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Animal Companions

The History of Pets

Humans have domesticated animals for companionship for thousands of years, starting with dogs about 30,000 years ago. That’s a long time! But dogs and cats weren’t always the cuddly creatures we keep in homes today and some creatures hold a special place in cultures around the world. Today we'll learn about where pets come from, why some are considered sacred, and the amazing roles they play in assisting humans day-to-day. You’ll also create your own animal job and get moving as you walk like a crab, hop like a rabbit, or crawl like a bear. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get wild!


what you’ll need

  • Your Camp Kinda toolkit
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Bird seed
  • Peanut butter, nut butter or shortening
  • Butter knife
  • String or ribbon
  • Flat craft stick



Ask About Today

How did cats and dogs become the loyal pets they are today?


30 - 45 minutes

Pets played a vital role throughout the course human history. Today we'll learn about how pets came to be and about cultures that consider some animals sacred!


Why Do People Have Pets?

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It’s a common sight to see dogs walking down the street or cats clawing a couch in a house, but did you ever wonder when humans started keeping animals as pets? And another thing… where did dogs come from!? Let’s find out! Check out this video on the history of pets.


Sacred Animals

While some of us may regard our pets as family (some going so far as to call them their “fur babies”), many animals have been and are regarded as sacred by different cultures of the world. Read this article from Medium describing 5 sacred animals throughout history.


How We Domesticated Cats

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It may seem strange to think of the standard house cat as domesticated, with the knocking over of house objects and whatnot, but as you’ve learned cats have been our faithful companions for thousands of years. Let’s dig deeper and learn how humans domesticated cats not once but twice!


Strange Pets

Pet companions aren’t just limited to your usual fare of cats, dogs, hamsters, and fish, there are some REALLY strange pets out there that you can actually own. So if you have the itch to add an animal companion in your life, here are 10 peculiar pets you probably haven’t considered.


40 - 55 minutes

Make some bird friends by creating your own feeder!


Make Your Own Bird Feeder

Having pets can be hard work but we can always admire the wildlife in our immediate surroundings. Birds play a vital part in our ecosystems and while wild birds aren’t domesticated pets, we can interact with them by bringing them a snack! Check out this guide on how to make your own bird feeder using ordinary household items from the Smithonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

10 - 25 minutes


Animal Exercise

You’ve done a great job learning about pets and their unique history of domestication by humans. Now it’s time to let your inner animal out with these fun exercises that you can practice indoors. Click the link to see if you can walk like a gorilla or jump like a frog.