At Kids College we have pets and we also have animals that visit us regularly each bringing a valuable learning experience for the children. We have had Australian wildlife visits, chicken hatchings, worm farm visits, RSPCA visits and farm animal visits.
Observing, interacting with and learning to care for an animal can be a valuable part of a child’s education and care experience, enriching their learning. Providing children with access to animals in an education and care service can help them learn about the life cycle and relationships, and improve communication.Encouraging direct contact and developing bonds with animals, can help children build empathy.
Animals as the fourth teacher
Contemporary thinkers, put forward the notion of ‘animals as the fourth teacher’ building on the work of Malaguzzi in the town of Reggio Emilia. Malaguzzi’s ideology positions the parent as the child’s first teacher, the educator as the second and the environment as the third teacher, emphasizing the crucial role they all play in supporting children’s learning.
Animals improve children’s development in many ways, there is a range of benefits you can expect.
Interacting with animals helps children to work on their social skills with no pressure. After all, animals are easy to talk to! In addition, spending time with animals can help children to develop a strong sense of empathy. Of course, understanding others’ feelings is a vital skill to learn.
Research has shown that when children care for animals, they are more likely to have high self-esteem which in turn improves a range of outcomes throughout their lives.
Animals don’t care for themselves, and children are more capable than perhaps we give them credit for. Children can learn the responsibility of caring for an animal who relies on them to be fed, given water and cleaned. Responsibility is a valuable skill for life.
West Oz Australian Wildlife visit
Kids College visit from West Oz Wildlife, Meet Kiera the Koala. It was very special having a real-life Koala at Kids College, just like Cuddles our Kids College Koala logo.
West Oz Wildlife’s mission is to promote conservation through fun education and what better way to do that to bring Australian Wildlife right to the children
The experienced staff at West Oz wildlife believe the best way for children to learn about conserving our beautiful wildlife is through our awesome up close and personal hands-on experience. Teaching conservation through education.
They use animal-based activities that range from observation, animal care, safe animal handling and facts about each animal and the ecosystem in which they live. Habitat, diet, behaviours, adaptations to survive in the wild, interesting features, and a snake safety demonstration on what to do if you see a snake in the wild. Say g’day and walk away.
They present each animal separately, teaching about each of the species of wildlife. Children will learn about the basic dietary requirements of each animal, where they live and why they look the way they do.
All children get the opportunity to get up close and personal with all of the wildlife, they can pat all of the animals, have photos with each species, and hold all of the reptiles.
Fun facts about Australian Wildlife for young children
- Koalas are like cuddly bears! They sleep a lot and love munching on eucalyptus leaves, their favorite snack!
- Kangaroos are the best jumpers in the world! They hop and bounce like they’re playing on trampolines!
- Did you know that wombats have square-shaped poops? It’s true, and it helps them mark their territory!
- Emus are super fast runners! They can zoom as fast as a race car, making them the speediest birds around!
- Meet the quokkas, the happiest animals in the world! They smile all day and love taking selfies with visitors!
- The platypus is like a cool mixtape of animals! It has a duck’s bill, a beaver’s tail, and it lays eggs like a bird!
- Cockatoos are great dancers! They love grooving to their own beat and singing their hearts out!
- Dingoes are the wild dogs of Australia. They’re like adventurers exploring the vast Outback!
- Crocodiles are ancient giants! They’ve been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and they’re the kings of the rivers!
- The Tasmanian devils are little whirlwinds! They make funny noises and love spinning around like mini-tornadoes!
Kids College hatching baby chickens with Living Eggs
Living Eggs Ready Hatch is a two week comprehensive program where we get to keep children eggs in a incubator and watch them hatch. Being part of the chicken’s lifecycle is amazing to see and incredible experience for our children to learn from.
