Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 13 Vol 6 November 2010
Reptiles and Children - Part 2 In this Issue

Leopard Gecko - Ideal beginners reptileEducational fun: Children are eager to learn and especially enjoy a hands-on approach. In addition to educating them about reptiles while they are caring for them, they can teach themselves many things by being encouraged to "be detectives": observing carefully and answering questions about what they see.

What follows are some "observation questions" intended for children to answer as they observe leopard geckos:

  1. Find your gecko's ears; find its tongue; how many toes does it have on each foot? Find its toenails.
  2. How many stripes does it have? What color are they? Does it have any spots? Learn where all the stripes and spots are, because the coloring will change as the gecko grows up.
  3. How does your gecko eat? How does it get the food into its mouth? How does your gecko drink?
  4. Has your gecko chosen a poop spot? Where is it?
  5. Look at your gecko's poop. What 2 main colors do you see? One of those colors is actually the gecko's pee. Which do you think it is?[the white] Do you know any other kind of animal whose poops and pee look like that? [birds]
  6. if your gecko comes out, do you notice it licking things? Why do you think it's doing that?

Children also like to play. For reptiles where this is appropriate, you can suggest some hands-on "play" activities that they may enjoy and that the reptile will tolerate. Here are some suggestions written for activities children could do with a leopard gecko:

To play with a young gecko, make sure to put it in a place where you can keep it from getting away. The best choice may be a large box or bin. You could also play with it on the couch, bed, or table, but young geckos will walk right off the edge of these things, so you have to be ready to put your hand in front of it to stop it.

Here are some activities you can try with your gecko. They are probably best to do when the gecko is at least 4-5 months old:

  1. Let your gecko walk on you and explore you. It could walk up your arm, ride on your shoulder or even sit on your head. Remember that young geckos may just walk or jump off you, so always be ready to trap it with your hand before it gets away.
  2. Crumple up a large towel or some clothing and put it on the bed or the couch. Let your gecko explore the nooks and crannies that you've made. Some geckos like to crawl all over and find their own caves and hiding places.
  3. Put your gecko on the couch and let it explore behind the couch pillows. Geckos like to crawl behind the pillows and also to climb up the back of the couch. Watch it carefully when it does this.
  4. Put your gecko on the stairs. Sit with it and see what it does. This works best if the stairs are carpeted. Some geckos will actually climb up or down the stairs. Some will peer over the edge but won't go down. Some will just crouch in the corner of the stairs See what yours does.
  5. Make a "gecko carnival" for your gecko. Get a large box or a bin and put some "gecko toys" in there like paper towel tubes, climbing branches, pieces of carpet. Let your gecko explore and see what it does.
  6. Some people put their geckos in a hamster ball, which is a clear plastic ball that can come apart. The animal is put in the ball and then the ball is put on the floor. When the animal walks, it rolls the ball and can move around that way. Try it out in a box first to make sure your gecko likes it. Never do this around stairs or any other place where your gecko can fall.
  7. See what else you can think of to do with your gecko

As your child grows up engaging with these lovely creatures, you will find that his or her relationship with you may grow from that of student to partner to teacher. Enjoy your reptiles and your children.

ReptiTemp 500R

  1. Reptiles and Children Pt 2
  2. The Importance of Adequate Hydration
  3. Feature Video
  4. In the News
  5. Get Paid to write an article
  6. Tell Us What You Think
  7. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

The Importance of Adequate Hydration

All reptiles and amphibians need water in one form or another. Some obtain their fluids mainly from the food items that they eat. Others will drink water either by licking dew or mist off leaves or even lapping it up from a container of water. Hydration of the animal, and maintaining the proper humidity levels for your pet will go along way toward maintaining its health.

All animals should have fresh water daily for drinking and bathing. Tropical reptiles, or moisture loving herps should have their enclosures misted as much as twice daily. A drip system should be in place for those herps that lick moisture off leaves and such. Some animals respond quite well when offered a daily bath in lukewarm water.

Proper hydration is extremely important in the general health of a reptile but it is absolutely crucial to a sick animal. Unfortunately hydration is one point that has rarely been discussed in articles about sick herps. I have noticed that when reptiles become ill, they are often too weak to drink fluids on their own, and if they are not drinking they become even more lethargic and weak.

A reptile that appears dehydrated will often perk up when we offer fluids. If the animal does manage to perk up some, you will often have a better chance of curing whatever ails it. Of course if a reptile acts ill, it is often very ill and proper medical attention should be sought immediately.

To put the aspect of dehydration into human terms think about when you have suffered from the flu or even a bad hangover. We feel weak, nauseated, sometimes have a headache, often thirsty as well, but sometimes we do not even feel well enough to get up and get a drink of water. However if we do manage to get some fluids into ourselves, we often begin to feel much better, perhaps we still feel ill, but overall we feel a little bit stronger and much less achy.


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Feature Video


Phillipines Reptiles

Cannot embed this but it shows some new species being discovered in the Phillipines.

Link to Video


If you have a favourite video, let us know and we'll feature it.

In the News

Yummy new species

Feline V Legarto

Ancient Pole Vaulters

Not a reptile, nor a lizard but cold blooded and lays eggs

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Get Paid to write an article

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Payment will be based on the number of words and published at editors discretion.

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  • Great herp web-sites
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Remember - there are lots of people who would love to hear your stories. Just e-mail me at: Reptile-Cage-Plans

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