View Full Version : Please share experiences on educating children about animals

03-03-2016, 03:47 AM
Dear fellow animal enthusiasts,

I知 doing a research on animal and human relationship for the faculty industrial design at the TU Delft. I知 interested in the way children are currently taught about animals and the way this translates to their connection with the animals in real life situations. Lately animals that are represented in the child orientated media (books, movies, etcetera) have become more and more humanized, leaving children the need to learn about animals in other ways. In order to design something for these children that will teach them how to interact with animals I first need to know what their new sources of knowledge are.

Therefor I hoped people on this forum would be able to help me by sharing their experiences trough stories and preferably photographs. These stories would eventually be used to create my final design, which would likely be implemented at a local animal petting zoo to help the children communicate with the animals.

I would be delighted if any of you could share pictures or stories on the following subjects:
- A child learning about animals, through any means even if the information provided is contrary to the actual animal behaviour.
- A child痴 first interaction with a new type of animal
- The products or people that taught you (the adult) about animal behaviour.

At March 13th I will post the outcome of this research on this forum and on April 7th I will share my eventual design with all of you.

Thanks a lot for your time and attention! I知 looking forward to hearing about all your experiences!

04-03-2016, 05:46 PM
Hello Janwillem,
I remember in the 1980s when I was a kind of 'foster mother' to two teenagers for a number of years. One of the children, a girl, became pregnant when she was 17. It was a happy situation as she was in a nice relationship with her boyfriend, and they really wanted a child, so no problem there. They had an adorable little girl who was well loved, and looked after.
Well about age 2, the little girl became very interested in any animals and wildlife etc. One day she discovered a nest of Slow Worms- (legless Lizards which look like tiny snakes) -in the garden.
Full of joy, she grabbed one, but grabbed it too hard and injured it.

I rescued the Slow Worm and treated its wounds, explaining to her what had happened and why. I showed her what to do to help it (a herbal remedy I bound on to it with a bandage.) Then I put it to rest under a shelter made from planks and grass.
The little girl had meant no harm, she was just clumsy. She became very interested in helping the Slow Worm.

Each day we went together to visit it and to change its dressing. She helped me prepare the herbs.

And then a few days later the Slow Worm had moved to a new place not far away, so I could tell it was feeling better. All these things I shared with the little girl, and got her to help me with everything. I took the dressings off because the wound looked much better.

Then one day we went there and it had gone. I made a little 'party' for the Slow Worm going home, and we had a picnic out there and sang songs.