Reptiles are fascinating. Have fun learning about them with your kids.
Reading about Reptiles
By Connie Goldin, MA, MFT
When my sons were in elementary school and middle school, we had reptiles living in our house. This was not something I had anticipated happening, but with sons, what can you do! It started out on a small scale–one cute little king snake in a small terrarium–that quickly escalated to big snakes in big aquariums in my oldest son’s bedroom. This adventure started when a neighbor graciously offered my son all of her sons’ snakes and snake equipment. The neighbor boys had outgrown their interest in snakes since they were entering high school at the time.
As you can imagine, both my sons were thrilled. For several years, we fed mice and rats to these big reptiles and learned a lot about snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. One of my favorite events from this time was driving kids on a school field trip in my minivan. Suddenly, I hear a high pitched voice from the back seat cry out, “Mrs. Goldin, you have a mouse in your car!”
Sure enough, we had a little white mouse, intended for a snake’s meal, loose in the car. Lucky for the mouse, we stopped, caught it, and released it outside. Eventually my kids grew tired of reptiles in the house, and the reptiles moved on. One thing I can say for sure is, we all learned a lot. Reptiles are beautiful (some!) interesting, and worth learning about. If you don’t want to actually have them living with you, then enjoy learning about them from a distance. The San Diego Zoo has a website with excellent information on reptiles. This is a great place to start.
Here are some books that provide information about reptiles in various styles and for different age groups. They all have pictures so the younger children can enjoy looking at the pictures and learn from parents and older brothers and sisters.