Zhu Zhu Pets
Get creative with your Zhu Zhu Pets! Photo: Toys "R" Us
: they're robotic hamsters ... and they're one of the hottest new toys to hit the market. In fact, Toys "R" Us has Zhu Zhus on its 2009 Hot Holiday Toys list.
Do these furry friends live up to the hype? Well, kids seem to love them. You see, Zhu Zhus are not just cute, they also run on wheels, explore, and make adorable cooing and squeaking noises, as well as a host of other endearing and amusing sound effects.
Parents are excited because they're fake
hamsters. In other words: no worries about keeping an actual live pet happy, healthy and clean. Curious? See Zhu Zhus in action in this You Tube video.
Zhu Zhus aren't expensive, but there are tons of accessories
and the price of those really adds up. So why not encourage creativity – and save money! – by having your kids make their own extras and activities? Here are a few ideas:
Help your kids build a Zhu Zhu Pet house, ramp or obstacle course. Cardboard or wooden boxes could be used, as could plastic storage bins. Make your own ramps from halved poster tubes.
Another idea: host a Zhu Zhu Pet party
or sleepover. When the kids are tired of comparing their Zhu Zhus, help them make hamster masks to take home. Break out the Alvin and the Chipmunks CD for extra atmosphere, or have the little ones relax with a Wonder Pets DVD.
How about holding a Zhu Zhu Pet race day? This could be a great way for your children and their friends to spend a rainy afternoon indoors. Zhu Zhu Pets can be raced
on flat ground or on that (homemade?) ramp or obstacle course.
Tip: If lots of Zhu Zhus get involved in this group fun, label them with stickers first! This should avoid tears over who owns which toy.
Finally, the Zhu Zhu Pet craze means hamster Halloween costumes might be a fun idea to run with this year. Suggestions on how to make a Zhu Zhu Halloween costume can be found at Factoidz