Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Making a terrarium is a fun, hands on experiment that your homeschooler will enjoy. Here are the details for this fun experiment!
First, gather the following materials for your homeschooler to properly prepare his or her terrarium:
- A clear container- items like a goldfish bowl, a 2-liter bottle with the narrow top cut off or a small rectangular aquarium.
- A covering for the container you chose, like plastic wrap and a rubber band, a clear plastic fitting lid, or a plate or saucer.
- A variety of small plants and moss, which can easily be purchased from any garden center. If you let the garden center employees know that the purchase of the small plants is for a homeschool science project, he or she may even give some to you.
- Potting soil.
- A fork or another mixing and raking implement.
- Tiny rocks or gravel.
- Small stones and flora for decoration in the terrarium.
Next, have your homeschooler follow the instructions below:
1. Be sure your container is clean and dry before starting. No soap residue or water is needed.
2. Put the gravel in the container, no more then 1/2 inch deep. Be sure to provide good drainage for your plants.
3. Add the soil, 2 to 4 inches deep, depending on the size of your container.
4. Now you will plant your plants. Using the fork to mix around, make a hole deep enough to plant your plants, and cover the root system of each. Be careful as you place the plants in the container, so they will not get damaged.
5. Next, add more soil.
6. Cover the soil with a thin layer of moss next.
7. Water the plants now, being sure not to over water.
8. Put your colorful stones in the container, along with any other decor you wish to add.
9. Put on the lid.
10. Now you must place your container in a well-lit area. Be sure to ask the garden center if your plants need full sun or partial sun.
11. You should observe your terrarium on a daily basis in the beginning to make sure your plants are doing well. If they continue to look healthy, you can check on them several times a week.You need to make sure the terrarium stays moist. Add water occasionally as needed.
Remember to remind your homeschooler to observe how water is evaporated, and drawn into the air from the soil, forming “rain”. Have your child chart how the plants grow without constant tending.
Here are some kits to make your terrarium building easier: