Can You Tickle a Plant? (As seen on AOL!)
By Micheal Mullen
February 27, 2009
Despite having no wires or batteries, touching a TickleMe plant proves to be electrifying.
While walking the floor of the International Toy Fair 2009, Mark Chipkin approached us with a simple question, “Ever see a plant move when you tickle it?” Intrigued, we walked over to his booth to see a little greenhouse that had several small pots of plants that looked like thin ferns. Expecting that he’d then pull out a dancing plant that laughed when you tickled it, Chipkin merely reached over to touch the fronds of the plant. When he let go, it moved! When he motioned for us to try, it moved again.
Brothers Larry and Mark Chipkin formed the TickleMe Plant Company to help kids and adults understand the science of growing plants and discover a part of nature they hadn’t seen before. Mark, a science teacher with an obvious love of nature, tells us that he grows his own vegetables and raises chickens that lay green and blue eggs… although it appears that the company has no plans to market the chickens or the eggs.
Known scientifically as the Mimosa pudica, the TickleMe plant is native to Brazil but can be found growing in the wild in some parts of the U.S. After soaking the seeds for 1-2 days and planting the seeds in the included soil pellets, it takes about two weeks to experience the tickle action. As a teacher-owned company, each kit includes a list of experiments that encourages kids to try with their plants. While scientific in nature, it also helps kids learn about how little changes can affect plants in profound ways. We still love our games but can easily see kids finding great joy in their TickleMe plants and bragging about something so fantastic, their friends will just need to see it for themselves.
The TickleMe Plant is already available at science museums, nature centers and educational retail outlets with a single mini-flower pot kit called the Mini-House/Party Favor with 10-20 seeds and a soil pellet for about $6 and a six mini-pot Greenhouse kit with 30-40 seeds and six soil pellets for about $22. Or you can check out more facts, pictures and purchase kits direct at ticklemeplant.com.