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How to make a terrarium with your kids

Nichole Beaudry strives to capture the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments with her children. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from The University of Texas and her master’s in English from California State Un...

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

Just because summer is winding to a close doesn't mean that your kids can't still get their hands dirty and grow some fun plants. These terrariums help them bring a bit of green inside.

Keep summer going long after the kids return to school with this fun (and super simple) indoor gardening project.

Supplies:

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

  • A glass container with a lid (anything from a repurposed pasta sauce jar to a large Mason jar)
  • Small stones for drainage (gravel, pebbles or river rocks will do) 
  • Crushed charcoal
  • Soil
  • Ferns
  • Young gardening assistant

Directions:

1. Sterilize and create drainage

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

Clean the glass container thoroughly with hot, soapy water to remove any potential bacteria. Have your assistant begin building the terrarium by layering a 1 1/2-inch layer of small rocks at the bottom of the jar to collect water drainage.

2. Add the charcoal

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

Add a thin layer of crushed charcoal to help keep the soil fresh.

3. Pour in the soil

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

Add the potting soil. (Note: The rocks, charcoal and potting soil altogether should equal about 1/3 to 1/2 the height of your selected container.)

4. Plant your ferns

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

Place your ferns in the soil and lightly pack the soil around the plants. (They'll need some space to grow, so don't overplant.)

5. Finish and replace the lid

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

Add a small amount of water to the jar. Replace the lid, closing it tightly.

Ongoing terrarium maintenance

Bring some life indoors this fall with a DIY terrarium for kids

  • Your closed terrarium should almost never need watering.
  • Prune back any dead foliage or overgrown plants as you notice them to prevent any rotting.
  • Your terrarium will be happiest in natural, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight or other overly hot areas.
  • Mist your terrarium weekly to provide ample humidity.

More gardening fun with kids

How to create a winter garden with kids
Kid-friendly gardening projects
Gardening with toddlers and preschoolers

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