Aquarium Terrarium

An Imagination Station Activity

Age: 8 and up
Time: 2 - 3 hours or less
Type of Activity: Science

Materials needed:

  • A small to medium size aquarium
  • Charcoal (finely ground)
  • Small pebbles
  • Perlite
  • Soil mix
  • Assorted small plants, such as ivy, mini-african violets, small herb plants, or cacti
  • Glass or plastic for top

1. Wash and dry the aquarium.
2. In thin layers, add the charcoal, pebbles, perlite, and soil.
3. Make soil deep enough to support a small plant, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep.
4. Water plants well and remove from their containers.
5. With a teaspoon, dig a small hole for the root and plant the herbs, flowers, and small plants. Do not put them too closely together.
6. Cover the aquarium with a glass plate or plastic wrap; condensation will develop.
7. At least once a day, remove lid to let area dry out a bit.
8. Place in light but not direct sun. Water only with droplets since this will be a moist environment.
9. Enjoy watching it grow.

Follow up projects:

  • Keep a log or garden journal on what does and does not grow.

  • Clip or pinch back plants as they grow to encourage fullness. Use these clippings when they are big enough and press them in a small flower press or thick phone book.

    If you have success with a small aquarium, you can experiment with a large one and really get a little forest growing -- just let your imagination bloom!


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