Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bringing Spring Indoors Part 1: Setting up your terrarium

Spring is finally here, but the weather sure doesn't seem like it.  We haven't been able to go outside to plant our annuals or tidy up the flower beds so Jelly Bean, Jumping Bean, and I decided to bring spring inside.  We are going to make our first terrarium!



This activity is a great extension to the seeds/growth activities we have been exploring with the Seeds BLAST.  It is also a wonderful way to show a continuation of the growth cycle exploring what it takes to maintain grown plants.   Be sure to check back later to see how we do!




Here were all our supplies before we began: rocks, potting soil, charcoal, succulents and containers for planting (for detailed instructions see the end of this post).  We chose a closed container for our terrariums because there are more opportunities to learn about ecosystems.  The girls were intrigued when they saw everything they got to play with.


First, a thin layer of rock needs to be added to the bottom of your jar to help with drainage.


Second, Jelly Bean helps Jumping Bean add activating charcoal as our next layer.  The charcoal helps prevent the terrarium from getting stinky.  Third, they fill the container with potting soil until it is about half way full.

Fourth, we add the cacti.  This turned out to be the tricky part.  The thorns are definitely sharper than I thought, and the girls kept getting pricked so mommy had to finish this part- I was a true team player with this one.

Finally, spray the terrarium with water.  This was Jumping Bean's favorite part.  If we were outside, it would have turned into a water fight for sure!


  Ta Da!  Our terrariums are finished with the help of our friends! 

UPDATE:  Part 2 of our terrarium project is available here.  Learn more about which container is best for you, the types of plants to choose, how to maintain your terrrarium, and how this ecosystem works together to stay alive.


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Supplies:

  • container with or without a lid
  • small rocks
  • activating charcoal
  • potting soil
  • small plants - succulents are cacti work best
  • water - a spray bottle works well to prevent over watering

Instructions:

  1. Fill the bottom of your container with a thin layer of rock.
  2. Add about an inch of activating charcoal.
  3. Fill the container half way full with potting soil.
  4. Dig a hole big enough to fit your plant in.
  5. Place your plant in the hole and cover the roots with soil.
  6. Spray with water so it is damp, but not too wet.

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