Charm-i-days Idea # 8: Fun with biology

Sea monkey upgrade

Sea monkey upgrade

For the scientific Santa on your list: eco-systems for your viewing pleasure and a plant that responds to your touch.

My friend Andrea describes these ecospheres by Viva Terra simply by saying they’re “way cooler than sea monkeys,” and I think she sums it up quite charmingly. The hand-blown glass orb is pretty on its own but also contains a whole world of plants, shrimp, algae and microorganisms. The sphere-dwellers require some light, but other than that are pretty low-maintenance, which is more than we can say for other holiday pets.

I did love my sea monkeys as a little girl – I found myself completely transfixed by the happy-looking sea monkey family on the box. (I think I wanted to live inside that little bubble.) I never had much luck with the actual sea monkeys, though – I just looked at the package a lot. So now we have a sophisticated, grown-up version to entertain us and to look pretty on a shelf.

I also ran across these “TickleMe Plants,” which look fun. Mimosa pudica is the tropical plant’s scientific name, but what the plants do is more interesting than whatever you decide to call them. They bloom with pink flowers, and they curl up their leaves when you touch them.

Living ecosphere, $89
Sea monkeys, price varies
Tickle plants, $5.95 and up

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3 Responses to “Charm-i-days Idea # 8: Fun with biology”

  1. Yolanda Says:

    Wow! Great find! I went to the Tickleme plant website.Cool video.
    I remember I saw that in the botanical gardens. I just ordered a few of Tickleme Plant Greenhouse to give away for the Holidays. It’s so cool that you can grow it now indoors year round. I loved sea monkies too.
    Maybe i will try that sea monkey upgrade with my kids too, but first I want to grow a Tickleme Plant!

  2. Susan804 Says:

    I use TickleMe Plants with my children at school. No other growing experience excites them more about plants, nature and gardening. If you haven’t had the TickleMe Plant experience…your gardening adventures are not complete. I have seen them attract some southern species of butterfly as well.

  3. Charm-i-days: Felt bowls and vases « Charm-o-Matic Says:

    […] gift over the holidays, consider filling the small felted plant cozy with a rosemary plant or with one of last year’s most popular Charm-i-days ideas, a Tickle-Me plant. Felted bowls and vases, $36 and up Tickle-Me plant party […]

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