Keep Kids Engaged with Animal-Based Activities This Summer

A Veterinary Professional with Children and a Dog

Summer is just around the corner, and many parents will be looking for activities to occupy their children while school is out. For children fascinated by animals, there are a whole host of animal- and veterinary-related activities, lasting a few hours to a couple of weeks. This blogpost outlines some of those activities and provides resources to get you started on your search for the purr-fect summertime fun for your little animal lover.

Veterinary Camp

Veterinary camp is the top choice for many animal-loving children. These fun and educational experiences range from a daily online class to sleep-away camps. Many accredited colleges of veterinary medicine offer summer camp. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a list of all accredited colleges of veterinary medicine to help you start searching for camps. Zoos often offer similar programs.

Googling “veterinary camp,” I found nearby programs sponsored by undergraduate institutions offering summer camps as well. In that same search, I found veterinary specialty hospitals hosting day camps where children come and observe veterinary medicine in practice. The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center offers a weeklong online camp every summer. Each session lasts an hour and a half. Subscribe to the newsletter from AMC’s education institute – The Usdan Institute for Animal Health Education – for updates on our Vet Camp schedule and registration.

Read to a Dog

For some children, summer is a time to improve their literacy skills. If you have a child who needs reading practice, consider a canine study buddy. Libraries, schools and other public institutions offer reading practice for children through programs such as: The Pet Partners Read With Me™ or Intermountain Therapy Animals Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ®) or Tail Wagging Tutors from Therapy Dogs International. Not only is reading to a dog fun for children, but it has been linked to a better improvement in reading skills than reading to an adult.

Become a Veterinary Scribe

Veterinarians spend a good portion of their day recording results of examinations, testing and treatment plans. Veterinary scribes are a new role in veterinary medicine to assist with this paperwork. A scribe is a member of the veterinary healthcare team who records the results of examinations, testing and treatment plans as dictated by the veterinarian and is also able to communicate with pet owners. A scribe makes the day go faster and frees the veterinarian for more specialized tasks. The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine offers Junior Scribe training. The certificate program is for students 16 or 17 years old interested in veterinary medicine. Being a scribe would be a great way to earn some money while learning new skills and contributing to the health and well-being of animals.

Animal Fun on a Rainy Day

As a parent, nothing is worse than hearing, “I’m bored. There is nothing to do. It’s raining outside.” Fortunately, the team at AMC’s Usdan Institute for Animal Health Education has come to your rescue. They’ve created age-appropriate animal related activities to fill up a rainy day. AMC’s Children’s Resources include fun worksheets to print at home, activities for you and your child, as well as teacher lesson plans about animals from PreK to 6th grade. All resources are free and available to all.

I hope everyone is looking forward to a fun summer like I am.

cats and children, children’s resources, pets and kids, summer, summer pets, therapy dogs, vet camp, veterinary scribes,

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