For those of you around London, I would like to introduce you to Faik Aktulga from Wild Fangs. We met at Childcare Expo at the show at Olympia earlier this year, where his beautiful snake Zebedee graced a large branch on the stand next to ours.

Wild Fangs specialise in delivering interactive, educational and entertaining encounters on the natural world using live animals. Their key philosophy is ‘education through engagement’ and believe that children learn better through first-hand experiences. This is a sentiment I totally agree with but our nurseries are just too far away for the animals from Wild Fangs to travel.20150307_095746

We are fortunate to have a local pet shop who happily bring unusual animals out to see the children. The children are fascinated and take it all in their stride so sessions are easy to manage, just in the same way as if a rabbit or bird is loaned for the day by one of our families. However, with snakes and creepy crawlies, beforehand we have to carefully prepare our staff to behave appropriately around the children, to ensure ‘their behaviour’ doesn’t upset children or for children to copy!

It was interesting at the exhibition, from my personal observations that adults were captivated from afar: some skirted around the stand quickly grimacing as they went and others got close up and friendly (not that Zebedee was bothered!). Their stand created impressive crowds out in front. Then there were a few wanting to overcome their ‘irrational fear’, and one brave lady asked to hold the snake. I used to keep grass-snakes and snails (with different coloured nail varnish on their backs, so I knew Harry from Harriet) amongst other free to find creatures as a child. As I told Faik, when I went to boarding school, I took woodlice with me in a biscuit tin (with holes in the lid of course!)

With a range of animals to choose from may like to arrange for a visit yourselves.