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Find out what Mumsnetters thought of the My Pet Pals workshop at their local Pets at Home store NOW CLOSED

(26 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Oct-15 16:35:48

This thread is for the Mumsnetters who attended the Pets at Home My Pet Pals workshops.

Here’s what Pets at Home say: “Pets at Home stores nationwide will be hosting its My Pet Pals Autumn Activity Club, a series of FREE interactive pet workshops which educate children aged 7-11 years on how to care for pets responsibly. Children will get the chance to get up close with the pets animals in store, including rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils to reptiles and fish

The workshops will also cover the adventures of a gang of small furry animal characters who will illustrate how to look after pets, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs and cats who may be affected by the colder months of the year.

After completing the workshops, each child will receive a free workbook, certificate and stickers, along with a pet promise card where they make a pledge to look after any pet they have according to the five welfare needs, covering habitat, health, wellbeing, diet and behaviour.

Don’t forget while you’re in-store to pick up a My VIP magazine (free if you’re a VIP member) which includes a great My Pet Pals magazine at the back! It is full of fantastic interactive material including fun facts files, puzzles and competitions all just for kids! So they can continue to learn about animals even after they have left the workshop!”

Attendees, please answer the following questions, and feel free to add any other comments you have:
- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?
- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?
- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?
- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?
- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?
- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly
- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?

If you took any pictures on the day feel free to upload them onto this thread. Remember, however, only to take and upload pictures of your own children.

Every attendee who was recruited through Mumsnet and adds their feedback will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £300 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!
MNHQ

liamell Tue 27-Oct-15 17:55:13

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend? Scales and Fins (reptile workshop)

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees? It was incredibly interesting. Very informative on the aquatic side as there are more fish at our local store than reptiles. DD was enthralled throughout the whole experience and it was run incredibly well.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop? She learnt alot and it gave us alot more insight of how to look after a fish if Santa happens to bring one this year.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop? Definitely the different species of fish, how to feed and when etc.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop? Wonderful staff throughout our store and this particular colleague was engaged with each of the children. Which was nice as sometimes in a group it can feel very rehearsed.

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied? I was really impressed actually, it made me want to take the children to the other workshops on offer.

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop? I think this covered everything that I could possibly think of but I would be interested to see the other workshops to see if they were as informative.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly
Most definitely. I would have loved to have been able to have taken my 3 year old along as im sure he would have benefitted also. I would say monthly, especially half term time as this is a wonderful activity to attend.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?
Most definitely, I was genuinely really impressed by the whole experience. Highly recommended

sjonlegs Tue 27-Oct-15 19:58:54

I took my 7 year old daughter and her girlfriend to the session at Guiseley (Leeds) Pets at Home store on Sunday afternoon. They were the only two - although the store said they can get between just a couple to 40 children per session!

The young man who conducted the Pet Pals (Little Furries) Workshop was very knowledgeable and friendly. The girls asked him LOTS of questions and it ran into 40 minutes - but he didn't seem to mind.

Not all the 'little furries' were available (the rats had accommodation problems so were stored in the warehouse), but the girls befriended Syrian hamsters, Russian hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Degu and Chinchilla. The girls were allowed to handle most of them (and there was alcoholic gel to ensure they cleaned their hands afterwards).

The man showed the girls the cages and feed and other accessories ... but to be honest their interest dwindled at this point - even though the man tried to make it fun by asking questions and quizzing the on what they'd learnt.

There were booklets available for the children to take away and the girls loved their certificates and work booklets.

I had to check pockets on the way out of the store as the girls were particularly taken with the dwarf hamsters!!

I'd definitely recommend it to friends it was a lovely way to spend an hour inside and we made an afternoon of it- by visiting the nearby playground for an hour too!

It's a nice afternoon out, for nothing, if you have little people who love animals.

Well done Pets at Home for putting on such a service.

My daughter wants another dog (as we lost our dog earlier this year at almost 19 years) ... but if she wasn't so dead set on a dog I know this would have encouraged her to home a smaller pet. I'd definitely recommend these workshops for those thinking of getting a small pet - purely in order to make an informed decision.

