Four easy pets for kids

When I was a child, stick insects were the thing to have. I can remember someone bringing their stick insects in to school once and everyone in our class thinking they were just about the coolest thing they had ever seen. They didn’t seem to do anything, they just sat there, looking sort of sticky.

As a parent, I can see the appeal in a stick insect as a pet. They seem pretty low maintenance, and even if anything happened to it you could probably persuade a young child otherwise – ‘there it is,’ you could say, pointing at a twig, ‘it’s fine!’

That’s my kind of pet.

As a busy working mum, (living in a rented house with cream carpets), I simply don’t have the time or the money to be keeping a dog, cat or gang of bunnies. As cute as they might be, you just know that I would be the one left walking a bouncy dog in the dark late at night. Not my idea of fun.

If you have similar feelings about pets, here are four ideas for animals that don’t need to run around a field every day:


Fish are the dream pet for reluctant pet owners. They don’t scratch your sofa, they don’t wee in your shoes and they stay in one place. Or do they? We had a goldfish once (a beast of a thing that lived to be about ten years old) who jumped out of his tank twice. Top tip – get a nano aquarium with a lid.



We had a hamster when I was little. It was quite fun to build it little houses out of toilet rolls and feed it seeds until it looked like its face was going to explode. Unlike most rodents, hamsters are solitary creatures, so even that can help cut down your food bill. Hamsters are pretty low maintenance but do think carefully about where you put the cage, as they can be noisy.


Hermit crabs

I know right? Who’d have thought of having a crab as a pet? Hermit crabs though make great pets for children as they are very hardy and are smell, fur, feather and dust free, so won’t cause any allergies. Despite their names, hermit crabs are fairly sociable creatures and although they can live alone do prefer to be in groups of three or more.

hermit crab


If you really can’t be doing with any sort of live creature in the house, how about encouraging an interest in pebbles? You can draw on little faces, make nests for them in matchboxes, and even take them out for walks in your pocket if you want to. Vet bills are low and no specialist food is required. Now that’s what I call an easy pet.

pet rock




  1. 5 September, 2013 / 5:27 pm

    I might need to get a pet rock. Great suggestion. I’ll name him Larry.

  2. admin
    6 September, 2013 / 6:16 am

    I can see you with a pet rock Brian. Just make sure you think it through – a rock is for live, not just for Christmas.

  3. Louise
    6 September, 2013 / 12:22 pm

    Middle man scratched my cat with his pet rock “rocky” yesterday so I am no longer liking rocks as pets!

  4. 6 September, 2013 / 1:10 pm

    We always had goldfish as pets when we were young. My Dad ended up having to clean the tank out though. Brilliant idea about making pet rocks. I will remember that when my daughter next asks for a rabbit!

  5. 8 September, 2013 / 6:41 am

    Well, rocks are all well and good, but I like our cat, Conker because he’s got FUR :)

  6. 12 September, 2013 / 10:58 am

    Totally thought you had some sort of bat there with the hamster hanging off the rope. And if you go for fish avoid the goldfish if you don’t want a tank in constant need of cleaning. Get something smaller like tetras or guppies if you want a steady supply of babies.

  7. 6 February, 2014 / 6:15 am

    You remembers my childhood when I was a nipper. I remember we had an aquarium in our home with lots of small fish. This fish is really so cute, even every pet is cute. I like the creativity that you did with rock it’s awesome. Even I am thinking about to do some creativity with rocks like you with kids. Thanks for giving such wonderful ideas.

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