I feel Spring in the air. It feels like it's time to start gardening. It's still too early to plant most vegetables outside because of the danger of a late freeze where I live. However, I thought it would be fun to show the activity day girls (church group of girls ages 8-11) some basic gardening tips like how to transplant a potted plant. I thought they could practice some of what we talked about by making a terrarium.
I followed the tutorials found here and here. These can be made in any jar where the jar opening is smaller than the circumference of the jar at its widest point. The most difficult par of this project is trying to find tiny plants. The plants I selected seemed small enough- but by the time you covered the root ball with potting soil and added the height of the plant- they were bursting out the top... oops... and the girls were very generous with the potting soil :o)
What type of jar is best? I'm not sure.... I've seen people use wide mouth canning jars- the jar opening needs to be large enough for a child to put their hands down inside.... or you'll be spending lots of time trying to get things in place using chopsticks! You can find activated charcoal in the aquarium section of your pet store- this keeps your terrarium smelling fresh. You can find living moss (don't use the dried dead stuff) in the ground covering section of your local nursery.
We used polka dot plants from Home Depot, they were with the houseplants. Oh, and don't place your finished terrarium in direct sunlight or your plants will bake and die.
I made the little mushrooms ahead of time using polymer clay. I painted on the little spots and covered the mushroom tops with triple glaze. I think they look pretty sweet in their new terrarium homes.