I grew up on a farm, a small farm, but when I was little we had just about every normal farm animal, some in larger quantities than others. Granted I was little and moved from that farm before my teenage years fully kicked in, but I have fond memories of what it was like to “live on a farm.” I don’t own a farm now, but I plan to use our less than an acre lot to show my kids what it’s like to raise and take care of animals, responsibility, and hard work. I guess you can say that I hope to teach them a Character Lesson from a bunch of Backyard Chicks.
Okay, so I know it may seem like a stretch, but I truly believe that you can learn so much from taking care of animals.
Children can learn responsibility. They have to be responsible for feeding, watering, cleaning cages, and collecting eggs. My girls are a little young to do this solo right now, but we have already taught them how to feed the dog and keep water in his bowl. A chore that they can do independently, together. In a year or two, they will be able to tackle the chicken chore on their own as well.
Hard work is something that sadly seems to be fading, but is such an important character trait. Collecting eggs and cleaning the coop in 100 degree weather or in 2 feet of snow isn’t going to be fun or easy but necessary and even hard. A task that the girls will be able to do together no matter the weather.
Teamwork. Whether in school or the work place teamwork is everywhere. And a good thing to practice while they are young, because it only becomes more difficult.
Not only will the girls hopefully gain a few good character traits out of this endeavor but they will also see first hand the life cycle of a chicken. We have had our chicks since they were a week old and in a few months they will begin laying eggs. We may not be able to hatch those eggs for the full effect, but I think they will get the idea. I also hope that through having and raising animals the girls will gain a better understanding and appreciation for animals, nature, and the world around them.
Added bonus, farm fresh eggs. We can use our chickens to talk about how feed affects the chickens and their eggs, proper nutrition, etc.
There are so many ways to use your own pets as a tool to teach character, life lessons, or even science. 🙂
How are you incorporating animals and pets into teaching your little ones?
I look forward to hearing your ideas. Check back soon for an update on the finished coop and how our not so little chicks are doing.
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