Animals that help us

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By Karen Hartwriter

Try some simple art and design activities about animals that help us.

Circle time talking points

Animals help humans in many ways, from guide dogs helping the visually impaired, to tiny insects pollinating plants. But although we spend quite a bit of time thinking about ways we can help protect and care for animals we rarely stop to think about the ways they help us – in so many countries across the world.

Try using the animals that help us theme for an extended circle time session, including some of the suggestions below. How many types of helpful creatures can your group think of?
  • Bees – honey bees collecting nectar and turning it into honey, pollinating flowers at the same time
  • Dogs – dogs pulling sledges in snowy countries, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, companion dogs being friends to people in hospitals and care homes, sheep dogs and police dogs
  • Sheep – wool
  • Pigeons – used as messengers to deliver secret information during war time
  • Elephants – talk about elephants used to transport heavy materials such as logs in Asia
  • Ladybirds – eating aphids (greenfly) which harm plants
  • Horses – work on farm land and for carrying people
  • Camels – carrying loads and transport

Of course, we also use animals for food – meat, eggs, dairy produce. And don’t forget animal waste used as a fertiliser for crops

Paper plate honey bees

Paper plate bee

Use to create a wall display – they brighten up any setting. Alternatively add strings and use as a hanging display.

You will need (per bee):
  • 1 paper plate
  • Yellow and black paint
  • 1 googly eye
  • White tissue paper
  • Half a wooden coffee stirrer or yellow pipe cleaner
  • Glue
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