Toddler Zoo: Discover the Wonders of Your Local Pet Shop

Explore the many benefits of taking a toddler to a pet store just to see the animals!

By Kate Fletcher, Macaroni KID Binghamton Publisher February 20, 2024

While it might not come up on your search for amusement parks, zoos, or kid entertainment venues, your local pet store is a free destination that stimulates the senses and offers enough excitement to have your toddler asking to visit again. 

Two pet stores in the Greater Binghamton area that we like to visit are Creature Comforts, located on Front Street in Binghamton, and PetSmart, located next to Target in Vestal. 

Here are just a few benefits of a pet store visit offers kids:

Educational Experience

Toddlers are naturally curious about the world around them, and a pet store offers a unique opportunity to see a variety of animals up close. They can learn about different species, their characteristics, and how they move and interact.  Seeing different types of animals, their appearances, sounds, and behaviors can spark their interest in the natural world and encourage further exploration.

Social Interaction

Interacting with other children or adults who are also looking at the animals can be a good way for them to practice social skills. They can ask questions, share observations, and make new connections. 

Emotional Development

Interacting with animals can be calming and soothing for some toddlers. Watching animals play, cuddle, or simply exist peacefully can promote a sense of relaxation and well-being.

Sensory Stimulation

Pet stores offer a variety of sights, sounds, and smells that can be stimulating for toddlers. They can see colorful fish swimming, hear birds chirping, and even pet some friendly animals like rabbits or guinea pigs. This sensory stimulation can be enjoyable and enriching.

While it's not a museum, aquarium, or zoo with educational talks and hands-on exhibits, a pet store can still be an incredibly enriching experience for small children. As with any store visit with a toddler, you'll need to supervise closely and ensure they don't touch any animals without permission.

So, the next time you're looking for a quick adventure that promises giggles and learning, consider a trip to the pet store – you might be surprised at the magic you uncover together.

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