A year or two ago, Anna June was introduced to Orbeez.
Orbeez are small plastic pearls that grow in water. They start out as tiny beads the size of pinheads. Then, in water, they grow. They don't get as big as marbles, but they are still substantial. They shrink back down if they dry out.
Here is what some of the knockoffs look like.
There's a whole line of toys to play with these fascinating things.
Last year for Christmas, AJ got the light-up globe, which is sort of like a crystal ball. We hoped she'd use it like a night light. So far, no dice.
There has been an Orbeez keychain around here somewhere - filled with water and "grown" Orbeez.
This year for Christmas, she got the ladybug scooper. By remote control, the ladybug can scoop up (eat) the Orbeez and release them (poop them out). Now that we do not have carpet in the hallway, this is a pretty good toy for AJ. She's used it about once, but that's probably because it's a multi-step process, which includes foresight to grow the things and sweep the floor, so the ladybug ingests a minimum of dirt.
There's still a plastic bowl of these by the sink - I'm hoping someone will want to do something with them soon.
Do we want to be another Atlanta? (vote)
6 hours ago