Ok. This has probably been answered, but I hate to do searches. As some of you know, we use our critters to educate kids on field trips. We let them touch the snakes and lizards. We have considered for some time now getting a scaleless snake, probably a corn snake.
Are they any more difficult to care for than scaled snakes? Are they more sensitive to touch? Would it be a bad idea to let a bunch of kids touch them?
I have scaleless corns and a scaleless Lucy Texas rat. They seem to be pretty much just as hardy as typical snakes with one caveat. They dehydrate faster. The only thing I do different is ensure they have a water bowl they can fit their entire body in as I find mine soaking often(California 15-25% relative humidity, probably not so important in areas with higher ambient humidity).
They don’t seem to react to touch any different than scales animals but I would probably make sure all the kids have washed their hands and don’t overdo the handling.
Awesome. Sounds like small classes only. Sometimes we get really small, private schools that onlyhave like 10 or 15 kids.
I will add there is one additional caveat, and that is because they lack scales, it’s much easier to damage their skin on anything sharp/that they can snag on. My boy gave himself a nice scar on his back trying to escape the enclosure one day, all he did was scrape on the edge of the feeding door. Just make sure the kids know they need to be a bit more gentle and everything will be golden.
Awwwww David that’s so sweet of you guys. What smiles you must bring to little faces and bigger faces when the kids get to interact with a reptile! Happiness Joy Smiles Excitement Awe Wonder What lovely words especially when they are inside someone’s heart
Last class we had several that overcame their fears and touched a snake and/or lizard for the first time. One little girl (5th grade) was so distraught that she left the sitting area and sat by a teacher during the snakes. She got better and touched the crestie and the BTS. After the class, she cameup front and wanted to touch the kingsnake without the other kids around. Took a couple of minutes but she touched him andsmiled and ran herhand down his back. Super huge smile on her face! So we are going to get some stickers made with “I overcame my fear!” And a picture of our greybanded kingsnake.
Aw man David! Now that’s what I’m talkin about! Would that all kids have that blessed opportunity! My heart is smiling!
This sounds like what we had experienced this year with one of our classes. Had one doy that was crying and sitting far away and did not want anything to do with them (ball pythons). I talked to him for a few minutes and let him know I would not bring them around him. Just as I was packing up, I noticed he was sitting at the table with the last snake I had out and was touching it smiling and laughing. He was in a 4k class. I think I get more out of doing this then the kids do.
Oh absolutely I get more out of it!
Wow that’s so beautifully heartwarming! I’ll bet that young man watched the other children smiling and having fun with the animals and his fear melted away just in time to get in on some one on one with a sweet ball python!
I love it! I will take stories like this all day long and never get bored!
God bless you!
We had the pleasure of introducing our nephews, who are 6 and 4, to our BP the other day. WELL supervised (we were the ones holding her, but they got “hold” parts of her, and their parents were there too), and we sat down and did some breathing and talked about having “calm bodies, calm hands” beforehand. They did so, so well, and they loved it. We didn’t think the younger would want to, but he got brave and took a little try at the end.
That kid is known to be afraid of all animals, up to and including kittens for gosh sake. According to his mom, he spent the whole ride home talking about our snake. My heart grew three sizes that day. Introducing kids to reptiles is so incredibly rewarding.
My heart is about to burst and I wasn’t even there! . Ya know, it’s so incredible to teach young ones to respect animals but not to be afraid of them at the same time. Once that animal is respected as a living breathing creature to be treated with gentle hands, the seed is planted.
This place makes makes my heart happy!
That’s so awesome! I love being able to introduce people to reptiles and inverts in a positive way. That’s so great that your nephew who’s afraid of kittens now loves your snake.
That’s awesome David! I wish our little elementary school out here in the sticks had some sort of enrichment like an after-school program because I’ve always wanted to do something like that. The principal and many parents I know are terrified of snakes and my daughter has told me of some sad incidents of the parents killing snakes on their property. However, I have had a few parents who know we are snake lovers call me to remove some instead of killing them.
When my daughter has a new friend over, I explain that we have snakes (if they don’t know) and ask about whether or not they are ok that we have snakes in some of our rooms and if so, can the kids be around/touch the snakes if I have them out. Never received a “no” and have had every single kid ask to see a snake and they end up asking to touch or hold it. Changing perceptions and opinions one kid at a time. Feels amazing.
You and your wife are what this world needs!
Thanks for that. Its something we feel really strongly about, and something we dearly love to do.
@gina5678 you can start your own program at the school. Ours started with asking our daughters teacher if we can bring them in to show her class. After that, we had the other class teacher ask if we can stop in her room to show them. We talked with the teacher several time and kept letting them know we can come back next year if they wanted. Since then we go every year to the same grade classes and do a little show and tell type event. The teachers love it and have become more involved, the kids all talk about it and know who we are from doing the show. I get “I know you, you the the snake guy”, "your so and so father with the snakes"all the time from different age kids when in the hallway. There are a few teachers that do not like snakes, but they keep asking me back so the kids can see them. Most of them now will hold them and show the class it is OK to do it. It is fun, other teachers stop in, administration stop in. I keep it to the same grade level so they have something to look forward to and don’t get board of it as they move up. 4k or kindergarten are the best age, I feel. Younger they won’t know how to handle and older they might already be to scared of them. I may look into doing it with the older class so they can see them again several years later.
I love these anecdotes. I truly loved being on both sides of educational outreach. It is such a beautiful thing to see kids who are scared, and those who are misinformed, get the confidence to be able to touch or hold a creature whom they can see in a new way.
I’m really hoping that my next snake will have the right temperament to be an educational animal. I work with adults with developmental disabilities, and I’d love to have a super chill, bomb-proof snake I could bring into work with me from time to time and let the participants interact with it. I’ve already had several requests from participants who know I have snakes. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t fully trust either of my current snakes in such a busy, noisy environment. My blood python is a doll, but she does tend to startle rather easily. And my sand boa has come a long ways with handling and human interaction since I got her, but I think she’d be pretty freaked out by being around a bunch of people and noise. So I’m pinning all my hopes and dreams on my future boa. No pressure, little noodle.
For that kind of thing, I would recommend a king snake! Our grey banded is the most gentle and polite snake we own.
Hey guys this conversation is giving me the urge to visit the elementary school around the corner from me and inquire as to whether they would be interested in a reptile hands on class experience. I have several noodles I would trust until my little corn family grows a bit!