When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

(Hex)bug infestation

Our house has been overrun with creepy crawly things lately.  First, it was spiders in the showers, and now, our basement is teeming with a colony of insects who wriggle and skitter through their enormous habitat, which has taken over the boys' playroom.  I actually quite like these bugs, though -- they provide Noah and Will with hours of entertainment and lots of opportunities for scientific discovery.

Before you think I've lost my mind, I should clarify that I'm now talking about Hexbugs, small robotic toy creatures that behave in some ways like real insects.  The habitat I'm referring to was built by Noah and Will for their Hexbug nanos (which are the smallest of the Hexbug family), and I wanted to share it with you because I think it's a fantastic toy.

Will received a starter Hexbug habitat set for Christmas the year before last, and when he set it up, both he and Noah were fascinated by the way the nanos zoomed about in it, changing direction every time they bumped into something.  Since then, Will has used much of his Christmas and birthday gift money and his saved allowance to buy additional habitat sets over time, and the boys have spent countless happy hours configuring and reconfiguring interesting designs to keep their Hexbugs moving, challenging themselves to use every single one of the different shaped pieces that click together in an infinite number of possible combinations.  This past weekend's acquisition of a "hive" and a zipline (Noah's dream contraption!) called for a complete dismantling of the old habitat and an excited afternoon of redesigning, rebuilding, and setting their collection of insects loose to explore.  I never thought I'd be so glad to have boys who are so into bugs!

Building Hexbug habitats and studying the way the nanos move within them is a wonderfully creative and stimulating activity; kids can be architects, engineers, and entomologists all with one toy.  If your children are yearning for a bug collection of their own, Hexbugs can be purchased at places like Chapters, Mastermind Toys, and Toys 'R Us.  (This week, Toys 'R Us has all Hexbug toys on sale for 20% off.)  These little crawly critters are so much fun, you may just want to join in with your kids and play with bugs yourself!

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