Does your child play with a pet regularly? If your answer is no, I can give you plenty of reasons to start that habit. If pets are not allowed in your place of residence, consider taking your child to visit shelter pets or those belonging to friends.
Research shows that having pets reduces anxiety, which is very good for a positive learning environment. That information can be found in many places. But did you know about these other educational benefits?
Playing with pets helps with fine motor skills. Just like other types of active play, when kids are interacting with pets, it helps them develop important physical skills. Playing with pets is unique in that your child not only needs to pay attention to their own play and movements, but to those of the pet as well. Fine motor skills are critical to various educational processes, even down to holding a pencil.
Playing with pets teaches compassion and gentleness. When your child plays with an animal, the animals needs have to come first. Children also need to be gentle to make sure they are not hurting the animal. This helps instill compassion as well as the act of being gentle.
Pet care and play can also be used in many lessons. Need to teach your child counting skills? Use the number of treats awarded to a pet during play. Does your child need to learn about responsibility? Make a schedule for playing with the pet at a certain time every day. The possibilities are endless.
Let your child play with a pet today and every day!
*Originally published by Lyn Lomasi at heartandmindhomeschool.com