Acquired: Pet store
Posted Jul 12, 2014
When I moved a few years ago two of my new roommates were a new set of two baby Diamondback Terrapin turtles. The owner of these two baby turtles happens to be (at that time) a 7 year old girl (we'll call her "Annie"). Her mother (my roommate) wanted to give Annie a pet for responsibility (and because her daughter kept asking for a pet) so they both agreed that two baby turtles were a good start.
For the past two years the two turtles have lived in Annie's room in a medium size tank. Her job is to feed them, and clean out their tank once a week. They also require a special lamp. After a few months the novelty of owning turtles wore off. Since they are her responsibility Annie still needed to take care of her turtles even after she decided she did not want to anymore. I think this is fantastic way for children to learn what it means to actually care for a living creature.
If you're thinking of getting a cat or a dog for your child I think starting with a fish or a turtle is a safer bet since they are less work.
Side note: It's my understanding that it is against FDA regulations to sell a turtle under 4 inches because they put children at risk for salmonella. I think pet stores still sell turtles under 4 inches so this is something to be mindful of. Annie's turtles were bought larger than 4 inches and are healthy and still kicking...they are going on two years old now. :)