Nine goats have recently moved into the farm nursery. On our spacious pasture with freely accessible stable, five billy goats and four female goats have now found their new home.
The bucks (Hörnli, Manfred, Ludwig, Max and Moritz) get along very well with the female goats (Schwänli, Bambi, Heidi and Traudl) and like to cuddle up in the common stable or go on forays across the common pasture. The lilac and chestnut trees are particularly popular with the goats.
The educational use of animals in a day care centre falls under the term AAA: “Animal Assisted Activities”.
The educational and therapeutic use of animals has been proven for centuries.
However, it is only recently that research and supervised scientific studies have been conducted in this area.
The child psychotherapist Boris M. Levison was decisive for this.
The goals in animal-assisted education are as follows:
– Improvement of self-esteem
– Contact with animal and human
– reduction of fears
– Increasing motivation through competence experience
– Promoting a sense of responsibility
– emotional stabilization and development
– Activation of own resources
– Mirroring of one’s own behaviour through immediate reflection of the animal
– Compliance with the rules for handling the animals
– Motivation to move
– sensory experiences
Experiencing the closeness and familiarity of an animal means bliss for many children, because children and animals are an ideal bond. But closeness and familiarity don’t just happen. It requires an understanding of how to understand each other’s signals.
We can achieve a lot with our example, because imitation learning still plays a big role in the preschool age.
The intuitive approach to animals and the elements of the interspecies human-animal relationship can be introduced to children in this way.
The amazement of an educator when observing animals can also be reflected in children.
The spark can only fly if the adult’s enthusiasm is palpable and children are attuned to the observation.
The team of the Bauernhofkita continuously trains in the field of animal-assisted pedagogy and both children and adults enjoy the unique contact with the new fellow residents of the Bauernhofkita.
Why did we choose goats? Goats are particularly sociable animals. They show curiosity and interest in making contact with people. They approach visitors in a relaxed manner and offer their individual talents in the field.
Animal-friendly applications include the observation of social behaviour in the herd,
as well as the free encounter (outdoor: stable, pasture), close contact (grooming, petting), leading techniques
(Skill courses up to walks with the animals).