We talk a lot about the fascinating world of insects and how you can enjoy this in your living room. Insects also make good pets for kids. Maybe even better than the more commonly kept cats, dogs and rabbits. If your 7-year old keeps whining about a pet, you should definitely check out to let them keep a pet insect.
But, there is more to it than just plain enjoyment. Although insects are the most successful animal on the planet, it doesn’t go very well with this important group of species. In this article, I will discuss the reasons why I think every child should have a pet insect when he or she wants to have a pet animal!
Many insects are so easy to care for that your child probably could independently look after his or her own pet insect. Caring and raising insects will teach your child valuable lessons ranging from responsibilities to respect and curiosity for insects and their important role in nature. Consider that pet insects are easier, safer and cheaper to care for compared to keeping cats, dogs or horses.
Keeping insects is safe for young kids
Many popular insect species are calm and docile. They don’t bite, they don’t sting, they don’t harm your child in any way. A perfect opportunity to learn kids that insects are not scary and that they don’t have to be afraid of them.
When your kid is keeping a pet insect in a proper enclosure, they learn that they can’t escape and don’t have creepy abilities where they haunt children. No, not at all. They are quite tame, can walk on your child’s hand and are even more predictable than sometimes cat or dogs are.
Besides that, another myth is that insects are dirty. On the contrary! Many bugs are very clean creatures instead.
Keeping insects teach kids responsibility
To have a pet of their own is the ultimate way to let your child teach what it is to have a certain responsibility. Because, a pet insect needs care too and is completely dependent on its little keeper.
However, the insect’s care is much less heavy and also much cheaper. But still, they need to feed the insect, keep the enclosure clean or refresh the substrate. Having a pet insect is a fun way to learn your kid to be responsible while enjoying the fascinating life of its insect buddy.
Keeping insects is educational
The insect is the perfect way to learn your kid about nature, birth, death, role of animals in nature. Most insects don’t live longer than 1 or 2 years, so it is not that long of a commitment, and you can see the insect grows, moult, metamorphose, become adult, maybe even breed and lay eggs, and ultimately die.
Many exotic pet insects are still much connected to your nature. Stick insects, for example, can be fed with leaves from your garden or local park. Millipedes, on the other hand, live in a substrate that you can make together with your child from products close to home.
This way, your kid also learn about local nature and the animals living in it. With the domesticated cats and dogs, you only buy products in the pet shops…
Keeping insects creates respect for animals and nature
“You only respect and protect what you know and value.“
As with all in life, you only respect things that you know and understand. And what you know and love is something to hold on and protect.
It’s simple: we can’t do without nature, and we can’t survive without insects. But we humans rapidly destroying both these precious things. We may only turn the tide when we understand its value and importance, and this starts with our children. Keeping insects can create this respect for animals and nature so that your kid later will be thoughtful in his or her future choices. Even when living in a large city, for from nature, you can bring some nature in your living room or child’s bedroom.
Keeping insects creates curiosity for animals and nature
There is so much to learn and tell about insects, and we can learn so much from insects as well. Somehow, kids have a natural curiosity to learn and know stuff, and what better way than having a non-conventional pet that your kid can keep and learn all about it.
The amazing social structure of an ant colony, for example, it both interesting to observe and let us learn much about care for your family, respect for each other, and that we all have to take care of our home and do jobs to keep it neat and tidy.
Don’t limit your kid to the enclosure in your living room, but step outside and discover the world of animals. Let them discover the world of cooperation like bees do, and the division of labour with termites. Colours and shapes make some bugs extremely notable, and others almost invisible because of its camouflage.
Use a pet insect to start sparking that curiosity engine so that they learn all about the beauty of life and enjoy each and every part of it.
Caring for insects is rather easy
We already talked a bit earlier, but caring for insects is rather easy. It is even so easy that children can do the care all by itself.
A dog needs to be walked, a cat needs to be groomed (and that is not always easy), and a horse stables need to be mucked out. But with pet insects, you only need to create a proper habitat — which is perfect for doing together — and provide food and water. Cleaning? Not much to it, and at least not daily (or even weekly).
And don’t forget that most pet insects are only a fraction of the costs compared to other conventional pets. So, the perfect pet to start for your kid, right?
Which bugs make good pets?
We talked much about why you should give your child a pet insect, but we also need to discuss which bugs are suitable for kids. Some insects are more difficult to keep than others. The best bugs for kids to start with are:
- Giant African snails
- Sun beetles
- Madagascar hissing cockroaches
- Stick or leaf insects
- Isopods (pill bugs)
- Millipedes (for example bumblebee millipedes)
Have fun enjoying how your kid enjoys and cares his first pet, and see how he or she become a small bug keeper!
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