Selecting a tarantula as a first pet can open a child up to the world of invertebrates, teach them responsibility and help them learn to research. Tarantulas are excellent first pets for children. They come in an array of colors, are easy to care for and for first time keepers, they can be relatively inexpensive. They offer a close and personal look at the world of invertebrates on rainy days when your child can’t go outside to play.
The world of invertebrates
Invertebrates are living things without a backbone. According to nathionalzoo.si.edu, they are in abundance, and are found everywhere you look. Butterflies, worms, and snails are among the most common invertebrates, and can offer hours of excitement for a child of any age. When selecting a first pet for your child, keep this in mind as you will want your child to stay fascinated and interested in their new companion.
Tarantulas offer many qualities that will both entice your child, and can cultivate their desire for continued learning. Many classrooms also use tarantulas as a tool for learning, teaching young children about the responsibilities of keeping a pet. Students learn about the tarantula’s many features and habits because they come in many varieties, sizes and vary by habitat needs and feeding demands.
When caring for a tarantula, a schedule can help a child anticipate the pet’s needs so it can remain healthy and live a long life. While many people opt for a dog or cat as their child’s first pet, a tarantula can offer the same amount of responsibility without the worry of costly food, vet visits and heavy, everyday maintenance. There are no carpet “accidents” to clean up, or messy toys to purchase.
Through proper research, you and your child can quickly learn how easy it is to care for a tarantula. Feeding, tank maintenance, and adjusting humidity are just some of the responsibilities that your child will take on. As you and your child learn the needs of a tarantula, make a chart to record what days and times maintenance will take place. Place stickers to record your child’s completion to bring about further excitement when it comes to caring for their pet.
Learning to research
Before acquiring a tarantula, care and thought should be put into researching your child’s first pet. There are many available sources both online and in libraries that will help you and your child gather information needed to make an informed decision when selecting a species. There are many different kinds of tarantulas, and each has it’s own individual needs. The size and living habits of the tarantula should be taken into account, as should whether your child will be raising a spiderling, (baby tarantula) or caring for an adult. The American Tarantula Society, tarantulasus.com, and arachnoboards.com offer a wide variety of information on forums, and pages dedicated to keeping invertebrates. The Tarantula Keeper’s Guide is another great source of information and is considered to be the most comprehensive book on tarantula keeping.
Children are fascinated by the living world, and by bringing a tarantula into your home, you will help cultivate their love of invertebrates, teach responsibility, and offer tools to gather information- which can aid in any new endeavor. With their colorful appearance, and possibly long lifespan, a tarantula can be an excellent addition to any child’s world.