One of our children’s favourite activities is to take care of our pets. They begin to recognize that these are living creatures, not toys or amusements, and thus they develop a sense of care and compassion. The additional benefit of taking care of pets, is that it introduces to the child at a young age, the very important concept of ‘responsibility’. Care does not just mean loving, it means cleaning, feeding and making sure the pet’s environment (home) is safe and healthy. This is also the work of a child.
As Maria Montessori said, “The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.”