Are you running out of ideas to entertain children who are stuck at home?

 

 

The kids are out of school for one reason or another.  The weather is either too hot, raining or snowing which prevents the kids from leaving the house.  What can you do to entertain them?

Building Terrariums for kids is an excellent rainy day project.  It lets the kids use their creative imagination, build something lasting and educate them all at the same time.  Each child can plan and choose their favorite design and make their own little miniature container self-contained ecosystem.

Building terrariums for kids rainy day project has many advantages for both you and your children.  Terrariums are relatively inexpensive to put together, while giving your kids a great science education.  The terrarium teaches your children the photosynthesis process and how a mini ecosystem works.  The easiest plants for your child’s first terrarium are cactus or succulents.  This type of plant is relatively maintenance free.  Besides being educational, it’s lots of fun!

Gather all your materials together before you get started.

First thing to do is choose a container with a plastic, metal or wooden lid.  The opening should be large enough to get hands and plants through the hole easily.  Good containers for kids are clear, plastic cookie or food storage jars.

Kids might think that it would be really cool to make a terrarium in a bottle, kind of like having a ship in a bottle.  This is not a good idea, especially for their first terrarium.  They would have to work with wires or chop sticks and the plants would need to be folded up small enough to fit through the hole.  It can be done, but it is more for an advanced terrarium builder.  Keep it simple to start.

Some materials you need to pick up:

  • Stones or pebbles for the bottom drainage
  • Activated charcoal to help keep the terrarium fresh
  • Spanish Moss which will help keep the soil from falling down into the stone bottom.
  • Potting Soil or Cactus Potting Soil.  If your kids want a cactus terrarium, then you should use Cactus potting soil which is specifically designed for cactus and succulents and has a good balance of sand mixed in with the soil.
  • One or more small plants.

Keep in mind the size of your container when picking out the plants you want.  Go for a couple of different sizes and adding a plant that offers a little color like miniature violets.  Be sure the plants that are going into one terrarium all require the same type of environment and moisture.  You don’t want to put a water loving plant in with a cactus.

Decide how you want the plants to be placed before you put them inside the terrarium.  When you are finished, add some water.  Be careful and remember that less is more.  You can always add more water or mist the plants later if it appears too dry.  If you accidentally add too much water, don’t close up the terrarium.  Give it a few days to dry out before putting the lid back on.  The soil should be slightly moist, not dripping wet or soggy.

Building a terrarium for kids with your children is the best way to teach them about ecosystems.  Kids can watch the precipitation form on the ceiling and sides of their terrarium which will return to the soil to complete this basic plant life cycle.  With a little care, terrariums can last many years.  This is the perfect rainy day project your kids will enjoy.  Who knows…you may have a budding botanist or scientist on your hands.

Filed under: Terrarium Ideas