Looking for a fun craft to complete with your kids over the weekend or on a rainy day? Creating a terrarium is a fun, easy DIY project that you and your kids will both enjoy.
Your kids will love to play in the dirt while putting together these miniature gardens. They also provide a hands-on opportunity to teach your kids more about plants and the environment. Plus, if you don't have the time or space for an outdoor garden, a terrarium is a great way to bring the outdoors inside your home.
Creating a terrarium is easier than you think. Follow these six easy steps and you'll have a beautiful indoor terrarium you and your kids can be proud of.
What You'll Need:
- Terrarium Container (find one here)
- Stones (find them here)
- Soil Mix (find it here)
- Moss (find it here)
- Terrarium Tool Kit (find it here)
Step 1: Choose a Container
You can create a terrarium using almost any container, but we suggest letting your kids pick one that speaks to them. The most important detail to note about terrarium containers is the difference between open and lidded terrariums. Open terrariums require a bit more care and watering than those with closed with lids. Lidded terrariums, on the other hand, create a more humid environment which is great for tropical plants.
At 46 & Spruce, we offer both options, along with a wide variety of decorative containers you and your kids can get creative with. Check them out here.
Step 2: Build the Drainage Layer
It's time to start layering. The first layer of your terrarium is the drainage level, which can be built using stones, gravel, sand, or any other natural aggregate that won't retain moisture.
Fill your terrarium container with an inch or two of the drainage layer of your choice. If you're not sure what to use, we recommend hydro stones, which help prevent overwatering and are made from 100% recycled materials — a great way to talk to your kids about the importance of repurposing and recycling.
Step 3: Add Your Potting Soil
Next in your terrarium system comes potting soil. This is the layer that will hold your plants. All kids seem to love getting their hands dirty, so make sure you put down newspaper or a sheet to prevent the soil from staining your carpet or floor. Better yet, just do it outside.
Another fun way to get your kids involved is to arm them with gloves and terrarium tool kits to use as they gently fill the terrarium with soil. They'll have fun getting into character and will feel like real gardeners.
Step 4: Plant Your Plants
Finally, it's time to plant your plants. You plant plants in a terrarium the same way you do in a garden, so this step is relatively straightforward. Place your plant on top of the potting soil and fill in with additional soil as needed.
Step 5: Decorate Your Terrarium
This is everyone's favorite part — making your terrarium uniquely yours. This is also the step where your kids can really get involved by adding small figurines, toys, or other themed items to the container. You can also add more natural items to your terrarium to create even more of a "forest-like" atmosphere with sticks, stones, sand, dried lichen, and moss.
Step 6: Care For Your Terrarium
Give your kids the opportunity to take care of their newly created terrariums. Because care is minimal, they should do a great job. Generally speaking, allow the soil in your terrarium to dry in between waterings. Let your kids start to understand when the condition of your soil means it's time for a watering. Just don't wait too long! Keep an eye on your terrarium so you can enjoy it together for a long, long time.
For even more details on the best way to create a terrarium, check out this step-by-step article. And for everything you need to make a terrarium with your kiddos, we have a variety terrarium kits here.