EASY classroom pet suggestions?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by sciencegirl, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. sciencegirl

    sciencegirl Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    I'm looking for a nice living thing to add to my science lab. Previous teachers had fish, but I'm not adept at aquariums which require a fair bit of upkeep. Someone suggested hermit crabs. Anything else that's easy to care for and fun for kids to observe? I'm slightly hesitant about mammals like guinea pigs, gerbils, etc...
     
  2.  
  3. glenn

    glenn Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    An easy pet to take care of does not really exist. Helping to take care of the classroom pet is a great experience for your students. I like a rabbit but perhaps turtles would work for you.
     
  4. sciencegirl

    sciencegirl Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    Hmmm, turtles are a good idea! Is the habitat both aquatic and terrestrial? Does the pH, etc, require the same attention as that of a freshwater fish tank? Forgive me for sounding so naive--I am the 'mom' of a wonderful cat at home, and consider myself a skilled animal caregiver at home, but the whole classroom environment thing is throwing me off. They can stay by themselves all weekend and be fine??
     
  5. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    I have had fish (we killed four before we admitted defeat!) but my biggest success was hermit crabs - I bought two and they survived the whole year with minimal upkeep. The kids were very entertained by them and, since I have zero affinity with animals, it was the grade's responsibility to research their needs and make sure they were met.

    The class next door to me have a guinea pig at the moment - it's a pain because it has to be taken outside every morning and moved around. Last year she had birds - she's a braver soul than I!
     
  6. mom&teacher

    mom&teacher Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    One of my students was moving and couldn't take her hermit crab and offered it so I took it. I tried my damndest to keep that thing kicking, I even did research on them, bought him bigger shell just in case, etc. I took him home for the long weekend about 3 wks after I got him and he drowned in his water bowl! I was so sad! I told the kids that he was lonely so I gave him to my friend that had another hermit crab. Flaggy will never be forgotten (his shell was a flag design)!
     
  7. glenn

    glenn Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    I never had turtles just know of a teacher that had them. I do know you need a lamp on each day. They can stay at school on the weekends as long as make sure they do not get cold and they have been feed. I do not think you feed them everyday but I am not sure on that you will have to do some research or check with a pet store.
     
  8. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 28, 2007

    I've had several...
    fire belly toads (they're bright green on top and orange underneath and they make a barking noise) (we fed them crickets and the kids liked that)
    fire belly newts (brown on top, orange underneath)
    gerbils (mine had babies twice while kids had them home on the weekend!)
    rabbit
    guinea pig
    beta fish (very pretty and no filter needed)
     
  9. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    I have the best set up...I have a parent who brings in our class guinea pig on Monday and takes it home on Friday. All the kids rotate bringing in food. They clean the cage on the week-end. We have fish...another parent set it all up. We also have tadpoles...just adding pond water from time to time and fish food they are thriving....and we have a small frog in a separate container. Used all of this to write thank-you notes to the parents in our language unit!
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    The best pet I have had is a beta fish. They are pretty and the kids like feeding him. He is going on his 4th year!! I have also had gerbils which are not easy pets, but the kids really really liked them. I LOVED having frogs. They don't need their tank cleaned super often, but the ones I had ate live crickets. So you have to get them all the time, which is not really easy.
     
  11. teach24iam

    teach24iam Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    Be careful with turtles, we are not allowed to have them because they carry salmonella...so just be careful. Also have had a hamster..it bit..not nice! fish tanks are a pain to keep clean...is there really an easy class pet?
     
  12. daysy_may

    daysy_may Groupie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2007

    I had a beta fish, and for a fish, he was pretty easy to take care of. It was just a small tank and not hard to clean. He was also very hardy. Although I'm afraid he may have had a complex, he was a male, and my kinders got to pick his name, they decided on Rosie. lol
     
  13. matchstickgirl

    matchstickgirl Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2007

    I have a gecko is my classroom which the kids love! They are easy to take care of too. They eat meal worms, and need their cage changed out everyday with new paper towels. The kids love holding her at lunch time, and she is so nice and doesn't bite and isn't scary! I would definitely recommend one! :)
     
  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    92

    Sep 29, 2007

    One of the teachers in my building had turtles one year. I don't know about daily care and feeding, but they had a motor pump that kept the water flowing, needed rocks and things to climb on, water treated. I'm not sure how low maintenance they are. I love my hermit crabs. They really are pretty easy to care for.
     
  15. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2007

    we had a beta fish last year, which did well....this year i am doing a hermit crab, then bringing my fish back in in march for the ocean unit (as long as it is still alive)
     
  16. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,771
    Likes Received:
    52

    Sep 29, 2007

    I'll add another vote for a beta fish. If you want something furry I'd go for guinea pig. If you get one as a baby and have the children hold him/her once a day, it probably won't be a biter. I have a guinea pig at home that was born at the day care I used to work at. She was held a lot her first few weeks of life and she's never bitten.

    Other than cleaning the cage it's an easy to care for pet.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 29, 2007

    Two words for you before you think about a class pet...Christmas Break. Better think of a plan.

