Following many play scenarios involving pets, we decided to focus more directly on this topic. We began the study by creating a list of all of our favorite animals. (We tried to include some animals we didn’t love as much, too.) Next, each child helped sort the collection into two groups: Pets and Not Pets. After a lengthy discussion, it was concluded that some animals can be considered to be both. For instance, a fish can be a pet, but if you catch one in a pond, it is a wild fish and needs to be free in the pond. (Luckily, no one had recently eaten freshly caught fish, or I would have been having a completely different conversation.)
Each child then imagined what it would be like to have the pet of their dreams. Using a few prompts for help, the children answered such questions as: What does your pet like to eat? Where does it sleep? What does it like to do? The plan is to use these answers to create a book.
One of the conversations we heard in play centered around taking care of sick animals. We chose to revisit their beloved potion making station and create medicinal potions for sick pets. We took this activity one step further this time, building off of our previous week’s introduction to recipes.
Mystery Project on Wednesday provided the children with a chance to design their own pet using random art supplies. Watching them plan, glue, change, re-glue, demolish, and recreate a variety of animals was almost as much fun as making them ourselves.
Of course, once you have a pet, you need to have someplace for it to live.
And we can’t forget that we’ll need someplace to shop for all of our pets’ needs. Our simple cardboard pet shop was instantly transformed with tables, beds, more cages and kennels, food dishes, decorations and a large selection of aquariums.