Create a pretty miniature garden for your child to take care of.
Difficulty rating: ***
Time to prepare: ****
Cleaning up: ***
Activity time: 30 minutes
Involving your child in an activity makes learning so much more fun. While putting together this miniature forest your child will get her hands dirty and engage her senses and fine motor skills at the same time. Putting it all together herself (with a little help from Mom, of course) also teaches your child about the importance of every part of the terrarium in the life cycle of plants. Explain to her that the rocks are for drainage, while the potting soil is essential for the plants to grow in. Give her a simple botany lesson and explain to her how the ecosystem works. Let her keep the garden in her room and explain to her the responsibility of caring for something that will not communicate its needs to her.
What you need:
- Use a container with a wide enough opening for your hand to fit through. It must also be big enough to house a miniature garden
- Cover the base of the container with a layer of small stones followed by a layer of potting soil
- Plant miniature trees or plants, moss or even succulents and add a few decorations
- The more adventurous gardener can try to create hills and valleys with the potting soil
- Put the lid back on, or keep it open, depending on how you want to look after your garden. If closed, the plants will form an ecosystem of their own, but if not, you will have to see that they get watered regularly. Moss, in particular, will need water spritzed onto it regularly. The soil should always be damp, but be careful not to overwater.
Take your tot with you to choose plants and other decorative items for her terrarium. Involving her from the beginning will ensure her full attention on the project from start to finish. Any small, hardy greenery would be well suited. Be sure to add a few colourful items too – miniature fairies, butterflies or birds are available at craft shops.