We get the fertilised eggs which were collected 18 days prior to their arrival to us. They are delivered to us and we settle them in their incubator. The incubator gives them the warmth, humidity and ventilation they need. At hatching the chicks break a lid off the egg (at the blunt end) by pushing out with their egg tooth on their beak. They break out all wet and shaky and after a few hours fluff up and get steadier on their feet. We then move them to a brooder box with some food and water with their siblings. They spend two weeks with us and then the team from Living Eggs fetches them and takes them to live on their free-range farm, grow up a bit and when they are big enough, they will start laying eggs that are stocking our local supermarket shelves.
Fun facts about chickens for children young children
- Chickens come in lots of colors! Some are white, some are brown, and some are even black!
- Chickens love to scratch and dig in the dirt to find tasty bugs and seeds to eat. They’re like little detectives!
- Did you know that chickens can’t fly very high? They can flutter a little, but they prefer to stay close to the ground.
- Chickens have a funny way of talking! They make lots of different noises, like clucks, squawks, and even little bawk-bawks!
- Baby chickens are called chicks, and they’re like tiny fluff balls when they hatch. So cute!
- Chickens have super strong legs and sharp claws that help them run and scratch around the farm.
- Some chickens lay eggs with different colors! Some eggs are brown, some are white, and some are even blue or green!
- Chickens love to take dust baths. They roll in the dirt to keep their feathers clean and shiny!
- Chickens have special friends called roosters. Roosters are like the alarm clocks of the farm and crow to wake everyone up in the morning!
- Chickens are curious creatures. They like to explore and peck at things they find interesting, like shiny rocks or little bugs!
RSPCA visit from Natalie and Gizmo
Kids College have enjoyed a visit from Natalie from the RSPCA and her with little doggie Mogwai.
RSPCA WA works directly with young people and community groups in Perth, delivering presentations with the aim of educating the public about animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, while sharing the story of the world’s oldest animal charity. We invited them to Kids College to teach our children how to love and care for animals, particularly how to interact with dogs that they are unfamiliar with. Mogwai was so incredible and we all lined up and asked permission top at him and introduce ourself to him in a safe manner for him and us. These visits encourage responsible pet ownership, promote empathy in treatment of animals, raise awareness of how to be safe around animals, reduce anti-social behaviour involving animals and raise awareness of the RSPCA campaigns.
RSPCA presentations focus on the 5 freedoms to promote a high standard of animal welfare in WA. The content of their presentations depend on the age group of the audience, as well as previous knowledge and experience.
How to explain the five Freedoms for animals so young children understand
- Yummy Tummy Time: We give animals fresh water and delicious food, so they never feel hungry or thirsty!
- Cozy and Comfy: Animals need a safe and cozy home, like a snug blanket fort, to feel happy and comfy all day!
- Boo-Boo Care: We keep animals healthy and strong! If they ever feel sick or get a tiny boo-boo, we help them feel better super fast!
- Playtime Galore: Animals love to play and have fun! We give them lots of space to jump, run, and wiggle their tails with their animal pals!
- No More Fright Night: We make sure animals feel safe and loved, so they never feel scared or sad. Happy hearts all around!
Cuddly animal farm visits
Each year we welcome the cuddly animal farm throughout the year and most especially for our big fathers day celebration.
The travelling farm includes: chickens, hens, a rooster, ducklings (if available), ducks, quail, rabbits, guinea pigs, lambs, goats, a piglet and (depending upon availability) a calf, alpaca or miniature horse (for patting). A short, age appropriate, talk is given by one of the Crew Members and thereafter children can interact with the friendly farm animals, cuddling, patting, hand and bottle feeding.
All the children participating in the incursion receive a Farm Entry Discount Voucher for a visit to the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm with Mum and Dad.
A Farmyard on Wheels Education session with Farmer Mick
A Farmyard on Wheels is a family owned and operated business that has been servicing Perth and surrounds for many years. A Farmyard on Wheels visit helps to bridge the gap between the city and the country by taking farm animals to us giving everybody the chance to touch and handle farm animals. With Farmer Mick we got to see guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, geese, goat, kids, sheep, lamb, and a pony.
