Young children and animals

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Owning a pet or interacting with animals in nature, sanctuaries or zoos can be a great learning experience for young children.

The special bond children can develop with a household pet and the inquisitive delight they experience when seeing different creatures in their habitat can contribute to early learning. Children can learn empathy and relationship building skills, and expand their vocabulary as they discover new things about animals.

You can also nurture your child’s natural curiosity about the animal world through books and nursery rhymes.

Books about animals

Here are some good books to try:

  • Hickory Dickory Dash
  • Dear Zoo – Rod Campbell
  • Let’s Get a Pup – Bob Graham
  • Millicent and Meer – Richard Byrne
  • Sparky! – Jenny Offill
  • I Want a Pet – Lauren Child
  • Land Shark – Beth Ferry

Extend your experience

You can extend your book sharing experience by learning or singing a favourite song. Playing with animal toys or animals from magazine clippings while you sing also helps your child to learn new language. Here are some songs to try:

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