We've all heard the stories of people looking after the school pets, and having to visit the pet shop before returning to school because the pet didn't quite make it through the holidays!
Well we've fortunately never had that experience ourselves, although we have had goldfish to look after for a couple of weeks during the school holidays, and the class hermit crabs for a weekend.
Neither of those, however, caused as much excitement as bringing home the special cuddly class toy each year! This week we've had two cuddly mice - called Miss Pearly and Miss Spotty from our younger daughter's class at school.
They get to go home with each child from the class in turn for a few days each. They have their own special bag, some mousey books to read, and a journal for each child to write, draw and add photos telling of their own adventures with the cuddly mice!
The kids adore this experience each year, and spend so much time showing the cuddly animal around their house, playing with them, inevitably they join us for meals, and snuggle up with the kids at bedtime.
I've also had strict instructions of what to feed them and when, while our daughter is out at school! (which of course I have done!)
One of the best parts of this experience (in my opinion) is the journal the kids write at the end of their visit. It is such a fun way to encourage the kids to write and tell their story. When they go back to school, they all read the mice's new adventures together and look at the pictures. A lot of thought and effort goes into these journal entries, and the kids don't see it as 'homework' - they all WANT to do it! That has to be a good thing!
This is something that for us, started in Kindergarten with a possum, then we've had a puppy and also a bear dressed as a ladybird (??). We don't have a pet ourselves, but even those kids who do, seem to enjoy their visits from these cuddly toy pets just as much!
I must say I've preferred the cuddly pet visits more than the real pet ones!
How about you? Have your kids brought home school pet? Real or cuddly?
We'd love to hear your stories and thoughts about this! Do leave us a comment!