There’s nothing cuter than kids showing off their pets. And what better way to engage with students and teach them about animal welfare than with a pet show?
A pet show is when students bring their furry friends to class, give a short show-and-tell presentation about them, and then enter them in competitions. The competitions are typically fun and not serious, like the wettest nose competition or waggiest tail contest. The class then votes to declare the winners of the various contests.
If you think this sounds like a fun idea for your class, here are five steps to host a pet show in your school.
Get school staff on board
Having animals in school could be distracting to other classes. That’s why the first step to planning a pet show is to get school staff on board.
You’ll definitely need approval from the principal. You’ll also likely need support from other faculty members, like the custodial team or even other teachers for help organizing. Make sure everyone is on board first before you start making any serious preparations.
Choose a date, time, and location
Next, choose a date, time, and location for the pet show. You know nothing will get done in class after playing with pets, so it’s typically best to host your pet show at the end of a school day.
As for location, you can host your school pet show in your classroom, but make sure there’s enough space for all the animals. Most pet shows take place outside in the school yard or playground, just to be on the safe side.
If you do choose your classroom as the location, you might want to set some ground rules about what kind of pets students can bring. You never know if someone might want to bring their horse!
Promote your school pet show
With the details set, it’s time to let everyone know about your amazing pet show! Start by making some eye-catching flyers to send home with students to notify parents about the event. Most school pet shows ask the parents to bring the pets in, so you’ll definitely want the parents to know about it.
Since you’re busy planning a school pet show, you might not have time to design flyers from scratch. Luckily, there are thousands of free pet flyer templates available online from websites like PosterMyWall.
Just find the style you like best, customize the information, and you’re ready to print! You can also download the digital file of your flyers to post to the school’s website or social media accounts for even more promotional power.
Make a pet signup sheet
You want to know what you’re getting into. It’s not a good idea to let kids bring in anything they want; it could quickly lead to chaos! Design a pet signup sheet the students — and most importantly, parents — can fill out to “register” their pet for the pet show.
Depending on space, you might need to limit registration to a certain number of pets. A signup sheet makes it easy to know what to expect and plan ahead.
Choose a few contests and set up a voting system
What’s a pet show without some fun contests!? Take some time to think of the various competitions you want to see the pets compete in. These are just a few fun ideas you can bring to your school pet show:
- Wettest nose
- Waggiest tail
- Fastest pet
- Fluffiest pet
- Softest pet
- Largest pet (or smallest)
Think of things that would be fun for the kids to judge and vote on. Contests like the waggiest tail or fluffiest pet require the kids to interact with the pets, making it that much more fun!
With your contests picked out, design a few certificates to hand out to the winners. Kids love to see their pets with a big certificate on their kennels. And it’s always a good idea to come up with enough contests so at least most of the pets can take home a “ribbon.”
You’ll also need to develop some kind of voting system. Pet shows can be hectic with animals (and kids) running all over the place. Think of a system that wouldn’t require everyone to be together at once.
For example, give everyone tokens that represent each contest. The kids can then put their tokens in jars next to the pets’ kennels to vote for them for the various competitions. Count them up at the end to find your winners!
Enjoy the pet show
Now that all the preparations are taken care of, the only thing left to do is enjoy the pet show!
Pet shows can be a lot of fun for students, parents, and teachers. There’s nothing better than taking class time to play with furry friends and watch them take part in entertaining competitions. It gives students an opportunity to talk about something they’re passionate about and learn about animals in the process. It’s a good time for everyone involved — even the pets!