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Class Pets?


Guest heleng
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Guest heleng

I'm moving into the Foundation Stage to teach Reception from September. The space is shared with our nursery and after talking to the nursery nurse and LSA we have decided we want a pet.

 

We don't want fish. I have asked at the local pet shop and they recommend guinea pigs. We would get one for the nursery and one for Reception and they would live together.

 

Does anyone else have pets? Does anyone else have guinea pigs?

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we dont have guinea pig at work, but i do keep them as pets.

 

i would recommend them, they are out during the day (unlike hamsters), ive kept them for a while and have never known them to bite. my 2 yr old goddaughter can handle mine easily.

 

BUT they get frightened at really loud noises etc. but as long as they are comforted they should be ok. i would recommend getting 2 females if possible also. (perhaps sisters would be best)

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I also have 2 guinea pigs but not in school. Would agree about getting 2 sisters. Ours are coming up for 5 years of age this year and are so lovable. The more thay are gently handled the more tame and relaxed they can be. However, my daughter was nipped on the finger once. When she fed them some celery they smelled it on her finger and I suppose they thought it was more food. It didn't break the skin and she was careful not to do that again!!!! xD

 

Another idea would be to get a giant african snail. I don't know much about them but a woman on a course I went on recently had one at her setting. She said they were so easy to care for and couldn't run away!!!! The children took it in turns to take it home for the week-end, learning how to care for it and taking photos for a special 'snail' album. Children loved it apparently. :o

 

Miriam

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Hi ALL,

 

On the subject of African snails, we have them in our class. We used to have 5, one was thrown to the ground by a child, which resulted in the shell breaking and the snail died. This happened during an activity on how to handle the snails etc, xD

 

One died during an Easter holiday at one of the children's homes. I was at work yesterday just to get the room ready for Monday and was told another one has died during the summer holiday at another childs home, so we are now down to 2 snails. The snails are about 7 to 8 years old, so the two that died were old in snails terms.

They are very easy to look after, we use them to discuss, size, patterns, looking after animals in the environment etc, etc. They love to eat, lettuce, cucumber and brown bread, our snails love to play in a tray of luke warm water and they really come out of their shells then, so the children get to have a good look. When they lay eggs, i give the eggs to the fish in my garden pond as i see this as a natural life recycling :( . Wheni first started the job i was told to put the eggs into boiling water, i found this to be soooooooo cruel, so someone suggested to me to put them in my pond and the fish enjoy eating the eggs. The down side is they do lay loads and loads of eggs. Sometimes parents will ask if i will give them two eggs when they are laid, which i do. But they have not laid eggs recently and have been going a silver colour, we think they are getting old, just like me :o

 

 

Rosepetal

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Just wondering .....when you close for the holidays who looks after the pets. Do staff or children? Does having pets at nursery need another policy?! xD

 

 

The snails are currently at home with me for the holidays and when we had guinea pigs they came home every weekednd and holiday. :o

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what about stick insects to go with the african snails? we are looking into creating a 'bug world' for our nursery and thought about stick insects and snails. Has anyone kept stick insects before. It's been great to read about keeping snails on this post. Insect lore are another firm that supplies and there is also one in warwick.

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We had stick insects - 7 in all - kept in a fish tank (without the water!!). They ate privit (hedge) which we stuck in an oasis and provided water in a shallow dish. They grew from babies to about 5 or 6 inches. The children loved them as they made no sudden movements and would move slowly along your hand onto your arm. For children brave enough to hold them this was great. Shyer children could see how slowly the insects moved and some even went on to hold them after a while.

Sadly, the member of staff who was supposed to take them home for the Easter break forgot and ....................

:o

I still think they are great creatures to have in a school, easy to feed, care for and clean out. Some great learning can be had from them too. However, Mummy's can have up to 120 babies!!!!!! xD

Good luck!

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Our head recollects keeping stick insects when he first began teaching and arriving in school after a holiday to find the classroom covered in them. The caretaker who was looking after them hadn't put the lid back and all the babies had escaped. :o He keeps suggesting we get some.........

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Everyone...my favourite subject

 

Schools often ask me for advice if they are thinking about pets.

 

As already mentioned Guinea Pigs are the obvious furry - They are robust and hardy, easy to look after, cheap to care for, are diurnal (awake during the day) and very reluctant to bite.

 

Snails are great too. All the children love my Sally. A tip with the eggs - Simply freeze them, this stops the egg developing into a snail. Most humane way.

 

But if you wanted a more "exotic" animal, I recommend Giant Millipedes. They are very easy to look after, easy to handle and are very unusual. The only con is that Millipedes can secrete a fluid from tiny holes on their body, which is a slight irritant.

My Millipede used to do this when I first got her and started to handle her, but as long as you wash your hands afterwards, there is no reaction. Once the Millipede is used to being handled - which doesn't take very long - they no longer do it.

 

All you need to keep one is a plastic or glass tank, around 2ft by 1 ft, some compost/coir or similar, a place for it to hide under, I use cork bark, a small heat mat and a water mister.

 

They eat fruit, vegetables and oak leaves.

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Guest heleng

Well, the guinea pigs seem to be settled in.

They are called Squeak and Molly. The children have stroked them and been shown how we clean them out and what they need to keep them healthy. We are working with the children on hygiene this week and how important it is for them to wash their hands before and after stroking the animals.

 

We are hoping to have a vet or vet nurse come in next week to talk to the children about how to handle them. We have a towel for each of the guinea pigs with their names on so once the children have been shown how to handle them they can sit in the children's laps on the towels without fear of scratching (in theory).

 

They seem to be getting used to the noise now and will come out when the children are there. This has taken two weeks!! So, fingers crossed it seems to be working at the moment.

 

Helen

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Another possibility for class pets

 

The classes in KS1 at my husbands school contacted a local garden centre and they had set up a 'rolling programme' of different animals. Some one from the gartden centre came with a new animal/s at the beginning of each half term to talk to the children and explain how to look after them. When it came to the holidays they took them back and then brought new ones later. They had a lot of 'bugs' rather than fluffy ones. The kids loved it.

 

We have a hamster - an ex-pet of a child further through the school. they take it home during the hols. and a guinea pig who lives at our nursery nurses house weekends and holidays. We used to have 2 goldfish but they now live with me.

 

The children love them both but the guinea pig is more interesting to watch than a sleeping hamster!!

 

x

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