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Desk Pets: Desk Pet Starter Kit

Updated: Apr 17

Let me introduce you to the adorable Desk Pets (they are all the rage!). I had seen posts about teachers using classroom desk pets as part of their classroom rewards, positive reinforcement strategies, or classroom behavior management. I fell in love with the idea and thought it would be so much fun!

I wanted to somehow introduce desk pets to our homeschool class. I wanted to promote positive behavior and a good learning attitude, and I wanted to motivate my kids to finish their work on time. I knew that desk pets would bring an extra element of fun to our homeschool classroom. Instead of using a treasure box reward system, I decided to use the "Desk Pets" as our reward system.

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Desk Pets habitat homes

Click here to shop displays

What are desk pets?

Desk Pets are miniature erasers in the shape of an animal. Students will enjoy this as if they had an actual animal without any mess! Young elementary students will love these! Teachers are using them as a rewards system for good behavior in which the students earn desk pets, as well as food, treats, and other desk pet accessories.

Everything You Need to Set Up Your Own Desk Pet System:

This is what I used for our homeschool pet store and adoption center:
  • Desk pet homes (free printables at the end of the page)

  • Food and accessories for the desk pets

I found a pack of puzzle mini erasers on Amazon that brought animal figures, food items, and toys. It came with more than enough pets, food, and accessories for me to open up the pet adoption center and pet shop. The only thing I needed was a home for the pets.

You can also find desk pets or animal-shaped mini erasers at Target, Target Dollar Spot, Dollar Tree, and the Dollar Store. I've also seen them at Five Below. In my opinion, you get a lot more quantity for your money purchasing from Amazon.

Desk Pet Homes

Desk Pet Homes download

I've seen teachers use small plastic containers for students to store their pets, such as these (click here). These are great ideas because they can double as storage to safely put away their pets and accessories.

But, I wanted to create something that would add more fun to the desk pet adventure. I created several different homes and habitats for students to choose from when they head to the classroom "pet shop". There is a link below to download the pet habitats and homes I created

The reward system I set in place:

  • At the end of each day, if the child completes all their schoolwork, they will receive one "desk pet" dollar, which they could use to buy their desk pet accessories, such as a new home, food, or toy, from the "pet store".

  • At the end of each day, if the child did their best, paid attention, and overall demonstrated a positive learning attitude, they earn a pet adoption point. Five points entitle them to adopt another pet.

Introducing Desk Pets in the Classroom:

To introduce desk pets, I explained our new system and set clear expectations. My expectations are for them to finish their schoolwork of the day and demonstrate a good learning attitude.

I informed them the pet store and the desk pet adoption center would arrive later after their schoolwork was done. Once their work was done, they could pick out one pet from the adoption center. After that, if they want a new pet, they need to earn one by collecting all five Pet Adoption Points on their punch cards (free printables below).

Additionally, I told them that they may earn "Pet dollars" by the end of the day in order to buy their pets home, food, or accessories from the pet shop.

How to Earn Desk Pet Dollars:

Desk Pet starter kit everything you need

If they finish their schoolwork, they can earn a Desk Pet Dollar to use at the pet store or pet shop. With their dollars, they can buy food and accessories for their pets.

How to Earn Pet Adoption Points:

By demonstrating a good learning attitude they will receive a punch on their pet adoption card. After five punches, they will be able to adopt another pet.

Desk Pet money

Our pet store opens at the end of each school day. At the end of the day, the kids can look forward to using their desk pet dollars to purchase a new habitat, food item, or toy for their new pet. My kids absolutely love it!

Desk Pets Desk pet home and ideas

Click here to download my Desk Pet Pack which includes homes, desk pet money, labels, and pet desk points punch cards.

Give us a shout-out and show us how you use Desk Pets in your classroom or homeschool by tagging us (@kindlittleexplorers) on Instagram.

Desk Pet Holiday Themed Habitats

Turns out I enjoy making these cute desk pet habitats. I decided to make several holiday-themed habitats for our beloved desk pets. They can be used as classroom management tools, as rewards for good behavior, or as a gift from teachers during special holidays.

Holiday habitats Desk Pets

I created homes for pets that include Halloween, Christmas, and Thanksgiving themes. Each holiday has two unique homes to choose from. Kids will love having the option of a holiday-themed desk pet home. They would look so cute in elementary classrooms!

Holiday Desk Pets Free Download

Click here to download your FREE Holiday-themed desk pet homes!

Custom Designed Desk Pet Homes

personalized desk pet home for teachers

If you would like to receive a free personalized desk pet homes for your class, please reach out to us by subscribing and contacting us. Note: Must be subscribed to recieve Free Custom Design

Give us a shout-out and show us how you use Desk Pets in your classroom or homeschool by tagging us (@kindlittleexplorers) on Instagram.

Are Desk Pets Effective?

Desk pets worked out really well for us. My kids really enjoyed them, and they were looking forward to them every school day. My goal was to keep my students excited and motivated to complete their school work on time, maintain a good learning attitude, and try their best.

I would say, that they did just that in order to earn their cute little pets and buy their desk pet accessories. In my opinion, Desk Pets make an excellent positive reinforcement strategy and a fantastic alternative to treasure box rewards.

They can be so much fun in young elementary grades and may help strengthen the classroom community. Students will love pretending to head over to the pet shop, making this a great idea to add dramatic play into the classroom.

For more fun classroom activities and inspiration check out these fantastic posts:

4. Desk Pets Stem Challenge in which students create a pet clubhouse for their pets.

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