Preschoolers Learning from Animals

The education of a child is usually considered incomplete without the exposure to animals. Many joys and sorrows are processed in the experience of caring for a pet.  The cultural broadening of learning about exotic animals is highly advantageous in a geographical education.

But perhaps the most fun filled and enjoyable is the barnyard experience. Preschoolers are the most adept at participating with the barnyard societal members than any other age group. Petting zoos usually have the domesticated fanfare for the youthful minds to engage. They can see the same creature over and over and experience the exuberance of first time love.

The infant goat nibbles and chews and aspires to bring giggles and thrills from the small ones. Lambs of fluffy wool and sleek pot belly pigs stir the imagination of the reality of Mother Goose and friends come alive. But when a zoo or tourist barnyard includes the experience of what exactly is done with these animals then the experience becomes not just gleeful and enjoyable but cognitively speaking enhances the scope of the child to experience life to the fullest.

Watching the shirring of a sheep and gathering the wool is much more enhancing. Sitting on a little stool and helping to milk the dairy cow connects the dots to the daily milk jug delivered from the refrigerator. Observing the stages of the chicken from egg to hatchling to hen is a life lesson in growth patterns.

Each of these lessons in the barnyard engages the five senses which enable the lessons taught to delegate to the memory a multi sensory experience.  The use of so many senses stimulates reminders throughout their lifetime, from the smell of the hay and dung to the feel of the soft fur and hard horns. Unlike books and toys, actually experiencing animals in their own home place gives the child an appreciation for animals that is concrete and tangible, without dominating their innocence or intruding on their learning with undue duties.

Preschool children learn that humble beginnings of the creature are to be respected and nurtured, starting the education of caring for the world in a responsible way early. The use of animals as a teaching tool for the preschooler cannot be underestimated. The learning parameters influence their world view as well as their personal view.

Since the concept of education is to broaden the child’s mind and interest, taking advantage of the lowly creature is wise when it comes to systematically teaching children societal duties to their world.