Having an aquarium in the home can have many benefits to the family but studies have shown that fish tanks can be particularly calming for very active children, and if they have an aquarium in their room it can even help them get to sleep at night.
There are many relaxing effects which fish have on children, as creating a fish tank is like making a whole new magical world which they can watch, look at and wonder about, using their imaginations as well as learning responsibility.
Fish tanks can encourage learning, making it more fun and interesting. Having a fish tank will get your children thinking about fish and nature and how the world works, which keeps them engaged rather than fighting with each other or driving their parents crazy. They can ask about how fish breathe and eat, and how come they never keep still or go to sleep. A fish tank can also help younger children learn to count and learn colours in context.
Fish tanks can encourage creativity and imagination. If children help to build the tank they can choose the decorations, including tiny castles, corals and shapes for the fish to swim in and out of so they can have great fun building an entire underwater world for their pets to live in. Children can enjoy visiting the pet shop to buy new elements for their tank and really engage with the whole process.
Fish tanks can teach children responsibility. Being in charge of looking after a pet helps children to understand things from another point of view and helps to boost their confidence, which they can find relaxing. It also gives them a whole new thing to focus on at home and take their mind off any worries around school or friends.
Fish can be the perfect friend for children to talk to. If children are having issues they may not want to turn to their parents but talking to fish can be a great way for them to release their stress and anxiety about things that may have happened at school, or at home, without being judged. They know the fish will always keep their thoughts a secret.
A fish tank can help children get to sleep at night. Having an aquarium in the bedroom can be a real comfort to children who have problems getting to sleep with the lights off. A fish tank provides a really relaxing nightlight.
A fish tank can focus children and calm them down. Just sitting watching the fish swim around can engross a child’s imagination and move their mind away from noise and disruptive behaviour and bring them into a much calmer state quite quickly. Studies have shown that fish tanks have a very positive effect on children with ADHD.
Having fish as pets gives children a sense of belonging. If the children get to name the fish and take charge of feeding them and looking after them it can create a real sense of family belonging as they are now responsible for looking after a new family member effectively and almost role playing as main carer for the fish.
Having a fish tank can help children learn practical skills. Depending on the age of the children, they can get involved in many of the practical issues such as cleaning out the fish tank, changing the filter, ensuring the water is the right temperature and help the adults with all of these elements of looking after the fish tank. This builds lovely opportunities for the children to work together with the grown-ups and be responsible and creative at the same time, relaxing into the work instead of being bored and stressed.
There are many different ways having a fish tank can help relax children, from giving them practical tasks, to helping them to learn about life and the world around them. Watching the fish swimming around can calm them down or fire their creative imaginations as they think up adventures that might be happening in the magical underwater world they have helped to build.
For children who are very active, aquariums have been proven to help keep them calmer, and for children who have trouble sleeping at night without a light on, a fish tank can be an ideal solution, providing a calming feature as well as the light, to help them feel more secure and drift off to sleep far more calmly and happily in their own room.