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Kindergarten Pet for the Fall.

Discussion in 'All other pets' started by cosmicpixie, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. cosmicpixie

    cosmicpixie New Member

    I'm a kindergarten teacher and I was looking into getting a small pet for our classroom. I already have a fish (a betta) named Charlie. But I wanted to get something they could take out of the cage and touch. Or be able to take home for the weekend. In my old classroom in Ohio we had a rabbit, but it was plagued with health problems until its death. I don't want kids to have to go through that. What would be a good pet for a classroom of kindergarteners? I want them to be able really enjoy a pet. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. sakura.seppun

    sakura.seppun New Member

    A Guinea Pig or Hamster might work well. You'll want something larger than a mouse, they're too hard for a 5 year old to keep track of when holding it, but you don't want something so large that the cage will take up the whole classroom.
    A Hamster would be small enough for the kids to easily take home on weekends, but the Guinea Pig can be put on a harness and leash for around the classroom and if you wanted to take it out for recess. hmm...
    A Rabbit would still be good, you're really taking health chances with anything, thats just part of owning a pet, sadly..
    The only thing I'm worried about is smaller animals are usually so skiddish, so you need to make sure you keep the cage to where the kids can't bang on it all the time, or something like that.
    I'm sorry I can't be of more help. :(
     
  3. Aqueous

    Aqueous New Member

    Maybe a nice big syrian hamster. My Gypsy (and all my past Syrian hamsters) tolerate mostly anything that my younger sister will do to her. She never bites or tries to jump out of your hands. They also get to a fair size (but not too big) and are slow enough for a small child to be able to catch safely. I've also never had any health problems with her, but a hamster would probably be easy to replace without the kids knowing about it.

    This is my Gypsy-bean

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bente

    Bente New Member

    I wouldn't recomend a rabbit for children that young. They can be hard to handle for little hands, and they have sharp claws that can result in nasty scratches if they get scared... I used to work in a private kindergarten that had lots of animals in the barn, including rabbits. You could tell from the rabbits bodylanguage that they were really uncomfortable around the children, because they weren't handled properly...

    Maybe a large hamster or guinea pig as suggested. The thing with smaller animals is that they easely get scared, especially if they have to deal with many different people. At least that's my experience. How would a rat do with children? I've had rats in the past but I was a lot older then kindergarten age :) But maybe it would be too much of a job convincing the moms to take it home for the weekend? :mrgreen:

    I hope you find the perfect pet. I think it's great that children get to learn about animals from such a young age :y_the_best:
     
  5. Fuz

    Fuz New Member

    i have been around cavies (guinea pigs) almost all of my life i am 14 right now and i think guinea pigs make great pets because they dont bite except for self defense and even that is rare. we breed and show them and have never had a problem with any of them biting us except when trying to break up a fight. so im with getting a guinea pig. but you might want to make sure that it is not going to completely freak out when one of the kids approaches the cage. we have never used harnesses with ours we just let them run around except outside when outside we have a large pen that we put tem in to run around and eat the grass. although i would not rust 5 year olds o take it home over the weekend. so im totally with getting a guinea pig as a class pet they are also easyer to hold onto then a rabbit
     
  6. faeriedust1127

    faeriedust1127 New Member

    I have to vote for a pair of rats on this one. I actually know a 2nd grade teacher who was considering a bird and i talked her into rats instead. Rats are much much easier to handle than a rabbit or a guinea pig which can kick hard with sharp claws and be difficult to hold. A couple of well socialized rats from a reputable breeder/rattery will be much less likely to be skiddish or shy and will love all the attention from the kids. Plus they have a shorter lifespan so there isn't as much commitment in regards to what to do with them in years to come. At best, just take them home for the summer and introduce them to the next class of kids. You should get 2-3 years out of them. They can also be left at school(if allowed) for the weekend as long as they have enough food and water to last them and they are a pair, not a single. I think a couple of large dumbo males would be best. They are also not as clumsy as hamsters and are more agile like a cat so less likely to hurt themselves if accidentally dropped. Look into it for yourself if you arent convinced, but i think ratties would be the best way to go. Here's some great sites with links and such for more info:

    http://www.ratsrule.com

    http://catsnrats.com

    http://rodentfancy.org

    Here's a pic of a few of my babies:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. pomlover

    pomlover New Member

    Our kindergarten teacher always has a pet of some sort in her class room. For many years, we donated a baby bunny at the beginning of the school year and took it home again at the end. That way the kids could see how small they were when they were babies and have the responsibilities of raising it (teacher too) throughout the school year and see how big they get at the end. They really enjoyed that. The teacher finally decided that she wanted to try something else for a change so we got her a hamster. The kids didn't really care for that as well. She then got a guinea pig and kept it on the floor in a kids swimming pool with many hiding places and the kids loved it. The guinea pig seemed to like it too. So what I am getting at in the long about way.........is that I am putting my vote in for a guinea pig. :D

    They also had a turtle, lizard and a frog but those were all boring things since they couldn't take them out and play with them.
     