Cashncarry Tue 27-Oct-15 20:02:45

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?
Keeping pets safe

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?
After a short introductory chat, the children were given a sticker and activity booklet each and played a quick game of "Pin the tail on the chinchilla". They were then taken around the various hamster cages and talked through the history, physiology and care of different types of hamsters they had the opportunity to be hands on with the animals and ask any questions.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?
Quite a lot. We don't have hamsters yet but are thinking about it when they get older (younger boys are 4 and 6). It gave them a good insight into the responsibility involved and the amount of care and attention even the smallest of pets require.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
Definitely the "petting" stage - I was surprised how gentle they both were. Even my 11 year old who's not particularly pet-inclined was fascinated.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
We were lucky enough to to have a very knowledgeable member of staff who was also very patient with the younger children. She kept them engaged throughout.

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?
Other than a balloon at the end we didn't receive any further material. The children enjoyed doing the activity booklet with me later that day. I was slightly disappointed that the items referred to in the promotional material didn't appear but I don't think that affected the children's enjoyment at all.

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?
As far as I can see there are other workshops available/coming up which my children would be interested in - reptiles, fish, wild birds.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly
Yes definitely - probably limit visits to half terms/holidays so less than monthly I guess.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?
Absolutely I would - provided your expectations are set at the right level. Half an hour really only allows for a quick foray into the chosen topic but that's plenty for my younger two. Perhaps not if you have older children.

Sorry I can't think of any other comments for now but if anyone has any questions about our experience, if be happy to answer them.

katyk81 Tue 27-Oct-15 22:40:09

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?

We went to the Bearded Dragon workshop in Wellingborough

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals
workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?

We were met by Sam and discovered it was just our two so he took us across and introduced us to the reptiles he was going to be talking about. He started with the bearded dragon which was very interesting, the kids got to touch it and ask questions. I am not a reptile person but was pleasantly surprised by how endearing it was - it is a really interesting creature to watch and we were all quite taken with it. We then learnt about the different Geckos before I left my husband and the kids to it so Sam could bring out the snakes. There was plenty of chances to touch the reptiles and ask questions.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?

Yes we learnt about caring for the reptiles, about the things they eat and how they need hot and cold spots- we also learnt some fascinating facts such as how the Gecko can lose and regrow it's tail and that the corn snakes colours were brighter each time they shed their skin.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?

My son (7) was just the right age to enjoy this (although a bit young for responsibility of his own reptile which we won't consider for a few more years) and he thoroughly enjoyed it all- especially the geckos which he loved.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?

Very- plenty of opportunities for questions, actually touching the animals and not 'scripted' in any way. All the other staff we spoke to through the store were also very friendly and the lady on the till was extremely enthusiastic (she said she is a reptile geek!)

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?

It was very hands on and the leaflets made interesting reading

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?

No we thought this was good- although having booked it as a bearded dragon workshop I don't feel this description does the session justice and it should perhaps make mention of the other reptiles.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly
Yes definately-it's a bit of a trek to our nearest Pets at Home so I would think about once a month would be ideal for us.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?
Very much so, it was interesting and informative- even if you aren't considering a pet in the immediate future it is great for children to learn about different animals and how much work and care they need.

Thanks!

twitchypalm Tue 27-Oct-15 22:41:53

We went to the scales and fins talk in Andover on sunday 25th Oct.
Our member of staff who done the talk was called Tom, our 2 dcs were the only ones on this talk. It was brilliant. Tom got out a bearded dragon for the dcs to hold and a corn snake and a gecko. One of the snakes had shed it skin to he explained to the dcs how a snake shed its skin the dcs were fascinated.

Whilst we were looking at the reptliles my ds noticed the snake they had been handling was sheding his skin so Tom got the box out and the dcs watched the snake shedding they then got the skin to take home as a souvenir.

My Dcs definatly learnt loads on the day about reptiles they already know about fish as we have 2 large aquariums.

