals in kindergarten can be beneficial. However, responsible adults should not only proceed with caution when selecting the animal species. So come for the attitude in kindergarten mostly

  • hamster, Guinea pig, Rabbits, Mice
  • fishes
  • Birds like Budgies
  • Reptiles like turtles

in question. In the case of rodents, birds and reptiles, however, it should be ruled out in advance that they are wild animals that can be hosts of various pathogens. From this point of view, animals that live in cages or terrariums from birth are not very risky.

It is also important not to neglect the allergological aspect. More and more children today suffer from allergies to animal hair, house dust and other things that could be released into the indoor air when keeping animals. Therefore, keeping animals directly in a group is not recommended. It is better to create a separate space for the cage or terrarium and avoid children with allergies from coming into contact with the animals or the litter.

Animals in kindergarten - species-appropriate keeping is important!

There is another reason why animals should not be kept in the group rooms. It is usually quite noisy here and there is hustle and bustle the whole day. For animals with their sensitive senses, life in the midst of many children can be torture. Constant stress then often leads to behavioral problems, illnesses or even the death of the animals.

A quiet place is therefore the best choice. Here the animals should have the opportunity to recover regularly and not be confronted with children all day long. A room that is not intended for the groups to stay in, but is located a little bit separately within the kindergarten, is much more suitable. In addition, the animals should always be kept large enough and appropriately equipped. Individual keeping is also not recommended for most animals.

Then it is possible to steer the care of the animals and the occupation with them in regular channels. A plan could thus be drawn up that includes various services. Children who register here can then look after the kindergarten animals together with an adult.

Animal-assisted education in kindergarten

If living together with animals in kindergarten follows a regular routine, this can be very positive for animals and people. Children then learn that rules are important and can, under adult supervision, be able to use the correct rules Dealing with animals to practice. Above all, children with social abnormalities benefit from this and often develop a close bond with the kindergarten animals.
Children learn to take responsibility, to behave considerately and to take care of other living beings.

The animals in the kindergarten also have to be looked after on weekends and on public holidays!
But kindergartens also close regularly. Over the weekend and during the holidays, someone should always be found who will take care of the kindergarten animals and look after them accordingly. Another option is to drop by at kindergarten to take care of the animals during days off. The animals then do not have to constantly get used to a new environment, especially in the case of rather short periods of time.

Once it has been clarified who will take care of the animals, when the veterinarian visits are due and how the costs are to be covered, nothing stands in the way of making animal friends in the kindergarten.
Also read our tips for starting school!

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