  8. Fuz

    Fuz New Member

    ya i dont think any of the kids would like stick bugs i mean you cant take them out to cuddle with them one of my teachers had many class pets a hamster, which i didnt like very much, stick bugs fish and some oher thing im still voting for guinea pigs and actuallyrats have a longer life span than guinea pigs usually and besides guinea pigs dont kick and stuff like that unless you flip them on their back, which after a while they will get so used to attention that they wont really care what you do to them as long as you dont hurt them, and they very rarely bite unlike hamsters and if they do bite it doesnt hurt (very much) but im all for a guinea pig
     
  9. darkrabbit213

    darkrabbit213 New Member

    You could always try a friendly Ferret? Friendly being the key word, some ferrets are moody and will bite, but others can be very sweet!
     
  10. sakura.seppun

    sakura.seppun New Member

    Ferrets are a TERRIBLE idea for this kind of setting. They need massive amounts of attention I own 2, and that is something that could not be done in a classroom. They usually don't like to be cuddled, so the kids won't get to hold it.
    A ferret simply cannot be kept in a cage all the time. Do NOT get a ferret, it would be very cruel to do that to one. They are not a cage animal, and should not be treated as such.
    The only "moody" ferrets that I have ever met, were that way because the were not socialized and kept in a cage most of their life.
    I'm sorry to sound so snappy, but they are beautiful animals and I would hate to see that done to one.
     
  11. cosmicpixie

    cosmicpixie New Member

    I would NEVER have a ferret as a clasroom pet. I have four of them. Classrooms are not a place for ferrets, unless visiting. The Syrian hamsters are the big ones right? Is it easy to tame them. What about the dwarf hamsters? Do the syrian hamsters travel well? I would want to possible give the children a chance to have the class pet visit their home. There is always the question of life expectancy. I don't want them to have to deal with a pet passing away. And for everybody who suggested a rat. I would love to have a pet rat I think they are excellent pets, but I would worry that my parents would freak out. Lots of people are suggesting guinea pigs. They aren't too high strung to be in a kindergarten classroom. It can get loud sometimes in a classroom with little ones I don't want it to be startled or upset all the time. Thanks everybody for your suggestions so far!
     
  12. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    W have guinea pigs and gerbils and are great around children aswell as noice.

    My nephew has taken the guinea pigs to school with him for a class project and the little fella was there a whole 5days well when he came home he was still his little loving quiet self.

    So my vote goes on guinea pigs especially if you can get a young one i think the children will also like the little squeak that guinea pigs make.

    Mike
     
  13. Bente

    Bente New Member

    I would NOT go for a dwarf hamster if I were you. I've been watching my brothers dwarf hamster for two weeks now, and they're really, really tiny and hard to tame. It's almost impossible to pick one up without dropping it, and if you do dropp it it's almost impossible to find it again :roll: They are also nocturnal animals so the children won't see it much during the day.
     
  14. darkrabbit213

    darkrabbit213 New Member

    For everyone who said "Guinea Pig", Guinea Pigs are known to squeel, especially babies. Watch out when picking one, you don't want an animal that is going to distract the children. It may be enriching for children to learn about animals, but there are other things they need to learn at a young age, animals in the classroom can be incrediably distracting.
     
  15. Aqueous

    Aqueous New Member

    Definately don't get a dwarf hamster. First off they're really small , I can fit both of mine in one hand, and if they get aways they're pretty quick. They can be tamed but some can take a really long time. I've had both of mine for about 5 months now and my dove spotted dwarf will always nip when you try to take her out of the cage.

    Yes Syrian hamsters are the large hamsters. Syrian hamsters IMO do travel well. They're also pretty easy to tame. Took me about a week to hand tame Gypsy. My sister was only nipped by her once and that was when we first got her.
     
  16. cosmicpixie

    cosmicpixie New Member

    I think a Syrian hamster is going to be the best bet for my classroom and my situation. What would be an appropriate cage for this little one. I'll be purchasing the hamster and the supplies myself. And we all know how much teachers make :wink: so the most cost effective supplies would be the best. More bang for my buck if you will. Thanks everybody for your input. :D
     
  17. sakura.seppun

    sakura.seppun New Member

    I don't know if you have ebay, but the user huma102 is Monster Pets. I've gotten the cage for my ferrets and my gerbils from them. They are very cheap, got my order in two days (not kidding), and have good quality stuff.

    It's possible just to get a 10 gallon aquarium, around 10 dollars, and then get a Tank topper for it. But I was thinking for a kindergarden class, that this kind of setup would be really cute:
    [​IMG]

    Tbough, this would be very simple for you to get started with.

    Good luck finding what you like!
     
  18. Bente

    Bente New Member

    Wow! That cage rocks! :eek: :lol:
     
  19. faeriedust1127

    faeriedust1127 New Member

    how easy is that to clean tho??
     
  20. Aqueous

    Aqueous New Member


    Cute yes, but not functional for a syrian. Definately don't get a Habitrail. The tube attachments are too small for a syrian hamster to fit through when they're fully grown and the main compartment is too small for a syrian to live in.

    This is what a syrian looks like in a habitrail.

    [​IMG]

    My syrian has a cage similar to the Supe Pet Critter Trail Outlook from Petsmart

    [​IMG]

    If you look in the mirror in this pic you can see the cage my syrian has.

    [​IMG]

    You should be looking far a hamster cage that is a little larger than the norm. A lot of the kits (like the Habitrails for example) care only suitable for dwarf hamsters (I have 2 dwarfs living in my habitrail).
     

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