Tom was really good at engaging my 2 dcs. My son was asking him loads of questions and he answered all of them for him.

The dcs didnt get the sticker book but they wern't bothered as they had a snake skin to take him instead. I would definatly do another one and would like to take our cub group to one aswell.

It was a brilliant hour spent there even though it was only meant to be 30 mins. Its the first time we have been to one but certainly wont be the last

I will definatly be recomending it to family and friends.

Indantherene Tue 27-Oct-15 23:10:54

Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend? Scales and fins

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?

DD was the only one booked on. There was no indication when we got there of where we were supposed to go, and nobody available to ask. The store was incredibly busy and the only staff members were either on the till or busy with customers. Each time the queue at the till went down a little bit, another 4 people joined! In the end we grabbed a staff member as they dashed past to ask them where to go. That particular person ended up taking us.

He got out a baby bearded dragon for us, let us stroke it and told us all about it. Then he let DD hold it. He explained that it needed a warm tank because it was cold blooded, and what it liked to eat. DD was concerned that they were in pairs in separate tanks and he explained why. We were joined by another member of staff who took over. She showed us a gila monster, which was too lively for DD to hold, and a crested dragon. it was feeding day for the snakes, so she couldn't get them out. I thought it was a bit daft to organise the reptile workshop on the one day in 10 when the snakes are fed.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?

Yes, we learned all about the differences between the 3 species of lizard, including the fact that the gila can drop its tail and regrow it, and the different colours and patterns they come in.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?

Stroking the lizards

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?

Both of the staff members seemed to know a lot about the lizards and answered all the questions put to them. Couldn't fault either of them.

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?

No interactive material supplied, except some general instore leaflets about caring for each type of reptile.

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?

Perhaps washing hands after handling animals. I was a bit shocked afterwards when I realised we hadn't been offered handwash or wipes at the end, and that we'd gone from animal to animal without either us or the staff member cleaning our hands between them.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly

If they were better organised. We went at the time stated by the store and they were incredibly busy. We basically sat on the floor in the aisle and other people (adults with toddlers) tried to join in with us when they saw what we had in our hands. We also didn't get to see the fish, which was supposed to be part of the workshop. We looked at them on our own.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?

Yes but with reservations, as above.

mollyonthemove Wed 28-Oct-15 14:08:06

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?

We attended the Rabbit Workshop in Cambridge

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?

We were the only ones there! The assistant was really nice - she took a rabbit (he was sooo lovely!) out of his hutch and talked us through what his name was, his history, how we should look after a rabbit, food, exercise etc, and let dd hold him for as long as she wanted to!

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?

She knew very little about rabbits so was intrigued at the way he snuggled up to her and the kind of foods he ate.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?

Holding the rabbit

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?

Very

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?

We didn't receive any sad

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?

Not really.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly

If we were planning on getting a small animal, I think we would definitely go along.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age

Yes - to learn about the care of animals before getting one.

del2929 Wed 28-Oct-15 23:42:08

Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?

aquatics

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?

we arrived and were met by a memebr of staff who took us down to the aquatics area. There was just me and my children there. the lady explained to us a bit about what would take place in the next 30 mins.
my children got to feed a fish of their choice, they then got to make their own fish tanks using ornaments off the shop self- this was really exciting for them.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?

yes- we learnt about fish feeding and diff types of fish food that is available.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?

making their own fsh tanks

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?

very engaging- she was constantly trying to think of things that would keep the little ones occupied

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?

no interactive material was supplied- this was so disappointing as i had already told the little ones we would receive something.

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?

as already mentioned by some other mums- hand washing!!!

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly

yes, definitely-

prob every half term sounds good

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?

yes i would recommend these workshops, i think they are suitable from 5 onwards

KarenHL Fri 30-Oct-15 12:17:23

We attended Small Furries workshop at the Wellingborough store.

