Researchers have long studied the benefits of having a pet as a young child, and what they've discovered is nothing short of amazing. Not only can animals teach kids a number of important life lessons, such as kindness, compassion, empathy, responsibility, friendship and patience, they can also inspire learning. The best part is that kids naturally enjoy interacting with pets! Here are just a few ways pets can educate your children:
•Reading buddy. Research suggests that pets may help children learn to read. In a 2010 study, the University of California found that young kids who read out loud to dogs improved their reading skills by 12 percent in just 10 weeks.
•Math tutor. Owning a pet provides dozens of daily opportunities for math lessons. For example, if Fido needs one and a half cups of food a day and eats twice a day, how much kibble does he get at each feeding? If Kitty gets three treats per day, how many does she get each week?
•Hands-on science. Pets also help children understand scientific facts, such as the types of food different animals eat and how their behavior varies. They also learn deeper scientific truths, such as how dogs have a sharp sense of hearing (they can hear the dog food can being opened from upstairs) and that cats see better at night than they do during the day.
•Best friends. Helping to take care of a pet gives your child a sense of pride and accomplishment and helps boost her self-confidence. Educators have begun to pinpoint self-esteem as one of the major building blocks to scholastic achievement.
•Creative muse. Children love to involve their pets in creative endeavors. After all, who hasn't seen a child painstakingly draw her beloved pet? Pets are also known to emerge in children's stories, songs and personal essays.
•Inspire curiosity. Best of all, pets inspire a child's curiosity. Whether it's asking questions at the veterinarian's office or determining which part of the world their dog breed hails from, kids are in a constant state of wonderment about their pets. They want to learn as much as they can about them!
Pets enrich our children's lives in so many ways. Helping them excel academically is just one of the limitless benefits of having a pet.
Article provided by Purina
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