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Preschool Children as Mother Hens

Many of you have probably been told by your children that LANK is enjoying housing and observing two little adorable fluffy chicks. We ordered the chicks and eggs from a farm in Maryland to help support our flagship unit on Oviparous animals beginning on March 20th. It has been a delightful week at LANK because the children have been having excited conversations about the chicks, and are enthralled watching their antics.

There has been a spirit of collaboration as both teachers and students congregated to name our new friends; the yellow chick is aptly named, “Salt” and the grey chick has been dubbed ”Pepper”. As I have watched this process unfold, it has really reinforced for me the importance of hands on activities, and making observation part of our daily learning. But it also reminds me of the important role animals can play in helping children grow emotionally. Children that are upset, or having difficulty with self-regulation are immediately calmed when watching our cute little chicks. All of our classes line up quietly and seem to adopt almost a mother hen like quality when visiting their feathered friends. This calmness supports the idea that classroom pets encourage nurturing and reduce both anxiety and behavior issues. There are many studies that reinforce this idea. But, the best way to measure how impactful live creatures can be at school is to simply see the joy in our LANK children.

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