The group stayed in the shop, and went to relevant animals. The man leading the group was fantastic, he'd kept most of the animal breeds as a child so was a real fount of info, not just on the basics of care, but also what the animal was like. For example, breed characteristics, like if they're easy to train. DC was over the moon as got to hold several animals.

We learnt lots of new stuff, I didn't realise chinchillas can be quite timid, and degus have more energy than my children combined! Also good to know which animals are happier in a group or not.

DC would say the highlight was holding a rabbit and a guinea pig.

Colleague was very engaging, started off by asking what the children would like to look at first. Kept them interested and moved things along at just the right pace.

The only material supplied were leaflets about each animal - standard how to care for your new pet and what to buy. Not a workbook and stickers so I was a little disappointed. DC wasn't disappointed as I hadn't told them to expect anything. Was reading them in bed this morning smile.

We'd probably try a different workshop next time. Maybe reptiles, although it can be a little tricky with people shopping around you. We'd definitely come again, maybe monthly with a prebooked group if that's possible. If PaH do these every half-term, I can see them getting booked up once they are publicised more.

I have already recommended them to many others and suggested they book for this week. If they happen regularly I will put them on the other fora I am on.

RingDownRingUp Fri 30-Oct-15 13:05:41

which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?

We attended a workshop called 'Autumn workshop - keeping pets safe', according to the confirmation email I received, but it wasn't obvious at all that there was a theme at the actual workshop. It was at the Loughborough branch.

What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?

It was pretty poor, to be honest. I asked my children to sum up what they thought of it and they said 'rubbish', 'boring' and 'waste of time'. Sorry!

There were only 3 children booked onto the workshop (2 of them mine).When we got there it wasn't at all obvious where to go. We queued up at the cash desk to ask and were told to loiter near the rabbits, which we did for 5-10 minutes. Eventually a member of staff came over and started taking to us. She seemed very flustered and outside of her comfort zone running the workshop. I felt ever so sorry for her as she clearly didn't want to be doing it!

The whole thing was over after 10-15 mins max, and really lacked direction or content. The staff member showed us some reflective things we could buy for dogs to wear in winter, picked up a rabbit for the children to stroke, and showed us a thermal water bottle cover for rabbits. That was about it! She kept saying 'this is really boring isn't it' and ' you don't want to be here do you' to the children! I tried to engage with her and ask questions in order to string it out a bit and put her at ease but didn't get very far with that.

We were all pretty glad when it was over!

Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?
You can buy reflective things at Pets at Home.

What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
Lollipop at the end

How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
Not at all! She just wasn't suited to running that sort of event. She looked like she wanted the ground to open up and swallow her.

What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?
Don't think we saw any

Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?
How to care for dogs, particularly health routines.

Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly

Despite this being poor, possibly. We've been three times before (twice with Beavers and once last summer holidays) and the events have been great. We just got a dud one on this particular day.
Great idea for the school holidays BUT I noticed at this particular store had arranged some other events in the last week for half term yet in this area all the schools have half term a week earlier (we went to a Weekend one).

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?

Dunno. I would say to them that it was worth a look if you happened to be in the area but I wouldn't make a special trip in case it was a waste of time!

Like several other posters I was shocked that there was no mention of hand washing after stroking the rabbits!

We got given a little box with a lollipop and some leaflets plus a certified to say we'd attended a,though the staff member left it blank for us to fill out confused

MimsyBorogroves Fri 30-Oct-15 14:35:23

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?
The small furries workshop.

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?
We all thoroughly enjoyed it! We were met by a staff member who introduced herself, talked about the animals we would meet that day, asked the children their favourite animals, and about all of the animals in store. We were told about the types of each of the animals we met in store, their different characteristics and temperaments, (which hamsters could live together, which couldn't, etc), where each of the animals originated from, their lifespans etc. We were given a booklet and certificate to take away. They got to hold, stroke or feed the animals depending on their temperaments. We were encouraged to use the hand sanitiser!

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?
Lots! Mainly about where animals originated from, and their lifespans.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
Holding the animals and feeding.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
She was brilliant - a real animal lover and excellent at engaging the children. She took time after the workshop ended to take my children to the bearded dragon and get him out too for a stroke, which was lovely.

