25 June 2018

The youngest members of West Nottinghamshire College enjoyed a day with some unusual animal visitors last week.

Children who attend the college’s Butterflies Day Nursery welcomed Barry Anderson from Zoolab, an animal handling experience company.

Barry is part of a network of rangers across the UK, who are on hand to help schools, organisations and care homes to bring people closer to nature, and stimulate an interest in science, nature and learning.

The three and four-year-old youngsters, welcomed guests Gary the gecko, Sophie the snake, Maxine the millipede, Deidre the giant snail, Steve the scorpion and Raquel rat.

Barry described each animal’s eating habits and where they can be found as well as how and where they live. Everyone was given the opportunity to touch the animals to discover how they feel.

Barry said: “It’s a great way to introduce children to a range of insects and small creatures and to reassure them. Children often pick up on fears from adults, but they were very calm and interested in what I had to tell them.

“This group reacted very well for such young children and they had lots of questions and sat very still while they handled the animals.”

Nursery nurse Linda Barnes said: “The children were really interested and behaved very well. I was surprised how happy they were to hold the animals and Barry was really good with giving the children lots of interesting facts.

“We’ve spent a lot of time this week talking about animals in the build up to the visit. I think they’ll be looking out more for insects when they’re out playing now!”

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