Fuzzy and Furry Pet
Intellectual: To converse with others about feelings and begin to recognize familiar animal sounds and characteristics.
This activity is an on-going learning experience that will encourage your toddler to learn about fuzzy furry pet characteristics (i.e. size, colour, behaviour) as they participate in taking care of a living creature.
You will need:
- A small living creature (i.e. goldfish, tad pole, bird)
- Caring materials for providing a home and food (i.e. cage, litter box, water bottle, fish bowl etc.)
- Pen and paper (food and cleaning schedule)
- Involve your toddler in deciding what kind of pet to get. Provide pictures (photographs, cut-outs) of different types of pets. Talk about pet characteristics for example, “Liz, this small dog has soft brown hair” to encourage language in size and colour comparison.
- For an older toddler go to Step 2 and for a younger toddler skip Step 2:
- Take your toddler to the pet store or consider adopting one at an animal shelter.
- With your toddler, bring a pictorial list (to-buy list with pictures) to buy care materials for your pet. Label the items you place into the cart to promote language and new vocabulary. You can also point to the item and wait for your toddler to respond. For example, “Liz we need hay for the rabbit [point to the hay]” and wait for their response.
- Once the pet has been bought or adopted, let your child come up with names he/she would like to name their pet.
- Create a schedule of feeding and cleaning (Under related external resources) to promote your child’s independence. Ask your toddler to choose a task from the schedule to do each week. Some tasks can include refilling the food dish or water bowl. You may need to use hand-over-hand for the first few times until your toddler gets used to it.
- Promote caring actions towards your little one’s new house pet by reading books suggested under Recommended Reading.
- This will be an ongoing project throughout the pet’s life.
Click Here For Accessibility Tips
It is a challenge for some children to make-believe. These tips will develop your child’s ability to express their thoughts and to remember words.
- Pictures of pet animals
- Pictures of caring materials
- Daily calender
Show your toddler pictures of different types of pets that they can choose from. Talk about the what the animals look like in comparison to each other using words such as, big/ small, furry/bald, soft/rough
Use pictures of your pet, their caring materials, caring instructions and place them on a daily calendar to help your toddler follow the routine
Place the daily pet routine in a place visible to your toddler (i.e. on the fridge) . Say out loud what your pet needs as you imitate the action for example " The rabbit needs some lettuce to eat, yum, yum, yum"
Encourage your toddler to imitate your pet by talking about how it moves and the sounds it makes. For example you might ask "Look how the rabbit uses its teeth, can you do the same?"
Nurture, Explore & Share
- If you create a routine of feeding your pet (visual pictures on a calender) and talk about what your pet needs
- Your toddler will develop a caring feeling for your pet and will help take care of them
Nurture, Explore & Share
- If you observe and imitate your pet with your toddler
- Your toddler will begin to pretend to be the pet
- Involve your toddler in deciding what kind of small pet to get
- Be observant in animal size and colour differences
- Purchase care products together using a pictorial list
- Match picture to objects and recognize differences (i.e. hard, soft)
- Read books that promote caring behaviour (i.e. feeding, petting, walking)
- Learn to show caring behaviour towards their pet
Enriching Learning Through the Everyday Moments
- Prior to getting a pet, give your toddler a stuffed toy (turtle, shark, beaver, etc.) to encourage role-play nurturing a pet. Model caring by gently patting and rocking the stuffed toy when they get hurt. Your toddler will naturally imitate your behavior.
- Pet Show by Ezra Jack Keats
- Franklin Wants a Pet by Paulette Bourgeois
- Creating a Puppy Feeding Schedule
Dog Feeding Schedule