About a month or so ago I jokingly said to Eric that we should get Cate a goldfish, like Elmo's (shown below).
So last week Eric came home with this:
Cate saw the fish and immediately said, "Dorothy!" Dorothy is the name of Elmo's fish. She was super excited to have her very own Dorothy.
As it turns out, Eric's coworker was looking to find a home for her fish since she'll be moving within the next few months. It was a package deal though-- we also got a Betta fish, whom Cate named Mater, like the tow-truck in cars. The Betta was originally called Vader by Eric's coworker, and we told Cate that, but I think she just thought we said Mater.
Incidentally, we renamed our dog when we first got her too. Her original name was Sugarbelle and Eric said there was no way he was going to have a dog with that name.
But back to the fish...Cate is learning how to take care of them (as much as a two-year-old can). She feeds them every morning and evening with Daddy. She also "helps" clean out their bowls. Mater hangs out in our room while Dorothy's bowl is perched on the dresser in Cate's room. She loves having fish. We love teaching her how to help and take care of them.
Cate also helps us put dog food in Zoey's bowl, gives Zoey treats, and helps to put water in the big bowl that Zoey and Sierra (our cat) share. We pour the water into a bottle with a very thin spout and Cate in turn pours that into the bowl. She's pretty good at it.
All in all, I think pets are a great way to teach kids how to help and take care of things. What other ways do you help your children learn these things?