Childlike Empathy: Connecting with Animals

When children are outdoors and are visited by an animal, such as the miniature horse like Blaze (Clay’s pet) who visited Little Lea Montessori Preschool or when children enter an animal’s space (nature) they just come alive. It’s as if they’ve been invited into a special world. Bringing a child to a wild place, a wooded park or even just a schoolyard, where there are opportunities to encourage wildlife sightings (such as a humming bird by the window, dogs in the backyard, bugs chirping in the tree, worms in the vegetable garden, turtles in the aquarium at home) or other kinds of connections, can help children develop that innate love for animals. Current research reveals that children who are supported in their love for animals tend to extend such love to other living things, such as plants and nature. Research also shows that when children are encouraged to care for animals, they tend to be more sensitive and caring toward other people. As a learning community, we highly encourage you to expose children to animals of all kinds to awaken a deep sense of connection and empathy. Such bond forged early will serve them for a lifetime of relationships.

Thank you James and Ash Barnes for making this a memorable experience for Little Lea family.

Published by Montessori Mom

Hello! My name is Gaye Haralu and am a resident of Harrodsburg, KY. I have lived here for the past 10 years working as a minister and Montessori teacher. I have been a working mother most of my adult life. Twenty years ago when our oldest children were very little and we had moved to another state to begin new jobs I did not know what we were going to do with our two little ones. Then we were introduced to a Daycare Provider who provided care for a number of children out of her home. She became part of the family and has set the bar so high! Our children loved her and loved going to her home. They learned a great deal about kindness and respect for all people from her. They also were read to abundantly every day and played outside constantly – even when it was snowing – especially when it was snowing! We moved away from that area but will forever be indebted to her dedication and care for our children. We have created Little Lea in-home Montessori day care in Harrodsburg to continue in the same vein and be a blessing to families who may need such an environment.

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