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Touching Dead Fish!


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The children have moved the topic onto sea animals. My question is, is it safe for the children to touch fish, squid etc from the fishmongers

 

Obviously they wash their hands afterwards.

 

We were going to place them in the water tray.

 

I have already tried a google search and tried HSE website, can't find anything though

 

Thank you

 

Angie

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Yes, absolutely................................we did this with our children, using fresh sardines.One of our parents told our Ofsted inspector that he thought it was a fabulous activity for his child to have done......and when they went to the sealife aquarium, his child asked what was inside a seahorse??Is it like a sardine??? BIG thumbs up from O lady............and the parents too!! Our children drew pictures, weighed them, measured them and we cut them open ( the fish, not the children!!) to see what was inside.It was fascinating to see the reactions and we got some wonderful observations and photographs for their learning journeys.Go for it, and as you say, just make sure there is pleanty of warm washing up water.

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we have a lot of families who are vegetarian at our setting, including a member of staff and she would be horrified at the thought of cutting up fish. What are your thoughts about addressing this issue?

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We, too, usually have real fish when we're doing the sea - but we hadn't thought of cutting them up - more looking at the shapes, feel of them and using them to print with!

 

Can get a bit smelly- nicer to do outside and preferably the day before the bin men come!

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we have a lot of families who are vegetarian at our setting, including a member of staff and she would be horrified at the thought of cutting up fish. What are your thoughts about addressing this issue?

 

 

I'm a veggie - and the thought of handling dead fish makes me wreach - however we do do fish printing, and always seem to have staff members that are more than happy to do so...although I'd never force them to carry out the activity.

 

Not sure if I'd fancy one being cut up just to play to play with,~well you wouldn't cut up a pet to see how looks inside!...... However cutting it up to cook with is something I'd like to children to experience (without me around I must add!!!)

 

xxx

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Good ideas. Printing with them to see the patterns the scales make, I hadn't thought of that. What about squid and langoustines (spell)

 

Thanks

 

Angie

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erm, it wasn't 'just cut up to play with'..............................it was cut open to explore! We looked at the gills and explained about how fish use them to breath,and that we have lungs, we looked at the ribs and explained that we too have ribs and why; yes, we looked at the scales and explained why they overlap each other there were lots of questioning opportunities too,......................all good, solid, learning experiences.We have no vegetarians at the group, so it wasn't an issue, but if we had done, we would have explained to the families what we planned and why and sought their permission, as any good practitioner would do.If they had said they didn't like the idea, then we wouldn't have gone ahead with it.

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I'm with you Narnia, our cook went into the room and fillet the fish, we asked the fishmonger to gut it which the boys who went to the fishmongers saw. He also made the prawms ready by taking all their shell and legs off. We then cooked them and tasted them. We dont have any vegetarians but if we did we would have tried to do something alternative for them but would still have carried on with the activity. Our children spent a long time looking at the mackerels teeth, tongue, gills and even inside where the fishmonger had gutted it. (our fishmonger recently appeared on come dine with me!!)

The parents and board members thought it was wonderful and parens have asked for copies of the photos.

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erm, it wasn't 'just cut up to play with'.......

 

 

yes sorry - I thought that after I posted - but was to lazy to edit!!

 

Whilst I can see it would be good to explore - i wouldn't feel comfortable with it- is really what I meant.

 

xxxxxx

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I'm a vegetarian too, and find the idea repulsive in the extreme! I know I'm in the minority here, but the arrogance of the human race in thinking we have the right to take the lives of other animals is beyond me. However, I'm not getting into a debate about this but be aware that it may be hugely offensive to some people. :o

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Beau, I know you said you did not want to debate this but I do have a question. We have lunch at our setting and I do eat fish but not meat of any kind therefore I chose the veggie option at lunchtimes, I sit with the children who all eat meat. Does your setting have lunch? If it does, what do you do?

I completely understand your point of view but I am veggie because I don't like meat, I grew up on a farm and understand the full processes and know where meat comes from, I just don't like it. Do you think you let your own views influence the children? Again, I am not trying to get into a debate about this, I am curious.

