Horsense asked in PetsOther - Pets · 7 years ago

How many people choose insect --or arachnid-- pets for their young school-age children, rather than mammals?

Safe ones, of course!

Using them to show the child/ren how different pets have different needs, and so need to be taken care of differently?

(I know that most kids at one time or another catch bugs & put them in small jars, but I am talking about actually keeping them & taking care of them, in small reptile cages, or gallon sized jars with a screen lid.)

I used to watch the ants at the edge of our sidewalk, feeding them the cheese that my mom had given me because I was hungry . . . she never gave me any replacement cheese either, even though I was very skinny, and she usually couldn't see that I was feeding it to the ants. . . . I would have truly enjoyed having an insect terrarium! Mom had one, and an aquarium for fish, but we never had an inset terrarium. ): Even earwigs would have been fun, and, much more entertaining than nite-time TV shows!!

I have a Katydid and a Preying Mantis now . . . in *separate* abodes! LOL! (:


Yes . . . one of the benefits is that they have a relatively short lifespan, and so you can have quite a variety over a much shorter span of time!

Another benefit is the complete lack of vet bills! And, you don't have to walk them every day, butyou may want to try flying some of them . . . (My friend's brother used to tie a string around fig-eater beetles ( ), pulling it down into the shell on its back, and tie the other end to his finger, and go walking down the street with it! (I did it once, too, but I wished I'd had a much skinnier string, as it was almost impossible to get it into place! I am glad to read now that insects do not have pain sensors . . . which is another good reason to start kids out with insects!

Update 2:

I'd forgotten . . .

We had pretty large American Elm tree in the backyard, & each year there were more & more black, bristly, caterpillars on it, until it seemed they'd nearly defoliated it! One year I did put one of those critters in a jar adding leaves until it wanted no more & spun a cocoon. I left the jar in the patio, & just happened to be home the morning that it the cocoon & came out. I remember taking it out & letting it dry on the flowering Peach tree, and eventually watching it fly away. (:

Before that year, though, I had played with the caterpillars like dolls . . . gathering many of them to put in my secondhand red wagon, and pulling them around. (;

They truly were bristly, though, and *not* good for petting! Notice:

(They actually felt *very* scratchy & uncomfortable to handle.)

My girlfriend had silkworms each year, which she kept in a shoe box. I remember going down the street with her to

2 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Good question and something to seriously consider. I remember being very impressed at a young age when a teacher in school had an "ant farm". All of us would keep track of how ambitious they were. It sounded down many lessons in our little brains. Even if we did not know it.

    Especially young children need easy type pets. People are way too quick to get a cat or puppy before the child is ready for it.

  • 7 years ago

    I find your question very interesting, Horsense!

    My brother and I were two kids that did have insects as pets for instructional education. Our parents encouraged it. I remember we did have an ant farm and those little critters entertained us for hours on end. We lived in the mountains with few neighbors and no other kids around to play with so our folks were very smart when they insisted that we study the insect world. I also remember capturing the fuzzy little caterpillars and putting them in a jar with some small limbs (poked plenty of holes in the lid of the jar). We watched as they turned themselves into a cocoon and then after several weeks, bingo, a beautiful butterfly appears as if by magic. I knew there was no magic involved and that the end effects creature was part of Jehovah's great scheme. The master planner by using his Son to accomplish his will, has provided endless marvels for all of us to enjoy and particularly children.

    Along with insects we had several reptilian pets. My younger brother and I had a pet snake lizard who we named Lizzy. We took him down to Oceanside, California on vacation when I was about 10 years old. He got loose and we never did find the critter. I remember tracking him in the sand but it was useless, he had gotten away and we were very sad. We had a little leash for him and we would pin it to our shirt and then scare all the little girls with him. Oh, the memories.

    I also remember my Grandmother being afraid to come into our bedroom. She tells a story about lizards being under every sea shell in our sleeping room.

    And speak about horned toads!!! We had a million of them! No, not really, but we had a bunch. My brother and I share the same memory. We were playing in one of the clearings on our ranch and scads of these little toads started coming up out of the dirt. Hundreds of them. He and I know exactly where it happened which makes this no horned toad fantasy. No, it really did happen. This would have been back in about 1961. Again, oh the memories!

    Source(s): Please, Horsense, give the best answer to Zebra. I came in late on this question! Thanks
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