Pets can have huge benefits for kids in many different ways. From getting them away from their electronic devices to teaching them responsibility, a family pet can help your kids learn many lessons to help them later in life.
But have you thought about pet fish? The benefits of pet fish for kids are numerous and having an aquarium can introduce them to a wondrous world of color and movement!
So let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of pet fish for kids which may make you think about an aquarium for your home.
1. Stimulates Their Learning
An aquarium is a fantastic way to stimulate your child’s learning from a young age. They can learn lessons about biology from the fish themselves with questions such as ‘How do fish breathe under water’ or ‘Do fish sleep?’.
And they can learn about simple chemistry from the fish’s environment too. Fish waste and excess food must be broken down by beneficial bacteria in your filter so that harmful chemicals, such as ammonia, don’t build up and harm your fish.
You can engage your child’s learning by testing the water quality with them to check whether you need to perform a water change to help keep things in balance.
2. Engages Their Imagination
Having a fish tank in your home can give your kids an insight into an amazing underwater world full of color and wonder. There are many species of exciting and cool freshwater fish you can add to your tank to mesmerize and exhilarate them!
Having them help build your underwater world, with rocks, castles, or tunnels can further engage their imagination. And a trip to the pet store to find new and exciting items or decor can help them feel engaged and excited in planning out the tank.
3. Helps Their Emotional Health
Watching fish in an aquarium is very calming and a fantastic way of helping with stress and improving mental health. If your child becomes angry they can focus on their fish tank and listen to the trickling water to help them calm down.
Studies have also shown that children with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can benefit from watching fish to redirect them from hyperactive activities.
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4. Teaches Responsibility And Ownership
There are so many different tasks when it comes to aquarium care that no matter what your child’s age they can be involved, and start to understand the responsibility that comes with it.
For example, giving them the responsibility for daily feeding under your supervision helps teach them diligence and compassion as they begin to appreciate that your fish rely on them to stay alive and healthy.
5. Grows Their Bond With Nature
Giving your kids access to an aquarium can be a wonderful way of getting them to connect with nature. A tank of exciting and colorful fish can get them away from the TV or their games consoles, and instead give them a window to another world.
By engaging with the fish in your aquarium, it will also help your kids appreciate other creatures in the natural world, such as insects in your garden or in your local park. And overall this will help them be conscious about the environment and our effect on it.
6. Can Be An Activity For The Whole Family
Whilst your kids will be involved in maintaining their tank and keeping their fish happy and healthy it’s very likely you’ll be involved too, especially when they are younger.
Performing things like cleaning or water changes can be a weekly task the whole family gets involved in, giving another opportunity to put down electronic devices and bond as a family.
The Bottom Line
Getting your child involved in maintaining an aquarium is a fantastic way of introducing them to another world right in your home! Not only can it help build their confidence as they learn how to care for their fish, but it can also teach them some of the fundamentals of the natural world.
So next time you visit your local pet store, why not think about introducing your kids to the exciting and colorful underwater world of fishkeeping?
Andy is the owner of Simply Aquarium and manages the team of experienced writers on the site. He loves helping fellow aquarists and introducing new people to the hobby!