Make your own terrarium

Terrariums are mini ecosystems that are fun to create, observe, and explore! Over time your mini ecosystem will grow and change just like larger ecosystems do. You'll have surprise plants sprout up, mosses may form spores as they reproduce, and you can watch the development of roots along the sides and bottom of your jar. 

Below you will find a basic supply list and easy to follow steps to make your own terrarium as well as photo examples of terrariums and a terrarium tour video. Enjoy! 

Supplies:
- Jar / clear container
- pebbles or sand
- soil
- moss
- nature items (pebbles, sticks, shells, acorns, pine cones, etc.)

Instructions: Follow these simple steps to make your own terrarium.

1. Find a jar. A large canning jar or an empty spaghetti sauce or pickle jar works well. For toddlers, if you aren't comfortable using glass, you may wish to use a clear plastic container.

2. Place some small pebbles or sand on the bottom.

3. Top with an inch or so of soil.

4. Pinch a small piece of moss from outdoors and place into your jar.

5. Decorate with nature items (pebbles, sticks, shells, acorns, pine cones, etc.). 

6. Water lightly.

7. For an experiment, you can place a lid or covering on your terrarium, place it in a sunny window, and observe moisture and ‘clouds’ formation. The water will collect on the lid and drip like rain down onto the ‘forest floor’. This a mini version of the water cycle! After your experiment, remove the lid and continue to watch your mini ecosystem grow and change.

8. You may also wish to examine your moss with a magnifying glass.

9. Terrariums also make great habitats for short term observation of insects.

10. Enjoy observing your mini ecosystem as it grows and changes. 

 

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