I don’t know about your kids, but mine are fascinated by the world and how it works. They love when we start our seeds in the garden and they can watch them sprout and grow. There is something “magical” about the wonder of seed sprouting. Unfortunately, it is hard for my kids to see what is happening when a seed goes from just a seed to a plant since this process takes place under the dirt out back in our garden. Since my kids were so interested in seed sprouting, Jane and I decided to create a small terrarium that we could keep indoors and watch the process from seed to plant. Creating a terrarium turned out to be a fun, easy and educational project that we just adored.
What is a terrarium?
n. pl. ter·rar·i·ums or ter·rar·i·a (-–)
A small enclosure or closed container in which selected living plants and sometimes small land animals, such as turtles and lizards, are kept and observed.
What can my kids learn from planting a terrarium?
Terrariums teach kids about nature and how seeds go from a seed to a plant. Not only do terrariums teach kids about plant growth, but also about our ecosystem. Inside your container you will be creating an entire ecosystem for your plants to survive. There will be a water table, clouds, dirt, air and plants. This process can also teach your kids about recycling because we will be using an old single serve milk container for our terrarium. You can also use a water bottle or any other small clear bottle with a lid. A 2 liter pop bottle would also work.
You will need:
A small clean clear container
Clean dirt (potting soil works great)
A spray bottle with water inside
Seeds (we used grass seeds)
How to create your terrarium:
1. Begin by making sure your container has been cleaned out and air dried.
2. Fill the bottom of your container with small pebbles, about 1 inch in depth. You can talk with your kids about how the extra water will drain down from the dirt and store in the rocks until the plants need it. This is their water table.
3. Next add about 2 inches of dirt. Be sure not to let the dirt and rocks mix. The dirt needs to only layer on top of the rocks. (no shaking)
4. On top of the dirt, sprinkle your seeds. Grass seeds work great for this because they simple need to sit on top of the dirt and do not need to be buried.
5. Lastly, you will want to spray 3-4 squirts of water from a water bottle into the jar and replace the lid.
6. Place your terrarium in a sunny window.
That’s it! You have just created a small ecosystem for your plants to live in. Within a few days you will have some seeds sprouting up and your kids will be amazed. Remember to keep the lid on, place your container in a sunny window and your small ecosystem will do the rest. As long as you keep the lid on tight, you should not ever need water your terrarium.
<3 Dick and Jane