There have been many studies performed that have demonstrated the beneficial effects of having pets on children. Children who own a pet have been shown to benefit socially, educationally and in terms of their health, and research released in 2010 indicated that pet ownership engenders positive attitudes towards wildlife in children (Prokop and Tunncliffe).
As everyone knows, one of the easiest pets to keep is a fish. Inexpensive to buy and care for, children can be wholly responsible for them from a young age, which makes them an ideal initiation into the world of pet ownership.
If you’re thinking of getting a pet for your children, then why not consider one? Here are just a few of the benefits of fish ownership for children.
The Benefits of Children Keeping Pet Fish
• The concept of animals living in water and not being able to breathe air amazes children, and provides you with a great opportunity to give them a head start in biology by teaching them about the differences between fish, mammals and other categories of animal. This will get them questioning all sorts of things in the world, engendering a curiosity which will benefit them hugely when it comes to learning new things in an educational environment.
• Fish come in an array of different sizes, colours and shapes. Why not purchase a few different types (check that they’re compatible first) to provide some real visual stimulation? It makes a great art exercise to have your children draw them. You could even encourage them to invent their own type of fish and draw it for you.
• Fish keeping teaches children responsibility and empathy. Although you should always keep an eye on goings on, let your child think that they’re entirely responsible for their fish’s well-being. Learning to care for another living creature is an invaluable life lesson that they’ll carry forever.
• Owning a fish tank is a brilliant way to reduce stress, as proven by numerous studies. To create a calm, peaceful environment at home, an aquarium is a great place to start. Encourage your children to spend some time just watching the fish swimming around, and suggest that it’s a great place for them to go if they’re feeling a little overwhelmed or overtired.
• Many people are lucky enough to find baby fish swimming around one morning. Allowing your children to watch them grow offers a great opportunity to teach your children about the life cycle.
What You Need to Keep Fish
If you do decide to purchase a fish, here’s what you’ll need:
• A suitable tank
• Plants and other accessories to decorate your tank. Think about allowing your kids to get involved in choosing some of the décor themselves – they’re guaranteed to love it!
• A filter
• Heater and thermometer for tropical fish
• Fish food
• A reliable water testing kit and stabilisers
• Cleaning products
• A net
Visit a specialist like All Pond Solutions for a great range of solutions and expert help choosing everything that you’ll need to keep your new pet happy and healthy in his home.