I have been a nanny for a little 5 year old boy for over a year now. I moved to a 31 acre farm in July and since then I have had him out to the house a few times and by far his favorite thing to do here is to help with the animals. He is terrified of my dogs (even tho they are gentle as can be), doesnt really care about the pig or indoor cats, but LOVES the horses, goats, and barn cats.
He is getting experience in all aspects of their care, even experiencing death. He asked about my 2 other goats today and I told him how they died (without the gruesome details) and showed him where they were buried. He helped with Sully's care, bottle fed the baby goats, and played with them. He kept checking to see if the babies were awake and asking if they needed to eat. And then it was almost time for his dad to pick him up and he said "but we need to go down and give Sully more medicine later!". He showed his dad the babies, bragged that he fed them, and was wanting to introduce his dad to Sully.
I love being able to suck people into farm life lol. It is so much more rewarding than sitting inside in front of the tv or video games. It is making him popular at preschool, too. One day was cowboy/cowgirl day and he was the only one who didn't have a cowboy hat to wear and he was feeling left out. Well after preschool I took him to the farm and he got to ride one of my horses (I led him around, he wasn't riding on his own..this was the 4th time he has been on my horse. His first time ever on a horse was on mine, too) and he got to tell his class about it. He also had goat day at preschool recently and he told everyone that his nanny has goats and he has seen them and helped take care of them. I'm bringing him back here soon and I am going to take some pictures of him bottle feeding the babies so he can show his class.
Not only is he playing with various animals, he is learning how to care for them and why things are done a certain way. Even just today he learned why we don't want the goat gate left open, and why we don't want the babies swallowing air from their bottles. Even on the days I don't bring him to my house, he asks about the animals and wants to know how they are doing.
He may not remember me when he gets older, but I hope he retains what I have taught him about animals and the proper way to treat them.