I've always loved the cliched pictures of a boy and his dog -- they're a pure sign of childhood. Most kids go through an animal obsessed phase, and it's worth encouraging. They learn empathy! Get unconditional love!
So how about buying your little animal lover a fantastic holiday gift to keep the love alive?
You Bake 'em Dog Biscuits (Mega Mini Kits) $6.95 at Amazon
Scoot the kids into the kitchen to cook up some love for their favorite pooch. This kit comes with fun cookie-cutter shapes (what dog doesn't want to eat a cat?) and recipes for yummy treats. And it does double duty: you get them engaged in the kitchen, plus the dog gets a holiday gift too!
Our Farm by the Animals of Farm Sanctuary $18.89 at Barnes & Noble
Introduce your little animal lover to a new passion: poetry. This book of playful poems told through the voices of farm animals is paired with beautiful drawings of their favorite creatures in their natural habitat. And when you're done reading, you can pull up the website of the real farm in Watkins Glen, New York to find out more about the real thing.
Love Makes a Family Art Print $17 at Barking Bird Art
Spice up the walls of their bedroom with a little reminder that Mom and Dad love them for being themselves with this collection of cuddly critters from a Portland, Oregon mom and artist.
Pillow Pet $24.95 at My Pillow Pets
These are the hot presents among the elementary school set in my area, but Mom should love them even more than the kids. They're the rare stuffed animal (and pillow) that survives being washed. Trust me, I've tried it many a time with my daughter's Pillow Pet. It's a Christmas miracle (but from what Moms who bought knock-offs tell me, it only works with this brand, so beware)!
The Carnival of the Animals by Jack Prelutsky $20.69 at Barnes & Noble
Camille Saint-Saen's rousing composition The Carnival of the Animals is old -- it was composed in 1886 to share his impression of the silly habits his friends shared with animals -- but it's a perfect pairing with silly poet Jack Prelutsky's new verses. A review copy sent to The Stir revealed a hilarious look at how their favorite animals come to life. Be sure to set up the CD to play before you snuggle in for the bedtime story.
Is your child a veterinarian in training?