Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about caring for pets and animals. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Caring for Pets topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About Caring for Pets

Class Pet
If possible, get a class pet. This will provide a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about animal care and responsibility. Together as a class, discuss what kind of pet would be appropriate. Does a student have allergies to any animals? Why might a dog not be the best pet for a class? After choosing a pet, discuss what the animal would need to live and be happy. What kind of food does it eat? What kind of shelter does it need? Have students conduct research in the library or on the Internet. You may wish to divide the class into small groups and have each group research and present on an aspect of the animal’s needs. Create a schedule that outlines the pet’s feeding and cleaning schedule. Who will take the animal home on the weekends? Finally bring the pet to class and review proper handling techniques, how to clean the cage, and how to feed the pet.

Pet Survey

As a math activity, take a survey of the kinds of pets students own. How many students have dogs? How many have cats? How many have snakes? Create a tally chart on the board and write down students’ answers. Then have students draw a pictograph or bar graph using the data. Encourage students to think about how pictographs and bar graphs help visualize data. Discuss the graphs and help students analyze the data. Which pet is most popular? Which pet is least popular? How many more dog owners than cat owners are in the class?


If possible, bring in someone who works with animals to describe their jobs and their training. You may want to bring in a veterinarian, an animal rescue worker, a shelter volunteer, or zoo keeper. You may wish to brainstorm questions with your students before the interview. Where did the person go to school? What did he or she study? What are the hardest and easiest parts of the job? If possible, have the interviewee explain tips with working with animals.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Caring for Pets

Pets in Need

Visit a local animal shelter, or pet adoption fair with your child. Explain that many pets get abandoned because their owners can no longer take care of them. Other pets get lost during moves or during emergencies, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. If possible, you and your child can volunteer for an afternoon, by providing human contact and affection for the animals and training them so they are ready to live in new homes.

Get a Pet

A pet is a great way to teach responsibility. Before getting a new pet, assess your child’s level of responsibility with chores and schoolwork. If your child still needs to be more responsible before becoming a pet owner, write down goals and tasks together. You may wish to pick an animal that is relatively low-maintenance and independent, such as a lizard, newt, or snake. Small rodents such as hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and rabbits require more attention but make relatively easy pets. Encourage your child to research the pet’s needs and together make a schedule to feed and clean the pet. Remind your child that attention and mental stimulation are also important needs for pets. Encourage them to empathize with their pet and imagine how they would like to be treated.