By interacting with farm animals, we are teaching children how to love and care about the creatures in our world. It builds upon children’s natural curiosity to help them understand that animals also need to be warm, fed, and cared for, and that also translates into caring about others. Being with animals fosters empathy. In fact, this is a particularly important time to share these lessons — research shows that the second year of life is the most critical period for the development of empathy.
Fun facts about farm animals for young children
- Chickens are like distant cousins to the T-Rex. How cool is that? Dinosaurs in the chicken family!
- Some fancy chickens lay eggs with fun colors. Green or blue eggs, anyone?
- Chickens are little chatterboxes, and they have over 200 different ways to talk to each other!
- Pigs are super smart, like super-duper smart! They’re the fourth smartest animals in the world!
- Cows are smart too! They know their names, even if they might not come when we call them.
- Baby sheep are called lambs, mommies are ewes, and daddies are rams. We’ve got a family reunion on the farm!
- Ducks have super cool waterproof feathers. They stay dry and cozy even in the water!
- Geese are true lovebirds. They stay with their special someone forever and ever!
- Cows are like weather experts. They can sense a storm coming and find a comfy spot to lie down.
- Pigs don’t have sweat glands, so they roll in mud to stay chill and avoid sunburns. They’re the mud masters!
- Goats are awesome friends to other farm animals like horses, cows, and chickens. They’re the cool crowd!
- Guess what? Goats are super neat and tidy! They’re picky eaters and don’t want any yucky stuff in their food.
Wonderful worm waste
Wonderful worm farm is a fun and hands-on education program about waste reduction with a focus on worms and worm farming which introduces Animal science and technology to children. Children enjoy an amazing presentation learning all about worms and they even make a worm farm each to take home.
A fun and entertaining presentation that is contextualised to our age group of children educating children about recycling, better choices they can make about how worms can help manage organic waste, worm farming, life cycles and threatened native species.
Our children were amazed at the size of the Giant Gippsland Worm! They got to see s scale model of the worm which is 3 meters long.
Children have the opportunity to examine worms, worm tea and worm eggs up-close using magnifying loops. Then they make their mini worm farms to take home and share with family and friends. The children also be take home instructions on how to look after their mini worms.
Vicki Power started the Wonderful Worm Waste schools program in 2012 as a Perth, Western Australia-based sustainability education service. The program highlights waste reduction in schools and at home with the primary focus being on worm farming and the (mini-beasts) worms. Vicki brings with her 35 years’ experience in conservation education in the areas of research and captive breeding of many of Australia’s threatened and endangered species in zoos across Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Her level of professional knowledge and her ability to capture the imagination of the children leaves a profound and lasting impression. Inspiring children to feel they can make a difference in this world is something she feels passionate about. Caring for our environment and living more sustainable lives is the message she instills into the classroom activity.
We even have our very own worm farm at Kids College that we look after and use.
Fun facts about worms for young children
- Worms are like little wiggly superheroes! They help keep the soil healthy and full of nutrients for plants to grow big and strong.
- Worms don’t have any bones! They’re like little bendy noodles.
- Did you know worms have no eyes? But they can feel light and dark with their special skin.
- Worms are great at recycling! They eat old leaves and food scraps, and then turn them into amazing compost for the garden.
- Worms are super slimy! That gooey slime helps them slide through the dirt and makes them super cool!
- Worms love to play hide-and-seek. They dig tunnels in the soil and wriggle around to find the coziest spots.
- Worms come in lots of colors, like brown, pink, and even green! They’re like a rainbow in the dirt.
- Worms have no legs, but they can move like magic! They stretch and squiggle, and that’s how they get around.
- Worms are great listeners! They can feel vibrations in the ground, so they know when someone is walking nearby.
- Worms are nature’s recyclers. They turn our old apple cores and banana peels into yummy compost, just like magic!