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?
Really good and child friendly. We weren't given any animal-specific leaflets like previous posters, but this wasn't an issue.

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?
It definitely hit all of our requirements, and is a really good idea, either for a school holiday activity or for a family who is looking for their next pet. Although I would always advocate rescue first, especially for rabbits!

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly
As a school holiday activity, so less than monthly. We would definitely attend again though.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?
Yes - already have.

Byrdie Fri 30-Oct-15 17:32:34

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?

Halloween special small flurries dress up workshop!

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?

It was a really good interactive session for both my kids (5 and 7). I would describe it as really informative and great value (!)

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?

There was a lot of information about rabbits and how to check that they are healthy and also about how to handle rats and guinea pigs. My eldest learnt that rats shed their tail skin and it's really painful so never hold a rat by it's tail. My younger one learnt that she did not like guinea pigs.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?

Winning a prize! The won a DVD between them which I thought was pretty generous.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?

She was great and kept them enthralled with information, a bit of handling and games searching for things around the store.

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?

I'm not sure what the interactive material was. We were given a certificate at the end and the prize plus a pack of sweets and a sticker saying well done for attending - that was more than enough but no workbook as stated above. Really wasn't an issue!

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?

I think more about feeding them and how much play they may need would be good to learn a bit about the responsibility of keeping a pet day to day.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly

I'd think about attending again, to be fair though it would need to be in holiday time for us to be able to.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?

I would recommend these - really good info for the kids (and parents). On the workshop we attended, we had a 2 year old join in ad hoc and he was really just to small - he was removed by the parents when they realised he'd just had enough and was going to hurt the poor rabbit. There was a 3 year old girl there too and to be honest I think she was a bit too young / rough with the rabbit and guinea pig. I would say that although they bill it that every age can join in, it really is for 5 plus. Even my 5 year old, who was brilliantly behaved, cried about holding the guinea pig and was really distressed by the claws! The current guidelines of 5-11 (? I think) are right and then it's up to parents to judge if their particular child can handle it.

I think these workshops are a bit of a hidden gem - the lady who gave the workshop said she had no one signed up for the halloween party the next day and they had music, prizes and party games planned. Seems they need to advertise a bit more. Possibly have a small cost to it also as we had 8 booked on the one we attended and only 5 turned up.

SylvDP Fri 30-Oct-15 18:10:08

Which workshop did you attend?
Small furry friends. Gillingham, Dorset.

Overall experience.
We were the only ones at the workshop. We were given a little introduction then taken over to the Rabbits. While dd held a Dwarf rabbit we were told how to look after them, what they eat etc. Dd was allowed to choose which Guinea Pig she wanted to hold and later we met the shop hamster called Bear.
After the workshop Dd was given a box with stickers, a ball, booklet and information relevant to the animals we had seen.

Did your child learn anything new?
She learnt what to feed each animal (and what they can't eat). Which animals can live together etc. Plus we learnt why chinchillas have sand baths.

What was the highlights?
She loved handling all the animals, particularly the Rabbits.

How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
Our colleague (Lydia) was fantastic. She was very comfortable chatting and answering questions. What came through was that she was a real animal lover. She said they handle the animals every day and check them to make sure they are well.
I have to add that all the staff we met were very friendly and welcoming.

Opinion of the interactive material supplied.
Dd was given a nice little box with stickers, activity book, a little ball and pet info. She was very happy with it. I thought it was a nice gesture, especially as the workshops are free.

Anything your child would like to learn in the next workshop?
I think they cover all the animals they have in store through their different workshops. There was plenty of advertising in store of upcoming workshops plus our colleague told us of an upcoming Dogs breakfast in store.

Would you attend another workshop?How regularly?
Yes most defiantly. Depending on what was running possibly every month or half term.

