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The first week of May is Be Kind to Animals Week. Kindest starts at home but extends far beyond our reach. Help your children discover the importance of their kindness and how small acts can be a big help with one of these 6 activities.
1. Read about animals that are native to Southern Nevada.
One of my family’s favorite native animals is the Desert Tortoise and this series by Mike Miller is not only a fantastic read for the entire family, but it’s also local and includes familiar places.
Coyotes are native to our desert, but are often seen creeping into the suburban landscape as we build more to accommodate the people who want to live and work here. This book is perfect to teach children about this four-legged inhabitants of the land around us.
Some of us might not want to know this, but Tarantulas are our neighbors too! Learn more about this animal, instead of fearing it. This fantastic book about a tarantula scientist is the perfect additional to your family library.
Owls are wise creatures. One of my favorite books about native animals is this one about Hunter Hoot. It’s a fun story for children of all ages, that also includes facts about the Great Horned Owls and has resources and activities for the entire family.
2. Visit one of our local animal shelters or volunteer with a rescue organization.
There are two animal shelters that service Las Vegas and Henderson, the Animal Foundation and the Henderson Animal Shelter. In addition to these two publicly funded animal shelter, Southern Nevada has dozens of private, non-profit animal rescue groups that serve to find homes for animals in need. Find the shelter that best fits your family’s needs and see if you can foster a pet, volunteer at an event, or spend time helping at the shelter.
3. Learn how to take care of your pets.
Working with an older crowd? Try encouraging some human-pet bonding with these books that help teach pet tricks! A little patience and brain stimulation on both sides … here’s one for dogs and this is a complete boxed set for teaching tricks to your cat.
4. Make a bird feeder for your yard.
When it comes to bird feeders, I like to keep is simple: an empty toilet paper roll, some string, nut butter, and bird seed. If you want to get fancy for your feathered friends, Happy Hooligans has 32 ways that you can help feast when they fly by your home!
Speaking of birds, it’s important to know what our feathered friends needs from us.
Feeding ducks: Most of us are used to grabbing a bag of bread and heading to the park to feed the ducks, but is bread best? This article breaks down why bread shouldn’t be fed, what to bring instead, and how to safely feed to the ducks for their best interest while still having fun with your family.
5. Donate to your favorite animal organization.
Many of our local organizations have published wish lists. You can be kind to animals by collecting items from around your home, starting a drive with friends and family, or working with your children to save money to purchase the items listed by your favorite organization. Here are some of the wish lists we found:
- Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary
- Heaven Can Wait has an Amazon Smile Wish List
- Las Vegas Valley Humane Society
- Foreclosed Upon Pets
- Keepers of the Wild (in Valentine, AZ)
6. Garden for Wildlife
Create a garden that will encourage wildlife such a bees, butterflies, and birds to grow and thrive! This article from Desert USA will help you get a start on your garden and finding native plants. I’ve found Star Nursery to be a great resource for native wildflowers in our garden and for our tortoises. You can find a list of wildflowers native to Southern Nevada here.