My favourite friend: why kids love animals

Children have a natural urge to befriend animals
Children have a natural urge to befriend animals 

"Look Mum, a TIGER! Can I pat it?"

If you've ever taken your child to the zoo, you probably remember the untamed enthusiasm, the giggles, and all the curious questions. But wWhat we seldom realise is that when you are two, three or four years old, a trip to the zoo or a visit from the neighbour’s dog is more than just fun: it's also a learning experience for your child.

Learning to care and relate
Children have a natural urge to pat animals, feed them, and talk to them. It’s a fascination that runs much deeper than simple curiosity.

Although your child may claim that she can understand and communicate with every animal she meets, there is a simpler explanation to her fascination. Children use animals to practice their emotional skills; the ability to understand and respond to the needs and feelings of others.

So when your three-year-old insists that the neighbor’s dog is her best friend and that it should of course come inside your house, don’t be alarmed. Your child is simply developing the skills that will help her build relations and be a good friend to others in the future.

Making sense of the world
Another reason why children are so interested in animals is that children have a natural urge to make sense of the world. They constantly try to sort, categorise, and organise the things they see. The animal world is a natural place for children to start, because it’s very tangible: there are small animals, big animals, animals that walk, animals that fly and so on.

That is why a trip to the zoo is a great learning experience for small children. Here, they can explore the animal world first-hand. Go from cage to cage and see for themselves how the animals look, what they eat, and what their young look like. A trip to the zoo is a small lesson in sorting and organizing the world.

Go to the zoo with LEGO® DUPLO®
Wouldn't it be great if you could take your child to the zoo every day? With the LEGO® DUPLO® Zoo sets you can!

The DUPLO Zoo offers all the animals that children love and know from their own trips to the zoo, along with vehicles and the popular DUPLO minifigures. Take a trip to the Big Zoo and let your child sort the animals her own way, or visit the Baby Zoo and help the zoo keeper take care of the young animals.

The DUPLO Zoo sets allow your child to build her own zoo and offer so many ways to play with animals.

See all the exciting DUPLO Zoo sets at