Would you recommend workshops to friends/family with children around the right age?
Yes totally. I think the workshops are great for anyone thinking of getting a pet. They are also ideal for children (like my Dd) who just love animals.

emmamaw Sat 31-Oct-15 10:00:00

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?
Keeping pets safe in Aintree

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?
when we arrives large hay bales were arranged as seating around the rabbit pen. We were told to take a seat and right on time two staff members arrived with props. One checked a list of names to make sure everyone was here and also allowed another child to join as they werent full. She then left to collect a goody box for all the children which had been prepared in advance and had their names on. She then outlined the agenda and began to talk about how to keep pets, mainly dogs and rabbits, safe in the winter. There were lots of products available to buy from there, and i did worry we were going to get the hard sell but the hosts kept if as informative rather than pushy. They then brought out a rabbit and a guinea pig and all the children got to hold them with plenty of picture oportunities and questions. At the end they asked if there were any other animals the children were interested in and brought out a chincilla and the stores pet hamster.
- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?
Yes. We dont have rabbits so we learnt about rabbits, hamsters and chincillas and also about the safety products available for our dogs.
- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
Holding the animals.
- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
Really good. spoke to the kids on their level, had lots of knowledge and really open and approachable. Seemed to pick up on which kids were shy and which were more confident and made sure everyone got a fair turn.
- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?
Decent enough for a freebie. Tbh my kids looked through it in the car on the way home but didn't bother after that. Maybe younger kids would be more impressed.
- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?
Not really as they kept it quite open to what the kids wanted to ask.
- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly
Weve been to one before and this was much better but i think every few months is enough.
- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?
Yes. My seven year old couldnt make it but think hes have really enjoyed it. My ten yo and her friend enjoyed the seasion but werent fussed by the materials provided.

katiesobol Sat 31-Oct-15 20:52:57

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend? I attended the Aquatics workshop at Eastgate, Bristol
- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees? We had a lovely time - we had expected it just to be about fish and keeping fish, but to my daughters' delight, we also got to look at/touch/hold some of the various furry animals and also see the reptiles. The group leader explained about each animal and their likes and dislikes, characteristics and how to look after them as well as answering questions about how long they live and which one is "the best"!
- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop? My daughters learnt that there aren't just coldwater and tropical fish, but also a group called temperate fish, which can be kept with either the tropical or coldwater fish. They also learnt about which of the species in the store would nibble the fins of fancy finned fish - and so are better kept separately!
- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop? Holding the guinea pigs and stroking the rabbits!
- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop? He was great - really engaging with the kids first and foremost - rather than focussing on the adults, which was great. Full of information and followed the pace of the children.
- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied? We didn't receive any
- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop? It would be nice if they had something to take home with them to keep them engaged. It would be nice to learn about how often to change the water, how to maintain the tank well etc.
- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly - If they build on previous workshops, I would happily bring my children along regularly - monthly would seem sensible or fortnightly - weekly might get a bit tiresome?
- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age? Definitely, particularly to dismiss myths about keeping certain pets (we have seen how quick the hamsters are and so my children now don't think that they would love one to cuddle!)

coffeeisnectar Sun 01-Nov-15 15:38:03

We went to the rabbit workshop in poole.

Overall it was very interesting and informative with lots of information.

My dd learned a lot about the care, treatment, equipment and time needed to own a rabbit and give it a good home.

The colleague was brilliant, clearly very knowledgeable and very good with the children. There were four booked in but two others wanted to join and she was happy to let them sit in and ask questions etc.

We got a leaflet on rabbit care which is full of good information.

We would go again and try a different one. Would recommend these to anyone, too many people get pets without thinking about the time and expense involved or how long the animal will live. Which is why so many pets end up being dumped or sold on.

My dd has been hounding me for a rabbit for months but now she knows the start up costs (£200) and how much care and space it needs she's aware that it's not really suitable for us.

She wants a Newfoundland instead.

