The best pet reptiles for children will be ones that are low maintenance, well-tempered, and, of course, non-aggressive. Despite being exotic animals that still harbor much of their wild instincts, there are several reptile species that make for wonderful animal companions—even for the littlest of humans. Whether you’re looking for a cool alternative pet to teach your child about reptiles, or simply one that will teach them responsibility without being a hassle, these 5 kid-friendly reptiles are our top choice.
These cute lizards are a favorite amongst beginners. Easily tamed and with a naturally docile temperament, these lizards will win even the pickiest of children over. They are undemanding of their housing requirements and naturally pretty clean.
Kids are sure to get a kick out of the fact that leopard geckos are insectivores. Crickets and mealworms are the options most commonly available in pet stores, but they’ll eat any kind of insect really.
These miniature sized reptiles rarely exceed 10 inches in length and have a lifespan of about 15 years.
Also nicknamed the eyelash gecko, these charming little odd-balls are another popular pet lizard option for beginners. They only grow to be about 5-8 inches long and have a relatively short lifespan of 5-10 years.
Crested geckos are naturally docile but somewhat on the skittish side. They don’t take to being held as well as other lizards. Crested geckos would probably be a better option for children that are slightly older who can resist the temptation to want to grab them.
They make up for their hands-off pet style by being fun and entertaining to watch. These agile lizards are great jumpers and their sticky toe pads help them climb vertical surfaces with ease.
One of the most popular pet reptile choices among beginners and experienced “herpers” alike, bearded dragons are a lot of fun to keep around. Friendly, social, and intelligent, there are plenty of stories of owners taking their bearded dragons for walks, learning tricks, and even snuggling on the couch. For a child that really wants a pet they can play with, the bearded dragon is an excellent choice.
Bearded dragons are pretty big lizards, ranging from 16 inches two a whopping 24 from nose to tail. They have a moderate lifespan of 10-15 years which gives them plenty of time to bond with their tiny human.
One of the largest and most popular lizards in the skink family, their bright-blue tongue is a spectacle to behold. Fun fact: their blue tongues are a defense mechanism. The blue color reflects ultraviolet light which can distract any birds that might try to eat them in the wild.
These heavy-bodied lizards can grow up to be almost two feet long in length (about 22 inches) and have a life expectancy between 15-20 years. Despite their intimidating appearance, these lizards are friendly and docile, and known to get along well with humans. They also have a reputation for being rather intelligent for reptile standards, which can make them a great deal of fun to interact with.
Lizards are awesome, but snakes have a certain cool factor that makes them irresistible to children. The smallest of the large python family, this snake breed looks as exotic and wild as its larger brethren. Typically averaging 4-5 feet in length, ball pythons are a big jump from the size of your average pet lizard.
Despite their exotic appearance, ball pythons have a remarkably docile temperament. Even in the wild, these snakes prefer to hide rather than engaging in an altercation. As pets, this behavior makes them a wonderful and non-aggressive pet snake option that’s suitable even for small children.
Another attractive aspect of ball pythons is they are very tolerant to handling. Children that would prefer a more hands-on pet experience will find a willing participant with this species.
Where To Find A Pet Reptile for Children
These living dinosaurs might look fearsome but reptiles are surprisingly well-suited as a child’s pet. Children of all ages can appreciate their unique and fascinating perks, while their parents are sure to love that reptiles are cost effective and don’t take up much space. Just keep in mind that no matter how docile or well-behaved a snake or lizard might seem, children should always be supervised when they interact with one.
You can find these and other kid-friendly reptiles for sale nearly anywhere that reptiles are sold. Online reptile shops will offer the best selection of both reptile species and the equipment needed to house them.