Build a Terrarium

Materials

  • A clear glass container with a wide neck to allow your hand in
  • Small stones or gravel
  • Activated charcoal (get from pet store)
  • Potting soil
  • Small sponge
  • Piece of screen, mesh, or cheesecloth
  • Plants or moss
Directions

A terrarium is a completely self-supporting ecosystem. The plant life replenishes the air with oxygen, light shining through provides the light and power source, and water comes from the moisture in the soil. As the dead leaves fall off, they decompose providing food for the soil. How to make one:

  1. Select your plants. They should be small, like shade, and not grow too fast or too tall.
  2. Put gravel on terrarium floor.
  3. Sprinkle a small amount of activated charcoal on top.
  4. Cover with a piece of screen with a slit cut in the middle.
  5. Slice the sponge to one third inch wide and stick it in like a candle between the slit in the screen and anchor it in the gravel. The sponge will bring moisture up to the plant roots.
  6. Cover with potting soil.
  7. Gently make small holes and place plants in them, packing the soil loosely around them.
  8. Spritz your plants with water and cover. Add small figures.
Your terrarium may look a little limp for a few days but will get used to its new environment in no time.

From 365 Smart After-School Activities by Sheila Ellison & Judith Gray. Copyright © 2005 by Sheila Ellison & Judith Gray. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Sourcebooks, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.


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