New Life at Willows

New Life at Willows, Hammersmith Nursery

Here at Hammersmith Nursery we have new life. We can all agree that animals and children are often a great combination and can benefit both the animal (species dependent) and the child in a range of ways.

Pets and animals teach children so many incredible lessons about the stages of life and all the intricacies and emotions that go along with them. From chickens that lay eggs to cats that have kittens, through putting down the family dog, companion animals have shorter lives than most humans, which allows children opportunities to observe and experience a wide range of phases, stages, and natural processes. The lifespan of an animal provides so many lessons for kids to learn about life – its beauty, harshness, and joy.

Having animals and pets around at a young age can encourage children to have an increased sense of ownership as well as providing them with some small responsibilities. For us, the children can feed the fish in the tank each morning as well as check if the ducklings needed fresh water or more food. As well as increased responsibility, having animals also teaches children about patience and self-control. For instance, when watching the ducklings hatch, the children had to be patient and wait or the ducklings to emerge in their own time. The children had to wait a day or two before they were able to very gently hold them for a moment. For our topic of growth, we have been very lucky to introduce our children to a small range of animals.

Along with their recent trips to Deen City Farm, Our children have also been given pet fish in their classroom, Caterpillars, and ducklings! This week, our eggs started hatching and we now have 5 wonderfully fluffy ducklings in our preschool room. The children have watched the eggs incubate and crack open, and seeing the ducklings emerge. The children have spent a few days observing the ducklings and learning about the lifecycle of a duck as well as having a brief moment to hold the ducklings. Our children have been looking after the ducklings each day. Helping to change their water and food, as well as encouraging them to learn to swim in their messy tray! This has been an invaluable experience for not only the children but the nursery as a whole. It has been a beautiful way to introduce spring to the children and also show them the miracle of new life! It has also been a bittersweet way of teaching the children about permanent goodbyes as the ducklings left the nursery for their forever home.