One of the extra-fun things I like to plan for my students at the end of the year is a pet parade.
I’m allergic to animals so having them bring them in for Show and Tell Time was something I couldn’t do.
However, I realize the importance of a pet in a child’s life and wanted to allow them to share this important family member with their classmates, so I dreamed up the end-of-the-year Pet Parade.
Because the weather is wonderful in Michigan at this time of year, it’s the perfect time for an outdoor event and then the animal’s dander, fur, feathers and fluff don’t bother me.
Here's How I Plan My Pet Parade:
- Incase of rain, the parade is moved to the next day and if we’re rained out again, it’s simply cancelled. It hasn’t happened yet!
- In advance, send a note home to parents telling them about the event and inviting younger siblings and family members. Click on the link to view/print the Pet Parade Letter Home.
- I also invite the preschool and kindergarten classes to come make a line down the parade route and join the fun. Click on the link to view/print the Pet Parade invitation.
- It lasts about 7 minutes from start to finish, with time afterwards for children to sit with their pet and have students walk by to pet the animals and ask questions.
- You can videotape or take photographs and then add it to a PowerPoint presentation for your Open House the following fall.
- If a child does not have a pet, or if their pet is unable to attend, I send home a red construction paper heart.
- They can draw or cut pictures out of a pet they would like to have, or glue photographs of their pet that could not come. Click on the link to view/print the pet hearts.
- They carry the hearts in the parade so no one feels left out. I alternate the heart-carrying children with the real pets walking in the parade.
- I also keep cats away from dogs etc. Everyone is reminded to bring things to keep their pets under control and clean up after them.
- In the past we have had wonderful participation and very interesting pets. Everything from a pony and goat to a goose, mouse, lizard and chicken!
- I plan our parade for the last thing in our day, so that after the parade parents may take their child home. I’m usually left with only half an hour left in my day and 1 to 4 children.
- Click on the link to view/download the entire Pet Parade Packet.
- The children are extremely excited before the parade, so to calm them down, I turn off the lights and show the video Arthur’s Pet Business. Click on the link to view it on YouTube.
- Arthur's New Puppy is also on You Tube. This link has both part one and two on it. We do other pet-related things that day as well.
- We graph if you have a pet or not, and what kind of pet students have. Click on the link to view/print the pet graphs.
- I read several stories about pets as well. My Y5's enjoy the Biscuit and Clifford series. Biscuit Wants to Play is a great "I Can Read" book that involves this adorable brown puppy making friends with two kittens who'd rather chase a butterfly. They get caught up a tree and Biscuit rescues them.
- Clifford's Kitten and Clifford's Family are also great follow up books. Oh The Pets You Can Get, by Tish Rabe, as well as Caring for Your Pets, by Ann Owen are also nice "pet" reads.
- I also give certificates of participation to everyone. Click on the link to view/print the Pet Parade certificates.
Dreams Come True:
As I stated earlier I’ve been allergic to animals all of my life. Wanting a pet has been a life-long desire.
Only recently, did I discover through my daughter Kelli, that I was not allergic to Poodles! She has a Standard Poodle named Sadie.
We watched Sadie for several weeks while my daughter was on vacation and I just fell in love with her.
My husband felt it was time I became a pet owner at long last, so we now have a sweet little puppy named Chloe. She's tucked into my daughter's jacket on the right photo.
In celebration of her, I wrote the easy reader Puppy Love. As with all of my "easy readers", it includes flashcards and a certificate of praise.
Click on the link to view/print it.
I’ve also included a cute little ditty about dogs that someone sent me. The author is unknown and I revamped it a bit, now that I’m learning all about being the wonderful recipient of “puppy love.”
I wish you many wonderful end-of-the-year “winding-down” moments filled with special times like Pet Parades and of course lots of L-O-V-E!