Adopt a virtual pet.

Attention all parents! Now you can give your son or daughter the pet of their dreams. The best part is you won't have any messes to clean up. How might this be, you ask? It all starts at a place called www.AdoptMe.com.

Your child can register for a free virtual pet on AdoptMe.com and pick the type of animal he or she wants. A dog, a cat, or something wilder like a monkey. After the type of pet is chosen, it's time to pick a name, age, and gender.

Once the pet has been chosen, your child can go to the virtual store and buy food, grooming items and toys for the pet. Now it's up to the owner to take care of the animal. Play with the pet and exercise it at the park, teach it new tricks and enter it into a pet show contest. But remember to feed and take care of the animal, otherwise it will get sick and have to go to the vet.

These activities give kids a sense of responsibility because the pet's happiness depends on how well (or not) the child takes care of it. So go ahead and let your child have the pet he's always wanted. And there's no harm done if the child isn't able to live up to their end of the "I WILL take care of it!" bargain.

AdoptMe.com allows a member to have up 24 pets. Are you up for the challenge to see how many pets you can keep happy?