Fantasyland Sun 01-Nov-15 19:45:33

Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?
Autumn keeping pets safe at ashton under lyne

What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?
Attended a talk by pets at home staff where they let you stroke and hold the animals and learn a bit about them

Overall it was good as it was free. The only things that were annoying was it was on a busy Saturday instore and people kept coming past and plonking toddlers into the group who didn't want to sit and listen (age of group specifically said 5 plus)and joining in whereas it would have been better if it was a booked only event maybe in a separate room as the kids had to wait then for awhile for their turn as the numbers grew.
Also had members of the public interrupt the talk who just came and joined in and asked questions which had been answered before they gatecrashed.

* Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop? *
My son decided he liked the bearded dragons and I never would have known or thought he would have liked animals like this.

What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
When the guinea pig pooed on the staff member!

How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
Staff were very engaging but had to strain to hear them as very busy store and they had quiet voices.

What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?
Son was given a box which only contained colouring sheets of A4 and a lollipop and a information sheet. It could have been a bit better

* Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?*

Maybe the kids could get involved feeding the animals.

* Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly

Would probably attend monthly if they were different each time

Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?
Yes it gives children a chance to see animals they don't usually get to see.

monkeyplastic Mon 02-Nov-15 20:05:44

We attended the small and furry workshop in longton, stoke on trent.
Overall we had a good time and got to learn about hamsters, gerbils, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits.
We learnt what each animal liked
to eat and some basic information about how to care for them. More importantly, the children got the chance to handle the animals.
My daughters favourite part was learning about dwarf hamsters.
no interactive material was given until the end, which was a work sheet and a colouring competition.
I would recommend this to a friend as a fun and different way to spend time with my children.
Once every couple of months would be enough to keep everybody interested. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable

Generation1979 Mon 02-Nov-15 20:51:45

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?

We attended an aquatics workshops.

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?

We arrived and gave our details to cash till. The cashier wasn't overly interested or gave us directions on where to wait. I had to ask. A man came out after a few minutes and introduced himself. My son was in the recommended age range. My daughter was nearly 4. However she was more than capable of listening and asking appropriate questions etc .

I think the man thought we were having a workshop with a view to buying fish which was never my intention.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?

Yes we learnt lots about feeding and water filtration/temperature.
My partner and I also learnt a huge amount too.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
Feeding the fish.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
Very patient and engaging. Coped well with my sons excitement.

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?

We received a booklet. The kids haven't really looked for it. It is something I'll encourage then to do.

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?

No I think he covered the topic really well.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly

Yes we would. Prefer small animals we could hold etc.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?

Yes I would.

Quietvoiceplease Tue 03-Nov-15 09:42:14

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?
Autumn workshop - keeping pets safe, at the Friern Barnet store on Sat 24 October.

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees?
It was good. The workshop took place in a cordoned off area at the front of the store, with bench seating in it (almost a little like a demonstration theatre type area). There was a table at the front with a variety of products. Josie led the session, who was very good, and clearly very knowledgeable and (which surprised me to some extent in a 'chain' pet shop) was clearly very focused on the welfare of the animals she showed us. There was only us (my three children, me and DH) and one other child and her parent. A few children wandered by occasionally and were invited to join in - which some did, though sort of stayed and wandered off during it, which I thought was a bit offputting/rude but Josie seemed happy that people joined in as they wished. I thought it was a bit of a shame that more people hadn't attended, but it did mean my children had almost exclusive access to the animals.

The workshop began with a brief talk about how changes in temperature and light mean being extra careful with pets, especially those who live outdoors. she showed us an array of products (bottle covers, fluorescent leads for dogs etc) which help keep pets safe. This was only for about 5 mins but felt a little like a 'sell' (to me, the children seemed to enjoy it).

Then Josie talked (very knowledgeably) about an array of animals and got a huge number out for the children to see and hold (she would bring animals from the store over to the demo area, so we had a to wait a little each time whilst she got them) and allow everyone to hold them and ask Qs. It was great. The children held animals they had never seen close up before (Komodo dragons, corn snakes) as well the usual fluffies - bunnies, guineas, hamsters, mice, rats etc. The whole worshop lasted well over the advertised hour. At the end the children were given a little activity book, sticker and a certificate.

