Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our New Furry Friends

One of my students mentioned that his babysitter owns guinea pigs.  I've always wondered what guinea pigs were like in the classroom, aside from the Wonder Pets character of course, so we gave them a "test drive".  They were wonderful!  One of the guinea pigs, Charlie, did not feel like being held, but the other one soaked up the attention.  We picked up the other guinea pig--Colby-- and each child had the choice of either a) holding him b) petting him or c) holding the big plastic exercise ball containing Colby.  I'd say the class was split in thirds.  Some were very eager to hold him, others were not so sure, and the rest flat out refused.  Colby certainly had his favorite students and just about fell asleep in my daughter's arms!  We had loads of fun and I'm so thankful for D.A.'s babysitter for sharing her babies!

Some interesting tidbits about guinea pigs...
  • They originated in South America, in the Andes.
  • They are not pigs, they are rodents.
  • The Incas domesticated guinea pigs.
  • Guinea pigs need to gnaw, otherwise their teeth will grow so long they won't be able to eat.
  • "Cavy" is the official word for guinea pig!
The verdict is still out about whether or not we'll purchase two cavies for next year.  I think we may need to pass for this coming year because of the vet bills.  These little guys are considered "exotics" and need special vets to care for them.  Hopefully in the future, we'll be able to welcome two of these furry friends into our classroom permanently.

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