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Pets for Kids: Fish

pets for kids: fish

My kids have always wanted a pet, but Mike has pretty intense allergies. We have been raising silk worms (currently waiting for eggs to hatch), and at the end of the year Emma’s third grade teacher asked if we would like to take care of the class goldfish and minnow for the summer. She even offered us a wonderful five-gallon tank, filter, food, and water conditioner to get started. We were very happy to say yes!

Pets for Kids: Fish

Fish can technically live in an empty tank, but Emma was very concerned that the needed some intellectual stimulation. We set off for the pet store, where each child was allowed to pick one thing to go in the tank. Anna was asleep, so they picked out colorful aquarium gravel for her, Emma added a castle, Lily a resin turtle, and Johnny plants. We had glass marbles and seashells that also went into the tank, just in case the fish were still short on interesting things to look at. I have to say that the fish seem very happy in their new home!

fish as pets for kids

Emma’s class fish had somehow made it thorough the year unnamed, so the kids got to pick out names. Emma, Johnny, and Lily picked names for the three goldfish – basketball (top fish, named by seven-year-old Johnny), Orangey (middle fish, named by five-year-old Lily), and Foxtail (named by nine-year-old Emma).

fish make easy first pets for kids!

Two-year-old Anna named the lone minnow Cat, sometimes called Kitty.

These fish are very low maintenance. So far the water has stayed very clean (we’ve had them for about two and a half weeks), and Emma is great about feeding them every morning. They really brighten up our home!

Do you have fish or another pet?

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The Educators’ Spin On It, Mama Smiles, Planet Smarty Pants, Relentlessly Fun Deceptively Educational, This Reading Mama

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MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

13 thoughts on “Pets for Kids: Fish”

  1. Elisa | blissfulE

    So fun! Will the fish go back to the school at the end of the summer? It looks like they are living in a wonderfully beautiful and stimulating environment. :) No pets here, though if i had to have one, I think fish would be my top choice!

    1. The teacher left the choice up to us – we can give them back or keep them. I’m guessing the kids will vote to keep them!

  2. I’ve never successfully kept fish. I won one from a carnival, but it died shortly after I got it. I do love to look at them though.

  3. What an honor to take care of the class fish! We don’t have any pets but hopefully in the future we can. Just scared of the added responsibilities lol.

  4. What a fun Summer project to take care of the class pet! My daughter has had a fish for over a year. Although she got bored pretty quickly with the lack of interaction from the fish, she’s definitely learning about responsibility in taking care of it!

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