Soda Bottle Terrarium

Soda Bottle Terrarium Activity

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See more activities in: Third Grade, Recycled Crafts

Help your child create a magical miniature garden in the most unlikely of places: a recycled soda bottle! He'll be able to contruct his very own terrarium, plant real seeds and watch the whole thing flourish and grow.

What You Need:

  • Two-liter soda bottle
  • Ruler
  • Sharp knife
  • Permanent marker
  • Kitchen scissors
  • 1/2 cup of gravel or coarse sand
  • Potting soil
  • Small plants or seeds
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Optional: activated charcoal (available at aquarium stores)

What You Do:

  1. Help your child use a permanent marker and a ruler to draw a line 4 1/2 inches up from the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Use the knife to cut into the plastic bottle. (This step is all you -- cutting plastic with a knife is not quite kid-approved.)
  3. Have your child use scissors to cut the rest of plastic along the marker line.
  4. Set the top part of the bottle aside.
  5. Let your child fill the bottom of the bottle with a 1/2 cup of gravel or coarse sand. Explain that this layerwill trap excess water.
  6. If you have activated charcoal, help your child pour a bit into the bottle. Have him pat down the characoal to a layer about 1/4 of an inch think. 
  7. Have him fill the rest of the bottom of the terrarium with potting soil. Make sure there is at least an inch of room between the soil and the top of the plastic.
  8. Help him plant his seeds and plants in the soil.
  9. Let him fill his spray bottle with water.
  10. Have him use the spray bottle to cover the soil with a fine mist.
  11. Take the scissors and carefully cut two one vertical slits on either side of the terrarium's top. Each slit should be about one inch long.
  12. Help your child place the top of the bottle on the terrarium. The slits you made should help the bottom fit securely with the top.
  13. Have him place his terrarium in area that gets some sunlight.
  14. If the terrarium gets too damp, let your child take the lid off and let it dry out for a couple of days.

Terrariums make great gifts! Your child can even add some tiny toy decorations or signs—just make sure any added items don't mind a little moisture or heat.

Updated on Jun 18, 2014
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See more activities in: Third Grade, Recycled Crafts
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