Dogs, Cats, Lizards or Birds… What’s Your Favorite Pet?

Furry or feathered, scaly or slimy, pets come in all shapes and sizes!

Any pet owner will tell you that pets bring ample amounts of love and fun into our lives. They also provide an excellent opportunity for children to develop skills like responsibility and patience, cultivate empathy, and learn about the lives and needs of animals.

But do you know how domesticated animals evolved from wild cats, wolves, or llamas? Have you ever thought about what a day in the life of a pet photographer was like?

Check out the videos, activities, and crafts below to learn some fun facts all about our faithful companions, their skills and smarts, and just how they got their start as household pets!

Learn All About Pets

What are Pets? | Young Explorers

Grades PreK-K
Exploring our world is fun! Abby Brown loves to help kids have fun while learning! In this segment, Abby teaches kids about the responsibility, friendship and fun involved in owning a pet.

The Lessons We Learn From Pets

Grades PreK-3
Our pets can teach us so many valuable lessons, such as patience, resilience, and forgiveness! What has your pet taught your family?

DragonflyTV | Canine Intelligence

Grades 3-5
Eleven-year-olds Laura and Anna test their dogs to see which one is a better problem solver. After researching dog intelligence at their Minneapolis library, the girls devise four problem-based tests and time how long it takes for their pets to solve them.

MN Original | Pet Photographer Sarah Beth Ernhart

Grades 3-12
Sarah Beth Ernhart didn’t set out to be a pet photographer, but a love of animals and a knack for photography gradually led her from a graphic design path to her full-time dream job. Ernhart’s modern and unique portraits capture the personalities of her client’s four-legged friends.

Parrot Communication and Intelligence | Nature: Parrot Confidential

Grades 6-12
This media gallery includes a video from Nature: Parrot Confidential exploring the language and communication skills of parrots and a resource containing information about Fagan, an African Grey, as well as general information about his species.

Why Do People Have Pets? | Origin of Everything

Grades 9-12
68% of American families have a pet friend living with them. But why did humans start domesticating animals as pets and not livestock?

Activities, Crafts & More

Pom-Pom Pets

Grades PreK-K
Transform ordinary pom-poms into adorable little pets with this fun and easy craft!

Playful Pup Printable | Sesame Street

Grades PreK-K
Color a page of Barkley the dog. What kind of pet would you like to play with?

Sunflower Biscuit Bones Digital Game | Martha Speaks

Grades PreK-5
Follow the instructions to bake dog biscuits for your pet with Martha Speaks. This interactive story focuses on measuring ingredients and choosing the right temperature for your recipe. After the story, children can answer review questions in the interactive quiz.

Household Pets: Dog Gone Cute | Cartoon Academy

Grades K-8
Learn to draw an adorable dog using letters, numbers, and simple shapes. Joe will also share tips on using props to set a scene.

Creating Literary Texts – Finding Homes for Pets

Grades 3-8
Using this classroom lesson plan, students will share personal experiences they have regarding animal adoption, then view a video segment about a photographer who photographs dogs at an animal shelter to help find homes for them. Finally, they will write and share a picture book to express what they learned and persuade readers to adopt the pet.