Randi from Swoon! is here with us today to share a simple and beautiful way to introduce children to the concept of caring for the environment—and much more!
If your kids are anything like mine, they’re fascinated by all things that grow. My middle child is known for picking handfuls of flowers in all the wrong places! We’re hoping to plant a vegetable garden this spring, but for now we’ve decided to bring the outdoors in by making a few terrariums to enjoy in our home. I’ve seen some beautiful and elaborately designed terrariums, but decided to keep things simple so the kids could be involved. Planting and caring for living things encourages discovery and a love for nature. It also teaches children responsibility, self-confidence, and promotes an understanding of cause and effect, as well as the life cycle. It can also utilize your child’s creativity if they are involved in the planning and designing process of planting.
To make a simple terrarium you will need a clear container, soil, and a variety of hearty plants. I love succulents because they don’t require a lot of light or water to survive and they’re not easily broken by little hands during the planting process! I put out the plants and containers of soil and invited my two and four year old to join me outside. I showed them how to put the soil in the bottom of their containers and let them have at it. You will definitely want to do this activity outside so you can give your kids the freedom to get messy and experiment with the planting process. Next we talked about how we wanted our plants to be arranged. The girls chose which ones they liked and I showed them how to put the roots down into the soil, letting them choose the placement of their plants.
We had quite a few plants left when we were done, and the girls spent at least an hour planting them over and over in the containers of left over soil. We kept this activity set up outside for a few days and they returned to it again and again. They enjoyed the structured nature of the terrariums, but they really enjoyed the messiness and fun of playing with the plants and soil however they wanted. I will be sure to leave a patch of soil for digging and “planting” in our future garden!