The Big Idea: Building kids’ understanding of and respect for all creatures helps them develop empathy and gentleness…and compassion carries over to relationships with other people.
- Watch the video together, then watch it again, asking children to name the animals they see.
- Point out that Earth is home to a lot of different creatures. Discuss the difference between wild animals and animals that depend on humans to care for them, those that can be pets. Talk about treating animals thoughtfully—whether it’s handling a pet gently and taking good care of it, or keeping a safe distance from wild animals and helping to make sure their habitats are clean and protected.
- Try one or more of these ideas:
- Invite kids to show you their favorite stuffed animal—toys are the first introduction many kids have to the animal kingdom. What sound does that animal make? How does it move (creep, fly, gallop, and so on)? Animals can’t talk, but they can communicate. Ask, “How do you think the dog is feeling when she’s wagging her tail?” “What might it mean when a cat rubs against your leg?”
- Read a story featuring animal characters.
- Go for a nature walk! Look around, and listen for animal noises. Even in urban areas, you can find birds, bugs (bees, ants, etc.), and people walking dogs. Use a plastic magnifying glasses to look at bugs up close.