The long winter days tend to send us all indoors, in front of our televisions and wireless devices, where we isolate ourselves through the use of "Social" media, online gaming, shows and movies and other technological distractions.
Since so much of our indoor activities are typically interactions with a device instead of a person, building a an indoor terrarium can be a great experience for you and your child. You can use this activity to teach your child many valuable lessons and practical skills while also learning something yourself.
After you build an indoor terrarium, a succulent terrarium, or if you decide to go all out and build a whole indoor terrarium room, your child will be more knowledgeable, you will have spent quality time together, and you will have a lovely plant display that has sentimental value to the whole family.
HOW TO BUILD A TERRARIUM
Terrariums are a perfect project for kids because they are simple to build and easy to maintain. The first step to is to decide on the type of container you will be working with. Choose either an open or closed glass container, preferably ones that you already have at home.
GLASS CONTAINER IDEAS
- Fish tanks and fish bowls
- Mason jars
- Old candles
- Light bulbs
- Salt shaker
- Glass milk bottles/Apple cider jugs/Recycled soda bottles
- For other creative terrarium ideas visit www.buzzfeed.com
After deciding on the container, you will need to gather the following: pebbles, rocks, potting soil, charcoal, and sand if working with cacti or succulents.
There is a variety of landscaping pebbles on the market that will accommodate your design ideas. From white and red polished pebbles to black lava and candy pebbles, the choices are numerous.
-Line the bottom of the container with an inch of rock or pebbles to create a drainage system for the plants.
-Next, add a thin layer of activated charcoal to keep the water fresh and to prevent mold from growing.
-Then comes the potting mix.
-Finally, choose the type of plants you would like to display in your container.
When choosing your plants, remember to pick ones that stay dwarf size and that thrive in low light and high humidity environments. In addition, the design of the terrarium should have a theme and a uniform plant grouping.
TERRARIUM PLANT IDEAS
- Irish Moss and Golden Clubmoss
- Creeping Figs
- Swedish Ivy
- Spider Plants
- Parsley and Mint
- Cacti and Succulents
- Moon Valley Friendship Plant
- Nerve Plant
- For other plant ideas for your terrarium visit www.bhg.com
Have fun with all the plant combinations and go with what is most eye appealing to you. Adding sea shells or little trinkets and toys can turn an ordinary terrarium into one with a story to tell. To add color and a unique look, try building your terrarium with colored sand.
To expedite the process and save you the hassle of gathering all the materials, you can follow this link.
Once the plants are installed, place the terrarium in an area with indirect sunlight where conditions are ideal for plants such as mosses and ferns. Water the plants just slightly using a mist or some droplets of water before closing the lid.
Now you're done! To keep your terrarium healthy and thriving, air out the terrarium about every 10 days. You can determine if you need to add water by closing the lid and observing if any condensation builds up on the glass. If it does, do not add any water. Also, to prevent your plants from outgrowing your terrarium, do not add any fertilizers and keep it away from too much sunlight.
If terrariums aren't your thing, my article on low light houseplants should provide you with an alternative idea.