5 Lessons My Kids Learned from Hatching Baby Chicks

When my kids were at West Side Nursery and at Ridge in Kindergarten, one of the science experiments that they loved was watching baby chicks hatch. Could anything be cuter than a fluffy baby chick?!? They’d race into the classroom each day in anticipation of a small crack in the egg or delight as they heard cheeping from the hallway.

What Kids Learned From Hatching Baby Chicks:
1. The miracle of life.
They’ll see the chickens hatch before their very eyes!  They can also participate in “candling” experiments which allow them to take a peek on the chicks’ progress inside the eggs.

2. Patience.
It takes 21 days before the chicks hatch. For kids, that’s like a lifetime. There are many days in the beginning where the eggs don’t appear to change at all. But at the end, the reward is great!

3. Responsibility
They’ll have to check on the chicks every day for 3 weeks. And once the chicks are born, they’ll have some time to take care of them. They’ll have to learn to be gentle handlers as they pet and/or hold the chicks during the last week.

4. Wash You Hands!
We say it all the time as parents (and teachers) but it really had to be enforced during the weeks with the chicks. Children have to wash their hands before and after they handle the eggs and the chicks.

5. Loss
One of the chicks didn’t make it. This happens every year. My kids were sad but it offered an opportunity to talk about loss. Then, at the end of their weeks together, it was time to say “goodbye” to the baby chicks (I can hear that heartbreaking song “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli in my head as I write this) My children have never had pets so this experience gave them a glance at how people become attached to animals and grow to love them.

If you live in the right place, you can even do this from home–we had friends who had a chicken coop in the suburbs (you know who you are!), and I LOVED receiving fresh eggs from them. They were smaller and tastier which definitely had me questioning the eggs you get at the supermarket.  If you’re a teacher, consider doing this project at school. It doesn’t cost much and Goffle Brook Farm will provide you with what you need.


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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine and Caribbean Travel & Life, Heather is chauffeur to 3 busy kids; the president of her Home and School Association; and VP of Marketing for TipsFromTown. And she's passionate about all 3!

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