Classroom Pets?

My classroom is almost finished! 
Hip Hip Hooray! 

I have put in many, many hours this week. I can’t wait to share pictures soon! 

Now I am thinking about some of the “details” of my classroom. I am wrestling around the idea of a classroom pet. In elementary school I LOVED when teacher’s had pets. I want a pet that would be fun for the kids, but somewhat easy for me. I have thought about a frog, or a hermit crab or maybe a rabbit? 
I have been researching all day...

Ribbit, Ribbit (Source)

This might creep me out. (Source)

Aweee (Source)

In my classroom pet google-ing I came across this awesome program: Pets in the Classroom. They have six different grants to help fund classroom pets for the purpose of teaching children how to care and bond with animals.  The grants can be used to purchase the pet and supplies and equipment needed. Applications for the 2012-2013 school year will be available on August 1st. The information can be found at the Pets in the Classroom website HERE.

I also came across an entire blog about classroom pets! You may recognize some of the blog contributors too. Visit Critters in the Classroom by clicking HERE.

So, here are my questions for you:
 Do you have a classroom pet? 
What kind? 
Any pet advice?

I hope you are having a great weekend! : ) 


  1. I have had hamsters, and hermit crabs. I was thinking about a hamster, but the pets at our school have to be brought home over the weekend.
    Good luck deciding!

  2. Hi Sarah,
    I have had a rabbit, a hermit crab, worms and fish. i would say NO to a rabbit because they chew on cords and lots of other interesting things (but they are totally adorable). The hermit crab was a great pet. Very easy. My current fish is a 69 cent goldfish from Petco that has been around for over a year. I am an awful fish mommy, but this guy is amazing! However, he was my replacement fish for a FOSS animal unit because the previous fish all died. So I think my guy is a rarity. My very favorite pet? WORMS!! I have red wigglers that we put in a compost bin. The kids all get to hold them when I bring them in, then we add them to the compost bin and feed them weekly. The children get to see how the worms help food decompose. I really do love these garden helpers!
    An Open Door

  3. I have had hermit crabs, fire bellied toads, worms, a rabbit, and then for a brief time butterflies, turtles, and chicks. I still have a bunny and he comes to school some but I enjoy having him at home too much to have him live at school the whole time. I loved the fire bellied toads. We don't have a sink in our room so cleaning the tank was kind of a pain. The hermit crabs were easy but I really like having and learning about an animal from one of the 6 animal families we learn. When I do have a pet, it is never in the very beginning because I want to set up the expectations about how we treat the pet first. I do love having a pet and it is a great way to teach and learn responsibility. We also do a lot of animal observation outside since it is stated in our TEKS about how much science observation should take place outside the classroom.

    I cannot wait to see pictures of your room. I will try and email you this week about CD. =)


    Heather's Heart

  4. Confession: I am not a huge fan of animals. *Please don't hate me.* I had fish, a bird, and hermit crabs growing up, and they all scared me! lol. But I also think there is a lot to be learned from raising a pet.

    One thing you may consider is a "Webkinz pet." It's a virtual pet so there is no mess or smell, you don't have to worry about who will take care of the little guy (or gal) during school breaks, and it's OKAY if you forget to feed it. lol. I purchased one for my class (the Webkinz company happened to have one that matched our school mascot -- hooray!) and am really excited to introduce it. To feed him/her, you can go to their online site and play games (some of which are educational) to earn coins for food. There are other fun options, like decorating its house and such, that may be fun for kids and help you introduce "needs v. wants." I think you can purchase the digital animal directly online, but I actually purchased a stuffed animal (with a code) from a hardware store (of all places!). The lady I talked to at the hardware store said her son had them for a handful of years and never got tired of it; she also claimed that these virtual animals don't die, which is always a plus in my book! :)

    A virtual pet may not be exactly what you'd intended, but it may be the best choice, since it sort-of allows you the best of both worlds.

    ~Mrs. K. from The Teacher Garden Blog

    1. I love this idea! I think the kids would love it too. I will have to do some research.

  5. I currently have a fish in my classroom. One thing you might want to consider with getting any animal with fur is that some students could be allergic to your critter. I have a sweet bunny named Lou Lou that came up to school with me when we were studying animal coverings. She was just going to be our guest for a week, but I had a student with asthma and my cute little bunny made this poor kiddo have terrible asthma attacks. Hamsters are small enough that I wouldn't think anyone would have negative reactions to it. I had one once and the kids LOVED to get the hamster out if work was completed early and let him roll in his ball around the rug (great incentive to work quickly, but still do their best and turn in quality work). Good luck in whatever critter you choose. Do you think chickens make good class pets? I still have all 8 that we hatched and you can have one for your class (hee hee).
    -Mrs. Rich

    1. Ahhh! I'm so glad that you are on blogger! I miss those little chicks. Are they all grown up now? At my new school we hatch chicks in the spring too through the Ag. department so they take them back at the end. I am so excited! Are you ready for the new year? I love following you and Mrs. Schmidt on Pinterest! : )