Buzz Ed visit from Luke
Luke de Laeter is a new generation of apiarist who is sharing his passion for bees and biodiversity through presenting a unique Bee Incursion Program.
Luke’s love of nature started at an early age, but his bee obsession began when he was given a small hive for his 14th birthday. Years later he now has his own business teaching others and works as a commercial beekeeper to gain more experience to enhance his presentations.
Luke is registered with the Department of Agriculture and has a registered Food Business. He has completed a Certificate III in Beekeeping and Certificate III in Business. He also has a Working with Children Check, Public Liability Insurance and an Incursion Risk Assessment.
In 2020 Luke proudly won the Beazley Medal VET and the Australian Meeting of Young Beekeepers. He has spoken to more than 10 000 children, teenagers and adults in schools, community groups and festivals about his passion for bees.
Luke shares his bee journey and inspires others to be more aware of the importance of bees in our environment. His topics include:
- Importance of Bees
- Beekeeping Suit and Tools • Parts of a Hive
- Inside a Hive
- Life Cycle of a Bee
- Types of Bees
- Honey Products
- Native Bees
Fun science facts about bees for young children
- Imagine if your brain was like a tiny superhero computer! That’s what it’s like for a honeybee. Even though their brains are tiny, like a sesame seed, they can do lots of smart things. They can find their way home, like a GPS, and they have a special bee dance language!
- Did you know bees are great travellers? To make just one big jar of honey, bees need to fly as far as going around the world three times! That’s really, really far. And guess what? A tiny drop of honey can give a bee enough energy to fly all the way around the world!
- Bees have super vision! They can see colours that we can’t, even though they can’t see red like we do. They can still find red flowers because they see a special pattern that we can’t. And guess what? Bees can see a special kind of purple that we can’t see at all!
- A bee’s spit is pretty cool! It can make things feel numb, like when you go to the dentist and they give you a special medicine so your teeth don’t hurt.
- Bees have really strong wings that let them fly fast and far. They can fly for six whole miles, as fast as your bike goes downhill! They use so little energy that a tiny bit of honey can fuel a bee’s trip around the entire world. The buzzing sound we hear when bees fly is their wings flapping super-duper fast!
- In the chilly winter months, bees have a cool trick to stay warm. They can unhook their wing muscles and make them shake like they’re shivering. This helps to keep their home nice and toasty.
- Bees have an incredible sense of smell, even better than fruit flies or mosquitoes. Their sniffing power is so good that people are learning how to use bees to find dangerous things like bombs.
- Bees love to touch and dance! They use their antennae (like their hands) to touch each other during a special dance. This dance tells the other bees where they can find yummy food or a good spot for a new home.
- Bees are a little bit like superheroes. They can sense electric fields and tell how big or small they are. When a bee, which is positively charged, lands on a flower, which is negatively charged, pollen sticks to the bee like magic!
So, even though they are tiny, bees are like little superheroes, with super brains, super vision, super speed, and even super sniffing powers! Isn’t that amazing?
Quote from Kids College Philosophy
‘We also embed sustainability and recycling at Kids College to support our place in our modern global climate of environmental responsibility.’
‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ and Kids College values our partnership with parents and our community that takes pride in our position as our children’s home away from home, ensuring our families and children build a strong sense of belonging to the kids College family.’
National Quality Standards
1.2.1. Intentional Teaching. Educators are deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in their decisions and actions.
6.2.3. The service builds relationships and engages with its community
Kids College Family
At Kids College we work each day embedding our values and philosophy into each facet of what we do. We continually improve our practices by critically reflecting and engaging in meaningful relationships with our community and for this we need your support and input. Make sure to follow Kids College Childcare on facebook, watch for our regular emails and keep an eye on our Kids College website. Share in our vision of creating the very best childcare where children experience love, laughter and learning every day. You can reach us on Jennifer@kidscollege.com.au
With love, laughter and learning from your friends in the
‘village it takes to raise a child’
Teacher Jen and the Kids College Childcare family