Critters that basically take care of themselves.
They’re probably already living in your bushes. Also, they typically don’t smell or bite, and kids should be able to handle them safely. Just put one in a container and give him fresh lettuce every two or three days.
Start with a ready-made ant farm (available at toysrus.com). Every day, put in a drop of water; every two or three days, a few bits of fruit or vegetables. Done.
Don’t let the cartoon crowns fool you: These brine shrimp expect no royal treatment. They eat powdered food weekly, devour algae (no jar cleaning required), and do neat tricks, like swim against a current and, ahem, mate. (Available at toysrus.com.)
Ready for a (slightly) bigger commitment? These low-maintenance pets are just the ticket.