Terrarium Treasures by Kristina Hoy of Icing and Crumbs
“Sometimes the tiniest flowers smell the sweetest.”
Gardens are magical places. And tiny gardens enclosed within a small glass structure seem even more so. With Earth Day approaching later this month, I wanted to find a project I could complete with my two young children, and creating our very own terrarium seemed perfect.
Terrariums are not only simple to make, but can become a beautiful feature in any room. They can also be customized to fit into any space – large cookie jars, fish bowls, bell-shaped jars, mason jars, old jam jars, and even light bulbs can all house these little landscapes.
We decided to make a sand terrarium, as these are not only simple to construct, but they are perfect for growing air plants, which need very little care.
Eyes full of excitement, my young, almost-five-year-old daughter scanned the pictures we had collected and announced she was making a butterfly garden. Our trip to the shop didn’t take long – arms piled with round, frilly-necked vases, pink and white sand and a number of colourful, silky butterflies, we were ready to start!
We did the following:
1. Each glass vase was wiped clean with paper towel.
2. Alternating layers of pink and white sand were poured into each. The jar was gently shaken to allow the sand to settle evenly.
3. Colourful glass stones were placed around the outside of the sand, taking care not to touch the sand with our hands (we wanted the sand to remain flat on top, and shaking after placing the stones resulted in them sinking into the sand).
4. A small air plant was trimmed, lightly sprayed with water and placed into each.
5. Butterflies were attached to the outside rim of the jar.
These tiny terrariums can sit happily on a shelf inside. The air plant does not need direct sunlight, and just needs a light spray of water every now and then.
These also make great gifts or would be a good hands-on activity for kids at a garden-themed party.
- We gathered our supplies: playground sand, white decorative sand, white decorative rocks, four varieties of succulents (look for varying textures and colors), top soil, moss, tweezers and 3 stones from the garden.
- We cleaned the container so it was fingerprint-free.
- We filled the bottom half of the container with alternating layers of rocks, sand and moss, ending with the sand. (I would love to say we ended up with perfect layers, but we didn't. I think the helpful hint here is make your layers thick.)
- I used the tweezers to carefully pull small sections of the succulents from their containers and place their roots into the sand.
- I sprinkled a very thin layer of top soil around the plants.
- I placed the 3 stones into open spots and then sprayed the entire terrarium with a spray bottle of water.
Two very different outcomes, both representing new growth to acknowledge our awareness of our planet.
Here are some other fun Earth Day activities:
- Favorite Recycled Crafts from Kaboose
- 15 Earth Day Crafts from ParentMap
- Plant something in your yard
- Take a hike and create a digital nature scrapbook from STEM Mom
- Plan a dinner picnic and watch the sunset
- Take a virtual trip around the planet
- Go birdwatching
- Join a beach cleanup
- Make a birdhouse
- Start some sunflower seeds for your summer garden
- Read "The Lorax" in a forest.