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How to Make Terrariums for Kids

2013-01-06   Views:2

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Making a terrarium with a child gives the youngster a way to experience the concept of an ecosystem. After completing the project, the child can observe the living world he has assembled. Preparing for a terrarium project gives the adult and child an

How to Make Terrariums for Kids

Making a terrarium with a child gives the youngster a way to experience the concept of an ecosystem. After completing the project, the child can observe the living world he has assembled. Preparing for a terrarium project gives the adult and child an opportunity for nature walks or a trip to the nursery to collect the necessary terrarium plants and natural decorations, such as interesting rocks. It is also a good reason for a yard sale outing to hunt for an ideal container, such as a second hand fish bowl or large jar.

Skill level:Moderately Easy

Things you need

ContainerGravelActivated charcoalSphagnum mossMoist potting soilSmall plants or seedlingsScissorsDowelDecorationsWater mister

Instructions

1 Select a container made from clear glass or clear plastic to house the terrarium . A lidded container or one with a small opening will retain humidity more than an open container. An open container requires more frequent watering.

2 Wash the container with soap and hot water, and dry it.

3 Place an even layer of gravel along the bottom of the container.

4 Cover the gravel with a 1/2-inch layer of activated charcoal.

5 Cover the charcoal with an even layer of sphagnum moss.

6 Add moist (not soaking wet) potting soil to the container, covering the sphagnum moss, and level the soil. Make the soil at least 1 1/2 inches deep. In general, the combination of the soil and drainage material should take up no more than 1/4 of the container’s volume.

7 Arrange the plants selected for the terrarium. Do this in an area which is approximately the same size as the terrarium to get an accurate picture of what will fit where.

8 Carefully remove each plant from its container, prior to planting, and gently shake off any loose soil. Trim the roots only if the plant is severely root bound.

9 Make an indentation in the terrarium's soil with the dowel for a plant. Set the plant in the indentation and cover the roots with soil. Repeat, adding the rest of the plants.

10 Mist the plants with water to remove any soil affixed to the foliage. Repeat the next day. If the container has a cover, wait several days before covering, allowing the foliage to dry.

11 Decorate the terrarium landscape by adding interesting rocks, or porcelain ornaments. Thoroughly wash any rocks before adding to the environment.

Tips and warnings

If using a container with a lid, select one with a clear, transparent lid.

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