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February 07, 2005

Of Sea Monkeys and Magic Rocks

I had a healthy skepticism of commercially promoted toys when I was a kid. While some television commercials made an impact (I still drool when I see hot pizza on tv) I figured most toys were junk or overrated. What can I say? My folks were hippies.

Take Sea Monkeys. I never thought I'd get those cool looking, rainbow-colored, comic-book creatures from the ads. With only water and the "crystals" in your Sea-Monkey® kit, you will create INSTANT-LIFE®. Yes, singlehanded you will raise up the world's only living, breathing INSTANT-PETS® I figured at best, the brine shrimp might hatch.

Magic Rocks fell in the same category. Might look cool on tv, but come on, it's all hype. So when Uncle Shainey brought the boys Magic Rocks when he visited last summer, I put them on the shelf while the boys enjoyed the more immediate toys.

Last week, the boys brought the package of Magic Rocks to me and begged to try them. We've been homebound, with all the snow and cold. I figured the boys could use a little diversion (and extra "science.") I cautioned the boys that it might not work. . .


But it did! The kids watched the crystals growing and took turns babysitting the jar as they formed. Tomorrow morning we're going to play around with making sugar crystals, rock candy. (Homeschoolers, check out more on growing crystals.)

Update on Sugar Crystals:
Perhaps our family is just not fated to succeed in making Rock Candy. When I was a child and tried it, it turned moldy. Hubby tried it, and started a kitchen fire. The batch the boys and I worked on has not resulted in any crystals--simply a trap for sugar ants. *sigh* Maybe next time. . .


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Oh boy, success! I never had much luck with those Sea Monkey things.

Glad to hear your boy is home again!

Posted by: Kim in ON at February 7, 2005 11:49 PM

What great lookin' kids!

We have two boxes of crystal kits that we haven't used yet, either. My boys have been bugging me to get them out. I suppose I should...

Posted by: thicket dweller at February 8, 2005 04:18 AM

Ooohh...magic rocks and growing crystals were big at our house.

We had a bacteria farm, too. That's something your boys might enjoy as well.

Posted by: rebecca at February 8, 2005 07:29 AM

What a GREAT picture! AWWW!

Posted by: Carol at February 8, 2005 12:29 PM

Sounds like fun, and what great looking boys!

Posted by: Amie at February 8, 2005 05:27 PM

Thanks for the kind words about my cute boys. They are even cuter when they smile. They're following Hubby's lead in not liking to grin for the camera.

Rebecca--I looked at that link. Ewwwww!

We made the super-saturated sugar solution today and started the sugar crystal candy. I hope THAT works, too.

Posted by: TulipGirl at February 8, 2005 06:48 PM

They are soooooooooooo cute!!!

Stay warm and healthy,

Posted by: neeka at February 8, 2005 06:57 PM

Magic Rock kits have worked for me - years ago. There are also recipes for making your own using a charcoal briquet - originally, in really old recipes, a piece of coal - and household items such as ammonia, laundry bluing (is that still available?) etc. They don't grow as tall but form interesting crystals.
Probably a crafts for children book would have directions.

Posted by: FLGrandma at February 8, 2005 07:34 PM

Oh, magic rocks were sooo much fun! I just loved them.

And Sea Monkeys are great, actually quite fascinating (although you need your own magnifying glass- the magnification bubbles on the tank just make your eyes water painfully) I've seen Triops, though, which are closely related to the horseshoe crabs! They get bigger than sea monkeys! Gotta try those as soon as hubby stops giving me The Look. ;-)

Your boys are so adorable! And they've grown a lot from the last picture I saw of them. *sniff* It happens so fast.


Posted by: Dy at February 9, 2005 04:22 AM

Thanks for the link to the rock candy recipie. I tried making some as a kid but I didn't know about the seed crystal step. I think I'll start a banana flavoured batch tomorrow.

Posted by: Samantha at February 10, 2005 02:18 AM

I wish I had delighted the hearts of my kids more---bring on the sea monkeys and magic crystals as well as penny candy and pony rides.

Posted by: go_mo_go@hotmailcom at February 14, 2005 03:36 PM

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