Tiny Pretend Pets
- What: Zuru Hamsters in the House
- When: 4 years and up
- Why: Small, play sets combine
- Where: Amazon
My daughter bought her first Hamsters in a House set at Grandma’s house with all the extra money she acquired there. I hadn’t had much interaction with it until recently, when my kids vastly expanded their collection.
While I can’t recommend most battery operated toys, especially not the ones made from plastic, I have to admit I like these tiny furry creatures and their habitats. The play sets, even the biggest ones, can still fit easily into one of my beloved bins for easy storage. And lots of the sets come with track pieces that can be combined in multiple formations for even more play time fun.
The track pieces snap together easily, and don’t require an engineering degree to figure out. They come in three shapes – curves, straight, and a crossing – that offer multiple combinations. The plastic doesn’t make a lot of noise, and weighs much less than wooden train tracks. The tiny hamsters run on (non standard) batteries, and will zoom around the track. More importantly, they come with an off switch, so they don’t make noise or run out the battery when not in use.
My two youngest kids, at ages four and seven, have collected two hamster houses, the ultimate house, the supermarket, and the restaurant. I would not pay full retail for them, but my kids have found them on sale or at bargain stores, and I find them well worth the lower price points. We also coincidentally (without realizing it) got each child a hamster without any track pieces for the holidays. We used them as stocking stuffers. Our hamsters came with an ice cream cart or a small car that the creature pushes around when activated. You can try one of the smaller items and work your way up if your kid likes them. You can also buy sets with a house and three curved track pieces to get an idea of how it works. Or you can go all out and jump in with one of the larger sets. No matter which one you choose, these smaller not too noisy critters that require zero feeding, watering, or cleaning make the perfect pets for kids.