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WHEN VIEWING ON A MOBILE DEVICE -- DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM Why Are Children So Interested In Animals, Anyway?  television, and movies; personal experiences; and exposure to animals in settings such as nature, zoos, the classroom, and at home. Some animals possess certain qualities, but others do not, and these qualities may appeal to some children but not to others. For example, a child may deeply love frogs but for reasons different from any discussed below. Each child is unique, and just as we know that there are multiple intelligences and multiple ways to learn, we recognize that there are also multiple ways that animals find their way into the hearts and minds of children. Here are some of the ways that this happens. Part of the Family Many children are exposed to animals for the first time through a pet at home. Babies smile and giggle as they watch pets with rapt attention. Grow- ing up in the same household, a child may well develop strong bonds with a pet or other animals they interact with. A child can feel deep love for a classroom pet, a neighbor’s cat, and even the neighborhood animals they see and encounter outside. Children who interact regularly with certain an- imals may appreciate them because they are part of the children’s everyday, familiar social world. The love a young child feels for the family pet may go well beyond a simple enjoyment of playtime and cuddle time. A child’s love may include, for example, a sense that the pet is “one of the family.” It’s a Zoo Out There: Sensory Stimulation Many young children’s interest in animals is sparked by exposure to the sensory stimulation animals offer. The many species in the animal world have an incredible variety of shapes, sizes, colors, textures, sounds, and even smells. Animals offer constant novelty for the senses. This is one reason that zoos and aquariums are so popular with children. The sheer variety of ani- mals present in zoos and the encounters with new creatures excite children and stimulate their imaginations. The textures, patterns, and colors found in the animal world are a feast for the senses of sight and touch. Animals with fur appeal to children’s urge to feel soft, textural things. Colorful feathers, glossy scales, and intriguing patterns are also appealing. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 9