Fur, Feathers and Fun

Did you know that October 4th is World Animal Day? There are a multitude of animal awareness and educational events happening all over the world, but here are a few ideas for a local celebration with the children in your life… none of which require so much as a passport.

Organize a pet party for younger children: Have them bring a favorite soft toy animal and make or draw a bowl of “food” for the guests. Stock up in advance with plenty of drawing materials, fabric scraps, etc. Get the children to think carefully about their guests’ seating arrangements – would it be fair to seat a cat next to a mouse, for example, or a tiger next to a rabbit? How might they entertain their guests?

Create fantasy pets out of junk model materials. Allow the children to be as fanciful as they wish, for example, an animal with ears like a rabbit, a face like a fish and the body of a horse. Get them to think of a name for their animal. What would it eat? Where would it live? How would they care for it?

Spend an afternoon on animal-related games that are fun for all ages. For example, label each child’s back with an animal name, then challenge them to guess what kind of animal they are by asking the others questions. “Do I eat grass? Can I fly? Do I have four legs?”

Give athletic kids a fun twist on practice by adding an animal slant to drills. For example, ball drills could become “sharks and minnows”, swimmers can play “snake in the water”, etc.

Engage older children: Guide teens through organizing a fundraising event for a local animal shelter or favorite animal charity, such as planning a local, sponsored dog walk.

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