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View Poll Results: What you would like to see for herps, if you were a kid in grades SK- 8
Bearded Dragon 13 40.63%
Ball Python 12 37.50%
Boa Constrictor Imperator 15 46.88%
Burmese Python 17 53.13%
Blue Tongue Skink 9 28.13%
Leopard Gecko 7 21.88%
Rose Hair Tarantula 9 28.13%
Corn Snake 10 31.25%
Pixie Frog 7 21.88%
Other 6 18.75%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-29-03, 09:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Educational Shows

Hi all.. I know some of you do shows for kids at schools and stuff..

We are approaching the local school board to see if they would mind us doing shows in the schools here, when the classes do reptiles, and amphibians as class topics, to help with the more hands on approach to learning the school are adopting.
Some of the schools currently do field trips to the local conservation areas, and Science North, but the kids don't get that much of a hands on experience.

We are wondering what you would like to see if you were a kid in grades SK- 8.
Some suggestions so far have been:

Bearded Dragon
Ball Python
Blue tongue Skink
Leopard Gecko
Rose Hair Tarantula
Pixie Frog

Please fill in the answers you think would be great. And feel free to suggest more, but remember mainly touchable by kids that are highly excitable and loud. [And easy to care for, as they will be living with us, and our kids the rest of the time]

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by ReneeB; 05-29-03 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 05-29-03, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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a cirn snake can be a bit much for kids to touch it is just to fast a stuff but exelent to have to say stuff like snakes range from all sizes and you pull out a baby corn and the a adult burm exelent response from the kids and you will here hey that is a anaconda cause at 6 years old that is a freaking hug snake lol.

a day gecko would be a good show for 2 reasons 1 it is the gicko lizard and kids DO watch tv and see it like 20 times a day LOL. But also cause it can climb walls and you can explain that not all geckos stick that is when you show the leo. You know just smal details that draw attention real good i hope this helps
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Old 05-29-03, 10:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We use all of the above and more. I would disagree in using most of the arboreal lizards such as day gex for the reasons that they tend to be a bit more sensitive in nature as well as if it climbs a wall good luck getting it back, especially in a school, unless it was going to stay in a critter keeper. Other reptiles/amphibs not listed that we have used that are relatively easy to house and care for were chuckwallas, uromastyx, white's tree frogs (no touch), chameleons (no touch), and BCC. Some others we have used that are not suitable for many keepers, and are not easy to house, are tortoises, turtles (no touch), monitors, and caimens.
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Old 05-30-03, 08:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have used my turtles & permitted touching (RES) when I have antibacterial no-wash hand gel with me. My corns are a big hit also as they are very used to handling so don't go 'fast'. I have 2 young children at home so all my critters are very used to children. I take the animals that I know are ready by 'practicing' with my kids & a few friends at home first. This prepares the critters & helps avoid stress. I have only gone to elementary schools (up to grade 6). These ages love bugs so a scorp or spider is a big hit even with no touch. Hope this helps you decide. Dar.
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Old 05-30-03, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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the only thing I see not suggested is to make sure your carrying injury insurance, I had to quit shows with my boa once I decided she was just too strong. Better to have an insurance co. pay than lose your home and animals. Good luck on the shows, 1-3rd graders are a ton of fun.
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Old 05-30-03, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Geez, what kind of schools do you guys have that even talk about reptiles & amphibians? We've never talked about them at any of the schools I've been to! How lucky!

Anyway, good luck Renee
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Old 05-30-03, 01:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ive done quite a few shows for schools, birthdays and day camps and it never fails....the most popular animal is ALWAYS the biggest snake you have, so i would recommend burms or boas.

just make sure you trust the snake absolutely 100%..... if not then you can still use it (and it will still be impressive) just dont let the kids too close.
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Old 05-30-03, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have used about all of them on my numerous school shows.
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Old 05-30-03, 05:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think it's important to show the so-called "disposable" pets like green iguanas and savannah monitors that are such adorable and inexpensive hatchlings in petshops but become large adults that most folks can't deal with.
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Old 05-31-03, 03:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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All of those are great for showing kids. how ever not all of them would be meant for touching, both for the sake of the animal and the kid. the Leopard Gecko, Rose Hair Tarantula and Pixie Frog might be too delicate for handling.

A tamed ig would be good, along with a maybe a uro. a turle and a tortoise (so people can see the difference) would be great.
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Old 06-01-03, 06:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I think a better question would be: As an informed adult, what species do you think would be best suited to hands-on classroom activities for elementary schools?

What the kids want to see and what they should be handling are two separate things!

My votes were corns, balls, and blue-tongued skink. Corns that are used to frequent handling are not 'fast' and do very well with kids. Balls are great, too, but since they tend not to hang on to people much they are more likely to get dropped if you're not careful. Few lizards tolerate handling by classes full of kids, partly due to the fact that they can hear all of the noise, which can get them stressed to begin with. We don't let kids hold our BTS, but we do let them touch it (ditto for our bearded).

Burms and boa constrictors are very popular, and we do use them quite a bit. However, I wouldn't rank them above the first 3, and given the increase in severity of a potential incident, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. Not much of a liability concern with a corn snake, but I would definitely take reverendsterlin's suggestion about insurance with burmese pythons. Incidentally, we do carry $1M liability, which we pay through the nose for.

Pixie frogs (and other frogs) could be useful in a display capacity, but I wouldn't generally let kids hold any amphibian in a group setting.

I'm not a tarantula expert, but I believe there could be some concern about kids holding them and then getting some of the irritant hairs in their eyes. I understand this can be quite painful. Again, I'd go with display only for them, or have only the presenter handle them.

Some other things we use: Everglades rats- generally great, honduran milk (and other tricolours)- tend to be 'fast' but our honduran is fabulous, bull snakes, eastern indigo, brazilian rainbow boa, sand boas, rosy boas, western hognose.

However, the mainstays of our programs would be garters, n. waters, e. milks, black rats, e. foxes, e. hognose, browns, and native turtles. I think the most important things to let kids see and feel are the species which they may encounter outdoors here in our province. Of course, then you're into dealing with getting authorization from the MNR, etc. which is hardly worthwhile unless you are really serious about what you are doing (read- fulltime programs). Garters and browns do not require any authorizations, however, and can be very useful in programs as they occur throughout most of Ontario.

These opinions are based upon: 9 years of doing herp programs on a professional (for money) basis (fulltime for Jenny since '96 and for me since ~'2000), >200 programs annually at this point.

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