I didn't really know what to expect about the workshop, but it was great.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop?
They learnt lots! From how to check an animal is well, to keeping them warm, to whether they are sociable and so on. Josie really did know what she was talking about, and her enthusiasm meant it was really engaging. She made it clear that having pets came with responsibility which was important I think.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
It was holding the animals - for one it was the corn snake (and who now wants one as a pet and yet would never have mentioned it before the workshop), another the Komodo dragon, and for the other it was holding the rabbit.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop?
Very. She knew what she was talking about. Clearly enjoyed telling us about it, and was confident in talking to children and adults. She was quite young (possibly late teens/early 20s) but very good at running the workshop in an inclusive way. It made my children want a job in a pet shop!

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied?
I don't know what this Q means. There wasn't any interactive material supplied, unless you mean the animals? (though that would be the wierdest way to describe an animal IMHO...!). But the animals were great!

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop?
I think they'd be quite keen to attend a workshop about fish, as they are all keen to have them, but don't really know the difference between tropical and cold water, plus the different varieties. They'd probably also be keen to attend another 'hands-on' workshop like the one we attended.

-*Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly*
We would definitely attend another one, but probably less than monthly. They are a great thing to do in the school holidays - and brilliant given that they are a free workshop.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age?
Yes, definitely. My children were aged 8 through to 12, and all loved it.

florencebabyjo Thu 12-Nov-15 21:37:19

Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend?
We attended the small furries workshop in Eastbourne

- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? Could you describe the event to non-attendees? It was ok but I felt that the staff ran out of things to talk bout quite quickly. She kept asking the children what they wanted to ask but they couldn't think of anything really after the first few minutes so she finished the session after 30 minutes. The children sat in the main part of the shop and listened to the lady talking about the rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. There were about 12 children but shopping parents kept stopping with their children to join in for while and didn't seem to realise it was a pre booked workshop.

- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop? They learnt about the food small furry animals eat.

- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop?
Definitely feeding the rabbits though they wanted to hold them properly and not just stroke them.

- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop? I didn't find her very engaging and she ran out of things to talk about quickly.

- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied? We were given no material at all which was a shame as my DD's were really looking forward to their sticker books. I asked but apparently nothing had been delivered to the store.

- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop? How to look out for illnesses in small furries and how to stop them getting bored and stay happy.

- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly I think I would attend every term or so as long as it was more structured and possibly a bit more private.

- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age? I was disappointed with ours really so could not recommend at the moment, it was a bit sloppy.

Squiffie Sun 15-Nov-15 09:54:55

- Which My Pet Pals workshop did you attend? Reptiles.
- What were you and your DCs overall experience of the My Pet Pals workshop? My 7 & 5 year old both attended. They enjoyed it but I thought it lacked any real structure/info.
Could you describe the event to non-attendees? A bunch of kids blocking an aisle if the store whilst getting to hold a couple if different reptiles.
- Did your DCs learn anything new at the My Pet Pals workshop? Eldest had previously been to one at a different store with beavers so I think similar stuff was covered.
- What was your DC’s highlight of the My Pets Pals workshop? Holding the bearded dragon.
- How engaging was the colleague during the workshop? He was ok and whilst clearly knowledgable when asked questions he didn't seem to spark interest or excitement in the kids (I asked all the questions).
- What was your opinion of the interactive material supplied? Didn't see any. Didn't get a workbook or certificate.
- Is there anything you would recommend that your child might like to learn about in the next workshop? Not that I can think of.
- Would you attend another workshop? If so, how regularly would you attend these workshops? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Less than monthly. I would like to give another workshop a try, I think one or two per school holiday (one in a half term, maybe 2 in the summer).
- Would you recommend these workshops to a friend or family member with children around the right age? I'd say it's ok for killing an hour if you've nothing else on.

mollyonthemove Thu 19-Nov-15 14:14:24

When will we know who won the voucher?? grin <christmas soon.....>

twitchypalm Fri 20-Nov-15 13:11:38

I was thinking the same mollyonthemove grin

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