Clearly, animals are important, and most adults recognize this. Animals not only ignite cognitive curiosity, but also evoke emotional responses in children. Just think of the delight a child feels when he sees a chipmunk or a family of ducklings swimming in a pond, or the pure joy he expresses when a colorful butterfly flies by. A few wasps approaching a group of preschoolers at a picnic can cause screams and panic.
Give the same group of children a fluffy white puppy and the explosion of delight is almost palpable. Whatever form a child’s love for animals takes, it is clear that animals are very important to children. Some children are more open in their love than others. Some children have many lovers, while others limit their love to one or two. What seems absolutely true is that just about any child you ask will be able to tell you what they like about animals.
Ask a shy child what their favorite animal is and they will open up right away. Children love to tell stories about their pets, animals they have seen in the wild, special memories of the zoo and other meaningful events. This alone tells us something basic and simple: animals are important and special to children.