Almost 40% of all the species of animals on the planet are endangered. 80% of the world’s cats and dogs are stray or neglected. The value of wild animals killed or sold illegally every year is $10 billion. Millions of animals are abused all around the globe and are still legally considered “things” and not beings.
But what do animals mean to kids? These heartbreaking numbers make World Animal Day even more necessary. Its main objective is to eradicate cruelty towards animals. That’s why it’s so important to raise childrens’ awareness of this matter. Some educational institutions are steps ahead in this sense, and that’s something very necessary. For example, NHES offers free “Kindness In The Classroom” humane education presentations to schools across the U.S. to teach youth in the K-5 grade levels about animal welfare.
Kids are naturally empathetic towards animals, even those they see on TV, or stuffed animals they have at home. So, why don’t we teach kids values that will be necessary for their future and their whole lives, like respect for animals?
Benefits of Animals for Kids
The perks of growing up with a pet
- Having pets, taking care of them and respecting them have an amazing effect on children’s development : Owning a pet helps children with responsibility, trust, and emotional intelligence.
- Animals can become great confidants for children . No one keeps a secret better than someone’s pet!
- They teach very valuable lessons and can help children to cope and prepare emotionally for natural things such as births, or the illness or death of a loved one.
- They help children become more empathetic to the pet’s needs such as their hunger or thirst, or if they’re hot or cold.
- And something extremely important: In a world where kids are constantly fighting to be the best and suffer from social isolation or stress, interacting with animals increases their self-esteem.
The Perks of Being Involved With Animals
Being around animals can be therapeutic for children. These are some of the cases:
- If they suffer from an illness, in some cases, animal therapy might be able to help. Animals don’t judge and are there for them whenever a kid needs them.
- According to an NPR study, animals help to speed up recovery and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Animals also help kids to develop their communication skills.
Experience with animals can help kids develop their inner abilities, the ones that they will need for real life, both in their personal and professional lives. But, above all, it helps them become better people.
It’s essential to educate children about animals through ludic activities such as songs, videos, or games. It also helps to bring attention to animals’ natural habitats, which can be done by visiting specialized centers or sanctuaries that help these animals recover from certain injuries or live in a safe environment for them. We can also read books about different animals or use educational apps, like Lingokids, where you will find a variety of interactive and ludic activities that will help them understand the importance of respecting nature and animals, besides learning English and spending quality time together with you while play-learning.
Empathy and respect for animals is something that, undoubtedly, will help the children of today to become the best adults of tomorrow. Let’s help the world become a better place by teaching our kids how to love and take care of animals!