Stuff we like (and why you should too)...

EyeClops Bionic Eye
Jakks Pacific, Inc.
Retail price: $49.95
Ages: 6 and up

Technology can be such a wonderful thing and this product is a good example of how we all benefit from technological advances. The EyeClops, when attached by cable to your television's video output, (very simple to do), will magnify objects up to 200 times. This is truly amazing and something that has not been available for home use at such a low price. The other day, my son brought home some pond water. As seen using the EyeClops, the water was teeming with life -- bacteria, paramecia, and other bugs that weren't visible to the naked eye. The EyeClops will get children excited about biology and help to expand their interest in science. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this product and a little hesitant about shelling out 50 bucks for something that I didn't know whether it would work or not, but I cannot say enough good things about it.

One tip for better visibility on the T.V. screen is to illuminate the object being magnified with an outside light source such as a flashlight. Get the EyeClops and you'll see the world in a whole new light.

Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm
Uncle Milton Industries, Inc.
Retail price: $9.99 (Plus an additional $3 charge for ants.)
Ages: 6 and up

Introduced in 1956, the Ant Farm has been entertaining kids and their parents for over 50 years. We've had ours set up a while now and it truly is fascinating watching the ants dig their tunnels and build their bridges. The Ant Farm doesn't come with the ants; they must be ordered. The basic order of Harvester ants is $3 for about 40 bugs, and you can also order all sorts of other things including special ant food, but that isn't necessary. The instruction book that comes with the farm's very detailed and lets you know just what to feed your ants and how much water they need--and it's full of ant-centric factoids.

Sit back and watch your great new flat panel Ant TV (ooh, and it's high-definition).

The life span of the Harvester ants is a few months with proper care, so you won't be taking on a major commitment, and you can always order another set to repopulate your farm.