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Crafts for Kids

 
Create Your Own Terrarium
by Catherine Conley

Terrariums have been around for years but they've gained a lot of popularity recently in the interior decorating world. They are a fascinating example of a self-sustained ecosystem and, depending on how you decorate them, a home fashion statement. They're also a great teaching tool for kids. Making a terrarium can be a fun project for you and your child to do together that you can then display either in their room or as a centerpiece in a family common room. The best part is that it is an ever-changing decoration piece. You can even change out some of the plants or objects in the terrarium based on your child's changing tastes.

So, here's what you'll need to create your own terrarium:

  1. Soil

  2. Pebbles

  3. Activated Charcoal

  4. Moss

  5. Glass container
    (Can be an open container or one with a lid. Closed containers can be more difficult to sustain but can also be more rewarding for teaching your kids about ecosystems).

  6. Various plants

  7. Fun objects
Directions:
  1. Put a one-inch layer of pebbles in the bottom of the container.

  2. Put a half-inch layer of activated charcoal right on top of the pebbles. The charcoal isn't totally necessary but it will help filter the water.

  3. Put a layer of Sphagnum moss on top of the charcoal. This is optional but Sphagnum wiry and dry and will keep the soil from falling into the pebbles below.

  4. Put a layer of soil about two or three inches thick on the top of all of this.

  5. Poke small holes into the soil place all of your plants in the soil.

  6. Place your objects around the plants for a festive look. If you're more into a beachy look, use sand instead of soil and purchase plants that grow well in this type of climate. You can accessorize with tiny beach chairs or toy sea creatures.

  7. Water the terrarium a moderate amount and cover it. Watch it over the next few days. Water only if the soil is drying out. If you overwater then leave it uncovered to let the water evaporate. If your terrarium is not enclosed, ignore these final directions.
If you want more information on teaching your kids about ecosystems, I found this great website called StormtheCastle.com. They also have lots of other cool ideas for fun science projects.

About the Author:
Catherine Conley is a www.trendfunnel.com staff blogger and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with an English degree in May 2010.

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