Earth Day Craft for Kids: Make a Mini Terrarium

April 13, 2013

TerrariumsEarth Day is right around the corner, so why not help the planet by creating a craft using recycled and re-used materials as well as plants? Kids have a blast creating their own miniature gardens with this easy-to-make terrarium craft. It's fun to create your own world in a glass container and decorate it with found materials. This project is great for all ages, with adult supervision, of course.

The creative possibilities for this project are endless—make a fairy garden, a prehistoric forest, a jungle, or just let your imagination run wild. You can pick up plants suitable for a terrarium at your local garden store. Mosses, succulents, and air plants are all great candidates for a terrarium.

Decorate your terrarium with interesting rocks and plastic animals, dinosaurs, or figures—whatever you have on hand. Keep it moist with spray bottle filled with water. You can put a cover on your terrarium if you want, but make sure to poke holes in the lid first to let air circulate.

To make your terrariums you'll need:

  • A glass bowl or a large glass jar
  • Pebbles
  • Activated charcoal (available at pet stores)
  • Potting soil
  • Plants
  • Decorative rocks, figures, etc.

Wash your containers out with hot soapy water and dry thoroughly. We were lucky enough to find an old glass globe on the potting bench in the garden. Score! For our other terrarium we recycled a large marinara sauce jar. You can really use whatever you like and happen to have available.

Prep your plants by dividing large ones into smaller sizes, trimming if necessary, and loosening roots from the soil. Laying out a variety of small plants makes it easier for the kids to plan out their creations. For containers with narrow openings, use chopsticks to maneuver and position plants and decorations.

Creating terrariumcreating terrarium

Place a layer of pebbles, about one inch or so, on the bottom of the container. Then add a shallow layer of charcoal. (This will filter the air in the terrarium and cut down musty odors.) Now add about a two-inch layer of potting soil and smooth the top as much as you can.

Make small holes in the soil (a chopstick or little fingers work well here) and insert your plants. Now you can add decorative rocks, plastic animals or dinosaurs, garden gnomes, or whatever else you like.

Terrarium plantsFinished terrarium

Making your terrariums outside is a good idea, since the process can get a little messy. When you're finished, though, everyhing is neat and clean and in it's container. Let the kids display their terrariums proudly in their rooms!