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Today is... World Animal Day!

Did you know that today is World Animal Day? In fact, it is the 70th: it was started Oct. 4, 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Italy to increase awareness of endangered species. That date was chosen as it is the feast day of  St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. It has since become a global event dedicated to celebrating all forms and species of animal life, our relationships with them and how animals enrich our lives. It is  not restricted to any one nationality, creed, religion, political belief or ideology -as such, there are often special services and events at places of worship, schools, animal shelters and wildlife organisations across the world-wide.

Now, I will just take a moment here to point out that children looove animals and vice versa, so this is a day to celebrate for sure! Here are some thoughts to jog the imagination:
  • Remember that old zoodles ad? "I just had a hippopotamus for lunch"... break out your animal shaped cookie cutters - make cat shaped pancakes or duck sandwiches for lunch :-)
  • Have a pet? Honour him or her with a cake. The kids can help blow out the candles. 
  • Play an animals-only game of "charades" or "win, loose or draw".
  • Do animal-themed word searches
  • Go through the alphabet naming animals that start with each letter. How far can you go (or how many times through the alphabet) before you get stumped?
  • Younger kids - break out the face paint, felt and safety pins! Brush on whiskers and a nose, attach a couple of triangles to a head-band and stuff a sock to pin on as a tail - BOOM! You're really in a zoo today ;-)
  • Supper time discussions: 1. What is your favourite animal and why? How does that animal benefit the Earth? 2. What is your Chinese symbol? How are you like that animal? How are you different? What is special about that animal?
  • Pop in to the SPCA or the City Pound and give some love to some animals - bring old sheets, towels, stretched-out sweaters with you for the animals to lie on, or a spare bag of food for them :-)
  • Go online and explore animal conservation - perhaps you can sign up for a newsletter to read with your children, or pledge a donation to help animals in need. 
  • Read an animal themed bed-time story

For more information on World Animal Day, visit: (CDN) or (UK)


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