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I was in a playgroup, so no lunches to provide. I personally could not touch and cook dead animals so all snacks we provided were vegetarian, which is probably what most settings provide in any case. We did have lunch clubs, and obviously many of the children had ham, chicken and sausages. If they ever offered me any, or asked if I liked ham etc. then I would just explain that I didn't eat meat. Children tend to just accept these sorts of things without question and were never interested in any more detail. I certainly would never start preaching to them about my beliefs though. I am not a 'crusading' sort of person, as I think everyone has to right to make their own choices in life. :o

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How lucky to have children who accepted it! We have several who question the fact that I and others don't eat meat, and at times say they wont eat anything that is vegetarian because they are not vegetarians, which of course leads to long discussions. On the other hand we had meatballs the other day and one of the meat eating children siad they didn't like meatballs so I aske dif they wanted to have the vegie option and they did!! Our snacks tend to be 100% fruit and sometimes veggies with special days for staff birthday when we have cake or biscuits (staff only because there are fewer of us, the chidlren have never commented) we have special fruit for birthdays for the children.

Thanks for answering my question :o

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Perhaps it was the way I phrased it - 'I don't eat meat' rather than 'I am a vegetarian'. We all have our likes and dislikes in terms of food, and perhaps they just took it that I didn't like it, just in the same way that they didn't eat say tomatoes because they didn't like them. :o

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This is an interesting discussion. We have just been doing under the sea and one of my ideas was to bring in real fish for the children to explore patterns. I am not a veggie, but I do draw the line at eating fish or having anything really to do with it. The smell alone is enough to put me off! I just thought the real experiences would support the children's learning and would (hopefully) encourage the more reluctant children to have a go.

 

Obviously I nabbed the idea from here lol but did it in nursery a while back and the children loved it.

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I also would be appalled at the thought of looking at, printing with, or cutting up dead fish. What other people do is up to them, but do be careful if offering such an activity in case any parents may object.

 

I always ate the veggie option when I was in school, which was always the most popular option anyway, so it was never a problem for me. I did find it hard to help children with their food if it was meat or fish and usually one of the other staff members would do that bit.

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Apt signature Mundia :o

 

As many may know I have enjoyed exploring dead fish with my preschool children and shared photo's of such activites in the past.

I appreciatte and take on board the comments that some parents may be offended with these activities but ask if people with these personal views would expect a preschool to deny other children (whose parents are not of these views) the opportunity of such an experience?

 

To the original question, when we used dead fish within the setting we were very careful regards hygiene, washing of hands and thorough bleaching and cleaning of the water tray etc all containers and surfaces that the fish came into contact with. Would suggest bst experienced on cool days rather than the heat of a hot summer day. xD

 

just an addage life and death is all part of 'the world around us', discussions could be started about what children think about eating animals, that's if they have already learnt that animals come from farms etc and not just from the supermarket / freezer / fridge. :(

Giving children a balanced insight to all views on food and it's consumption helps with paving the way for them to make 'informed' balanced choices in the future, or even just to learn to be able to develop their own points of view and discuss their views in a balanced non judgemental way. To learn that everyone is entitled to their own view etc etc.

 

Peggy

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Wouldn't work for me either, I'm afraid. I'd be retching within minutes.

But other staff members might enjoy the experience with the children, do you think? Last week we had instant mashed potato in our builder's tray - fine when it was just the powdery stuff but as soon as MrsWeasley made it up into 'mash' at least one of our staff members kept well away because she just couldn't bear to go anywhere near!

 

It takes all sorts to make a world, and this seems like one activity/experience that brings out many responses! Good exercise in including everyone, I think!

 

Maz

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I'm with you Peggy, the whole thing started with us after the PG tips advert where the monkey is milking the cow, this lead to a discussion as to where milk and other things come from. We are based in central london (I mean central our postcode begins W1 can't get much more central) and the majority of children who attend the setting have no idea where their food comes from and the fact that chicken curry for lunch was infact a chicken with feathers who used to run around. Informed children are capable of making their own decisions and we try to offer as much choice as possible.

We hope to introduce the cook into more of our sessions so the chidlren can see the whole cooking process rather than taking something out of the freezer and whacking it in the micro (I KNOW I KNOW VERY MUCH A GENERALISATION!!)

We are also planning a trip to a farm intime to see the new lambs and are trying to get eggs to hatch as Elton John (a fine early years theorist said :o ) it's the circle of life!! xD

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I think it best that we all agree to differ on this one. I'm quite sure that some people would run a mile at the thought of handling snakes and spiders, and I know of several people who cannot abide small fluffy animals. I know adults as well as children who cannot handle cotton wool. It's our very differences that make us what we are - and as long as we can see these differences in each other we will be able to see them in children too, don't you think?

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  • 2 months later...

I'm not really comfortable with the idea of playing with dead animals (even though its "only" a fish..... Infact it makes me really really uncomfortable. I'm ok with killing animals to eat but to me playing with/ exploring a dead fish seems a waste of a life, people need to eat meat to live but children can have fantastic experinaces without playing with dead things.

 

But each to their own i guess :o

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