Kids Activities

How To Make a Terrarium

kids terrarium

Easy to maintain, terrariums are a beautiful way to display slow-growing plants. Perfect for kids taking their first steps into the world of gardening, terrariums are low-maintenance and therefore easy to keep alive. Terrariums are also a great addition to any home, especially where space is limited, as they add a bit of outdoor beauty and greenery to your interior.

You can make a terrarium in a jar in less than an hour with very few materials, and this guide will show you exactly how to do it.

Let’s start with what you’ll need.
Before you start

This is a great project for the kids to help with, but it does require a glass container – so make sure it is well away from the edges of any surfaces.  Watch out for any soil getting into contact with little eyes and if so, rinse immediately with cold water. Wear old clothes or an apron and cover the appropriate surfaces with newspaper, as things may get a little messy. Adult supervision is always required.



  1. Choose a container

    Pick out a container or glass jar that has an opening to add plants, for example a mason jar or even an old goldfish bowl, for the kids to work with. A heavy plastic container is also fine, but most people prefer the look and feel of glass.

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  2. Choose your plants

    Next, let the kids select the plants they want to grow. Make sure the plants are small enough to fit into the jar without touching the sides.

    Get the kids to get their thinking caps on and choose a couple of plants that go well together – or keep it minimal and just have the one to start. Succulents and Fern are both good choices.

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  3. Drainage and activated charcoal

    The container won’t have any drainage holes at the bottom – so the kids will need to create a drainage layer to help keep the water away from the plants’ roots.

    To do this, show them how to make a thin layer of moss at the bottom of the container or a 2-inch layer of stones. Then they will need to use a large spoon or trowel to add a layer of activated charcoal on top.

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  4. Potting mix

    Next, they’ll need to add a thin layer of moss and lots of potting soil – little hands are perfect for getting into the jar.

    They will need to add as much potting mix as they can, but make sure their plants can still fit inside without touching the top of the container.

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  5. Add your plants

    Finally, they can add their plants.

    Help them dig a small hole for each plant in the potting mix, pop the plant in and gently pat the soil down around it. Make sure they leave a couple of inches between each plant to give them plenty of room to grow.

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  6. Decorate the terrarium

    If the kids want to, now is the time to decorate your terrarium. They could add shells, other stones, moss, sand or any other decorations that they like. Let their imaginations go wild.

    Show them how to use a plant mister, to spritz the foliage gently.

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  7. Keeping the terrarium alive

    Keep the terrarium in a spot with lots of natural (but not direct) sunlight, and ensure the little ones keep on top of looking after their homemade terrarium.

    They will need to spray their plants every couple of weeks, or when the soil is dry to the touch.

    And they’ll need your help with pulling off any damaged or discoloured leaves and to trim the plants if they are growing too large.

    That’s how to make a terrarium!  Don’t forget to upload an image of your new terrarium and tag us @Homebase_uk.

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