Young children learn by what they experience. And the ‘Raising Chickens Project’ is one of Hampton International Pre-School‘s most meaningful (and memorable) experiences! From these fine feathered friends, children pick up valuable learning opportunities, as well as develop a number of positive attributes, as follows:
The children are taught how to feed and water the chickens and take turns in doing so. Through caring for the chicks, the children learn that animals have basic needs that must be met – in other words, someone has to take care of them. Students also learn that they too must follow the chicken safety rules to keep healthy (e.g., washing hands with soap after being near the chickens). Through this project, the children naturally learn about their relationship with the planet and its inhabitants, and gain a sense of their responsibility to care for the environment, its creatures and themselves.
Through the project, teachers discuss animal kindness in detail. The children learn the importance of treating the chickens gently to ensure they stay healthy. Caring for the chickens also provides the children with a natural link to an outdoor classroom and they learn more about the different creatures that share the garden environment . Moreover, it promotes the understanding that they need to treat all living creatures in their surrounds with care, respect and kindness.
Raising chickens offers a wonderful opportunity to teach children where fresh eggs/meat comes from and to respect and appreciate the food they eat.
Understanding Life Cycles
Through the project, the children have a hands-on opportunity for learning about life cycles, including observations of the development from egg to chick to chicken.
Did you know that spending time watching chickens lowers stress levels? Studies have shown that tending chickens releases oxytocin, a stress lowering hormone. What a perfect way for kids to feel the benefit of connecting with nature! Chicken watching also naturally increases the children’s mindfulness skills; observing the birds’ methodical scratching and foraging slows the busy mind down, providing a ”mindfulness” experience that can be difficult to achieve in the children’s busy day-to-day lives.
Meaningful Creative Experiences
Hatching chicks provide great inspiration for many different types of creative expression, including the children’s own observational drawings and paintings, as well as the joy of learning new songs about chickens!
All things considered, the Hampton Chicken Project is an excellent holistic addition to both the school’s outdoor and indoor curriculums, facilitating learning and empathy, and creating joy every day.
Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored content from Hampton International Pre-School, which maintains two campuses: Chaengwattana, Nonthaburi; and Sathorn, Bangkok.