Thu 9: Pet day

We’re connected to the land, and now longing for it more than ever.

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Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story. If young readers find it tricky; just look at the pictures and read the captions to figure it out.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • If you were lucky enough to have a pet lamb, what would you call it? What about a calf?
  • What might be some of the daily tasks involved in raising a pet lamb or calf? Do you think you’d be good at looking after a lamb or calf?
  • “The key is to connect with your lamb,” says contestant Ben Oakly. What do you know about some good ways to connect with an animal? How would having a good connection help you do well with the judging criteria?
  • What do you think farming kids do on the morning of the pet day? Do you think parents help with the cleaning and grooming? What might the kids do to prepare the night before the show?
  • Even if you didn’t win a prize for your pet, do you think it would still be worth raising a pet and entering? Why or why not?

Task—Plaited Animal Lead

Create a lead for playing animal games at home. Use an old T-shirt or any kind of stretchy fabric for this project. Try to use something that was going to be thrown away so you save it from landfill!

How to make an animal lead

  • Take an old T-shirt.
  • Cut it into strips of about 2.5cm, from the bottom upwards. (Use fabric scissors if possible as cutting will be a lot easier.)
  • This makes a lot of loops. Cut each loop on one side: now you have a lot of long strips.
  • Tie three strips together in a knot at one end.
  • Start plaiting.

  • You may find it easier to tie the knotted end to a door handle or ask someone to hold it taut while you plait.
  • When you run out of fabric, you can tie another strip on with a simple double knot, and keep plaiting.
  • Keep plaiting and adding strips until you have used them all up or made your lead as long as you want to.
  • Find someone to be a horse, calf, lamb or puppy and start playing! You can also use this plaited lead as a skipping rope or anything else you think of.