As a child of the eighties, I was privy to the debut of many fads that should never have been, including parachute pants, bolo ties, and those cheesy Chia pets. If only the last one had died out along with the first two.
If you want a cool plant to cultivate at home that really will entertain the kids, try the TickleMe Plant instead. (That’s Mimosa pudica to you science geeks.) The leaves of this Brazilian native actually fold up when they’re gently touched, flytrap style, and kids go nuts over them. You can order seeds and growing kits online from this company run by a dad/sixth-grade teacher who’s been working them into his curriculum for years.
Get started growing yours indoors now and by the time summer rolls around, your TickleMe plant ought to bloom a pink flower or two. But really, it’s those ticklish leaves that are the main attraction. And guaranteed even more fun than a terracotta Homer Simpson head covered in alfalfa sprouts. -Julie