Hamster Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

If you are trying to decide between a hamster and a guinea pig as a new pet, this lesson could help you out. It will teach you all about the habitat, diet, and life cycle of hamsters!

What Are Hamsters?

So you think that you've decided on your new pet. A hamster! And you will name him Teddy. But you don't know anything about Teddy! Well, keep reading to learn lots of facts about Teddy and other hamsters!

Hamsters can be lots of different colors, including black, brown, tan, and gray.

Teddy is a type of animal called a rodent. Rodents are a type of mammal that have teeth that never stop growing! Did you know that the word rodent comes from the Latin word meaning 'to gnaw?' Rodents, like other mammals, have fur, give birth to live babies, and are warm-blooded. There are about 25 different kinds of hamsters, but all hamsters have short tails, thick fur, short legs, and small ears. Hamsters can be lots of different sizes. The smallest hamster, the dwarf hamster, is only 2 to 4 inches long, while the largest hamster, the European hamster, can be over one foot long!

Where Do Hamsters Live?

Many hamsters live in homes as pets, but there are some wild hamsters. In the wild, hamsters live in burrows, or tunnels, during the day and come out at dusk to find food. Hamsters are great diggers and can dig very long burrows with several different rooms that they use for different things. Wild hamsters can live all over the world. If they are kept as pets, hamsters live in a cage with a cover so they do not crawl out.

What Do Hamsters Eat?

Hamsters are omnivores. An omnivore is an animal that eats both plants and animals. Although they mostly eat plants, like seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains, they also eat insects sometimes.

Hamsters use their strong teeth to chew on their food.

Because they have such strong and large teeth, hamsters are able to chew and nibble very hard foods. Hamsters keep extra food in their large cheek pouches! These pouches can get so big that it looks like their heads have doubled or tripled in size!

Hamsters have pouches in their cheeks that they use to hold their food!

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