    Last year I had a Venus fly trap. It was awesome-the kids loved it, low maintenance, stayed alive all year.
     
  18. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 29, 2007

    RE: Christmas and Spring break... I'm sure out of a class 1 parent/ child would be willing to care for it :)
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    92

    Sep 29, 2007

    I just bought one of those but I have no idea how to care for it.:confused:
     
  20. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 29, 2007

    I have had gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters. I think the gerbils were the most fun. They get very busy when you drop a paper towel roll in their cage. (mine were in an aquarium with a special top). The hamster is more nocturnal and wasn't that active during the day. Guinea pigs were a lot of work, in my opinion. I didn't think the gerbils were that much trouble. However, I don't have any class pets now and plan to keep it that way.
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 29, 2007

    I really didn't either, but it is supposed to attract its own food. We put a few flies around it, but it never ate them. Only its own. I don't have windows, so we would put it outside on nice days and it seemed to do OK. I feel bad, but I let it die after school was out. I didn't really want it at home.
     
  22. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2007

    The best is a stuffed animal. A classroom mascot. Students write stories about it. You name it. It doesn't stink. It doesn't take time to take care of it. You don't have to buy food for it. AND the students love it. One class had a rainforest theme and they had a pet wooden shake.
     
  23. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    520
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2007

    Now that's what I call a low-maintenance class pet. Just my style!!
     
  24. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2007

    I will add my vote for a Beta(siamese fighting fish). I have had the same one for the third year. And HIS name is Matilda! That's what happens when you let the kids vote. Our district has outlawed anything with fur due to allergies. One of our teachers got a hairless rat-she loved it but it was really rather ugly!
     
  25. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2007

    I have been looking for an easy pet forever but then I decided I was just lazy and really didn't want anything that I would have to clean. My mom suggested a robotic dog, and although she was kidding the more I thought about it the better the idea got.:)

    Or you could always go the pet rock way.
     
  26. cosmoteach

    cosmoteach Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2007

    I have had a guinea pig in my classroom for the last 3 years. She is really easy! I have the parents sign up for weekends to take her home-she is always booked, because past families sign up too! Families contribute her food and other supplies. And on Fridays(before she goes to a home), past students come in and help me clean her cage. She is very easy and really fun for our class!
     
  27. jmpteaches

    jmpteaches Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 1, 2007

    My venus fly trap died when my students kept sticking their fingers in its "mouth" to see it close. Eventually it died due to lack of food. Now that I know that though, I think I would try it again and have a discussion about how to keep it alive with the students. It's a really cool plant that most kids haven't seen and you still can (minimally) work on the idea of care for a living thing. When you can't have live animals in your school, it's a good pet!
     
  28. Violet

    Violet Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 2, 2007

    I had a tarantula in my classroom last year. The kids loved looking at it. It was also easy to maintain. Just add crickets once a week. :)
     
  29. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    190

    Oct 2, 2007

    Boy, my first thought was a Chia Pet!!!! :rolleyes:
    Low maintence...a trim with scissors every now & then, water. What could be easier?
     
  30. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 6, 2007

    One of the second rade teachers on my team got a Webkinz as her class pet. Every time she has a student of the week they get to take the webkinz home for the weekend. her kids love it, but like I said, I am doing 2 hermit crabs this year!
     
  31. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    92

    Oct 6, 2007

    I love my hermies. I actually have five now in two containers. A former student didn't want hers anymore. Not exciting enough I guess.
     
  32. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 6, 2007

    If I can remember correctly Venus fly trap leaves only eat one bug a week. It takes a while to digest. So when they don't seem to be eating it may be that it has already eaten. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm too lazy to look it back up on the internet.
     
  33. mclaugcr

    mclaugcr Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 6, 2007

    For the last 3 years, I have had a 10 gallon aquarium (freshwater) in my classroom. I have found that they are actually very easy to maintain. I just have to feed the fish once a day and add water when it gets low. My husband sets it up at the beginning of the year and comes in about every other month to do a water change. (He's the one who convinced me to have the fish.) It works for me and the kids love to watch the fish swim around.
     
  34. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    92

    Oct 7, 2007

    The Venus Flytrap has died. Oh well. It wasn't attracting the flys in the room anyway.
     
  35. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    65

    Oct 7, 2007

    I haven't read all the responses, but I've had many classroom pets. Right now I have fish, rats, a millipede, and box turtles. The easiest pets I've had has easily been the box turtles. I have two and they are in a large, low-sided clear tote (one of the ones made to slide under the bed). I change their bedding once a month or so and scoop it clean once a week. Other than that, it's just feeding and watering them. They are friendly pets, the kids help in taking care of them, and I can let them wander around the room. Just know , though, if you get a turtle, you are getting a long-time pet. They can live for quite some time (30 years or more sometimes.) Mine are Sheila and Chance and both were rescues.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Kelster95,
  2. nstructor,
  3. bella84,
  4. waterfall
Total: 477 (members: 6, guests: 447, robots: 24)
test