Toy Blog - Toys, Parenting, and Kids


AquasaursLast week, my boys received a package in the mail – it was an Aquasaurs kit I had ordered.  An “Aquasaur” is a crustacean (named by the company, Uncle Milton, I assume) that dates back to prehistoric times.  It is a tiny organism that thrived in standing pools of water and could withstand years of inactivity and dry conditions in its egg state.  These hardy water-dwellers can be “hatched” in the right conditions and will grow to be about two inches in length, provided the conditions are right.

And therein lies the catch – if the conditions are right.  Reading the instructions is a must with this set up.  Stock up on spring water – at least 2 gallons of it – so that the container and all the “parts” can be properly rinsed.  Another big condition is the temperature of the water.  Our home tends to cool down in the evenings, so we are supplementing with a small desk lamp next to the aquarium to keep the water between 72F and 80F. 

I must say, that probably the best part of this entire process was that everything (including the eggs and food) was included in this kit.  The only thing that is needed outside of the kit is spring water.  There is no certificate to send off for larvae or a vial of animals, no special food to purchase from a pet store, no additional accessories needed.  Everything is provided.  The instruction sheet also gives some background to the animals and even gives you ordering information should you choose to purchase even more eggs (which I am sure we will do). 

Aquasaurs make a great pet set-up for children who are fascinated with creatures of any kind.  For my dinosaur-boys, this was an ideal choice.  Each day is a learning experience with our prehistoric pals.

Aquasaurs are provided by Uncle Milton and may be purchased through Wonderbrains!

Blue And Goldie – Our Hermit Crab Pals

A couple of months ago, my older son turned 8.  We have been dogless for about 18 months, and he was really missing the whole pet realm.  While we weren’t really ready to dive back into canine-world (give me some time – I just finished landscaping the back yard), we did decide that he was old enough to have his own pet.  And thus began our journey into hermit crab-world.

We started by purchasing the Hermit Crab Cove by Uncle Milton.  It was perfect.  The kit comes with everything you need to get started with your hermit crabs, including a detailed handbook that tells you pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about raising hermit crabs, and it does it in an easy-to-understand way, perfect for young pet owners.  There is even an order form to purchase your hermit crabs through the mail.  (Note: the company will only ship your pet(s) if the climate it mild enough, so keep that in mind.  Their prices are VERY reasonable, but being in Texas, we went to our local pet store for our hermit crabs and spent the extra money as the mail order ones probably wouldn’t ship until November!)

Since that first day, my son has shown that taking care of a pet (or two in this case) is something he is VERY capable of doing, and doing well.  He feeds them every day, checks their water, cleans their cove at least once a week, and he takes them out for exercise every few days.  Blue (in the blue shell) and Goldie (in the black and gold shell) both have quite distinctive personalities.  Goldie is definitely the more active and sociable one, while Blue is the strategist, always trying to crawl out of wherever he is.  Blue is also sometimes called Brownie when he switches shells for the brown shell, which he does about once a week. 

Hermit crabs are an excellent choice for a beginning pet for a young child.  They are simple to care for, interesting to watch, and do not take up much room.  There are some simple rules to abide by when caring for them to avoid hurting them or getting a surprise little pinch from them, but they are quite social and can encourage children to take pride in pet ownership.  Both of my boys (ages 8 and 3) are eager to care for Blue and Goldie, and they both are capable of feeding, watering and caring for the crabs.

While my boys are still interested in having a dog someday, they are quite content with the hermit crabs they have now.  I know we will most likely be dog-owners again in the future, but for now, a hermit crab is the perfect choice for my boys.

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