Low-maintenance pets in the special education classroom can be a great way to help students learn and grow. They provide an opportunity for social interaction, stress relief, and emotional support that can make all the difference in a student’s life.
Not only do low-maintenance pets bring joy to classrooms, but they also offer teachers valuable teaching opportunities. With their presence, children can learn empathy and responsibility through taking care of their pet companions. Low-maintenance pets don’t require extensive time or money investments from either teacher or student – making them ideal for special education settings where resources and time may be limited or stretched thin.
The Best Low-Maintenance Pets for the Special Ed Classroom
From insects to reptiles, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding a low-maintenance pet that’s perfect for your classroom. Having low-maintenance pets can give you the opportunity to teach your students how to care for them and develop empathy. Here are some teacher and student favorites!
A beta fish is an ideal low-maintenance classroom pet for special education classrooms. Not only are they easy to care for and affordable, but they also provide a calming presence in the room that can help students relax and focus on their studies.
Beta fish require very little space or equipment – all that’s needed is a small tank, food, and clean water – so teachers don’t have to worry about investing too much time or money into caring for them. They’re also easy to transport over holiday breaks if needed.
Plus, these colorful little fish can be quite entertaining! With their vibrant colors and unique personalities, it’s no wonder why beta fish are a teacher and student classroom pet favorite!
Worms make for great, low-maintenance classroom pets in special education settings. Not only do they require minimal care from both teacher and student, but they also provide unique learning opportunities. Worms are easy to maintain as they don’t need regular feeding or cleaning like other animals; instead, their diet consists of soil and decaying organic matter in their environment.
Worms can help students develop responsibility through tasks like monitoring their health and making sure their habitat is properly maintained. Watching a worm move around its environment can also be calming for students who may have difficulty managing anxiety or stress. Worms are an excellent choice, albeit an unusual choice, for low-maintenance classroom pets that will make kids smile!
Bearded dragons are another animal that makes a great, low-maintenance pet for the special education classroom. They require minimal care and attention to stay healthy, meaning they are perfect for classrooms with limited resources.
To properly care for a bearded dragon, teachers and students need to provide them with a diet of vegetables, crickets, mealworms, and occasional fruits, as well as a tank with temperatures ranging between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit for basking and 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit for cool spots.
They can live seven to 10 years in captivity, meaning they don’t need to be replaced often. Bearded dragons are also an ideal size for classrooms and possess a docile temperament making them unlikely to cause harm or disrupt learning.
Speaking of not causing harm or disrupting learning, stuffed animals also make a great low-maintenance classroom pet! They can provide the same emotional and academic benefits as live animals without requiring any of the additional care or cost that comes with keeping a pet.
Stuffed animals don’t need to be fed, walked, groomed, or taken to the vet – all they need is some occasional dusting and cuddling! Plus, stuffed animals come in many shapes and sizes, so teachers can find one that fits their unique needs.
From small teddy bears to larger plush toys, there’s something for every student who wants a furry companion in class. You can have one classroom pet, or everyone in the class can have their own! With their convenience and affordability, stuffed animals make an ideal choice for low-maintenance classroom pets in special education settings.
If stuffed animals are too pricey or distracting for your students, try a pet rock! Nothing is more low maintenance than a rock!
A pet rock is a popular low-maintenance pet that is becoming increasingly popular in classrooms. It provides an easy way for teachers to incorporate fun, interactive learning activities into their curriculum. A pet rock can help students learn responsibility and empathy as they attend to its “needs.” Pet rocks are especially beneficial since they require neither time nor money investments for care.
For added fun, students can decorate their rocks with googly eyes, fur, markers, and anything else that you have around as craft supplies! Each pet rock will be unique!
Adopt an Animal
If all of that seems too much and both living and non-living classroom pets would be too distracting for your students, adopt an animal instead! One of the easiest ways to do this is to adopt a zoo animal. You can then create a special spot in the classroom that is dedicated to learning more about the adopted animal. If the zoo has an animal cam for the animal you can watch it throughout the school day. Use any money that you would have spent on supplies to care for a living classroom pet on the adoption fee for the zoo animal!
Make sure that you carefully consider all of the pros and cons of having a class pet before bringing one into the classroom. There are logistical and environmental concerns that could impact the animal’s quality of life. The mere presence of the animal could also cause disruptions and make classroom and behavior management challenging. If you do decide to get a classroom pet, make sure you get one that will be low-maintenance and cost-effective!