Monday, March 8, 2010

How to make a Terrarium / Indoor Ecosystem

We are getting done with our study of the story of creation. I thought a good 'end of unit' study, before we move on, would be making our own tiny ecosystems. They are SO easy and so fun!

You need:
  • A jar, of any size. The largest was an unused gallon pickle jar from the pantry. The smallest was a Tikka Masala sauce jar from dinner last night.
  • Small gravel (from our yard)
  • Terrarium charcoal
  • Tiny plants (ask the nursery worker when you look for the charcoal which ones will work)
  • Bark or peat moss
  • Moss (collected from the yard is just fine.)
  • Decent garden/potting soil
  • Glass gems, larger rocks, or tiny plastic critters (just from around the house in our case)
1.) Layer on the bottom, the ingredients as follows:

Gravel, then charcoal, then bark, and then soil. Make sure it does not go above 1/4 of your jar.

2.) Add in plants into the center.

3.) Around the plants, place pieces of the moss. Use chopstick to move your moss around until you get it in the right place.

4.) Use finger tips or a dowel with a large cork on the end of it, to pat the soil and moss down around the outside of the jar. Arrange to look pretty.

5.) Place rocks, tiny critters, or pretty pieces of tumbled glass around the terrarium as accents.

6.) Every three days, squirt the ecosystem with a squirt bottle. The moss is your canary in the coal mine. When it starts to look dry, you know you need more water.

Enjoy and happy crafting!



Anonymous said...

I love terrariums! I was thinking of making some as centerpieces for my girl's upcoming Faery themed birthday.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

That would be super cute Maria! I bet you could find some butterflies or something to put in there and then they could take them home too. You remember those old Mason jars that didn't have a bunch of stuff on the sides? Those would be perfect!

Please post me a link if you do it. I can't wait to see.



Anonymous said...

Yeah! I was thinking butterflies and ladybugs! And maybe little faery figurines. I know the kids are going to love it! But the birthday isn't until late June, but I prepare in advance so I can make most of the party homemade :) I stated already by collecting Big spaghetti sauce jars, which are perfect for faery habitats! Thank you for the great ideas, I really enjoy your blog!

3Gs4me said...

Those are super cute Val. Any idea how much you spent on supplies and were they pretty easy to find?

Val in the Rose Garden said...

It was about $20 all told with little plants and everything. Little plants were $2.50 each, charcoal was $4.99 (split the bag with a friend who was doing the same thing that day and still only used 1/2 what we had left), each of the thrifted jars were $1.99, and the moss, bark, and soil were free. I got the bark from a wholesaler. I just stopped and asked him if I could have $1's worth and he laughed and said I could have a small box full for free.

:) Have a great Wednesday Bobbi Jo!



Unknown said...

Really awesome! I love terrariums!

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