Geography Biomes Terrarium Project: Books for Kids GIVEAWAY

May 6, 2014

Geography Biomes Terrarium Project for Kids from

Week at a Glance:

  • Books for Kids GIVEAWAY: Geography From A to Z by Jack Knowlton
  • What is a Biome?
  • FREE Printable: Biomes Research
  • Biomes Resources
  • How to Make a Biome Terrarium
  • Terrarium Samples
  • Plant a Terrarium for Mom this Mother’s Day!

Geography Landforms for Kids from

Books for Kids GIVEAWAY: Geography From A to Z by Jack Knowlton

Why we love this book:

This week we continue with Geography From A to Z, as we research Biomes and create our Biomes Terrarium Project. This is one geography resource book that every classroom and homeschool library should include.

Geography From A to Z is not a story book. It is a geography reference book written and illustrated specifically for children. Accordingly, it is not the type of book you read from cover to cover during one sitting. It is however, a valuable resource during a geography theme study or as a year round reference book.

Geography Landforms for Kids from

Geography From A to Z is a dictionary of geography terms beginning with “archipelago” and ending with “zone”. The target age is early elementary; however, the concise definitions and bold illustrations can certainly be used by older children as well. This is a geography book that we can grow with throughout our school years.

Geography for Kids Lesson 8

Geography Biomes Terrarium Project

Biomes Terrarium Project FREE printable from

MacGyver began our Biomes Terrarium project by researching and writing definitions for our Biomes vocabulary terms.

Biomes Research Supplies:

  • A Child’s Introduction to The World by Heather Alexander p. 29 – 31
  • Geography From A to Z by Jack Knowlton
  • Variety of Biomes Books
  • FREE printable: Geography Biomes

How to Make a Terrarium

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Biomes Terrarium Supplies:

  • pebbles
  • sphagnum moss
  • African violet potting mix or cactus potting mix
  • plants
  • moss rocks and moss bark (*optional)
  • decor: pebbles, marbles, shells, mini animals (*optional)
  • Variety of Glass Containers with lids and without lids.
    • We hit the local thrift shops to score our VERY INEXPENSIVE glass containers.
    • Most did not come as a set. We bought bowls and vases and matched them with candle holders and saucers for lids.
    • We carefully washed and dried all of our glass containers before beginning our planting project.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Preparation: Nature Scavenger Hunt

  • The kiddos went on a scavenger hunt searching for moss covered rocks and bark. (the smaller the better)
  • They collected decor items such as rocks and sticks.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Step 1: Add About 1 Inch Layer of Pebbles, Rocks or Marbles for Drainage

  • We washed our pebbles before putting them in our containers.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Step 2: Add a Layer of Dry Moss

  • The moss is to keep the soil from mixing with the rocks and making an ugly muddy mess.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Step 3: Add About 2 inches of Soil

  • African violet or cactus potting mix are recommended.

Should I Add Activated Charcoal to My Terrarium?

*Did you know there is an activated charcoal controversy? Well let me tell you, there is! When I began researching terrariums, I kept seeing the ingredient activated charcoal. I had no idea what that was and NONE of the employees at the gardening centers knew what it was!!! After more research, I learned that activated charcoal is used in fish tank filters. Consequently, you can purchase it at the pet store. However, before you run to the pet store . . . I also read over and over again that activated charcoal is an unnecessary ingredient when making terrariums. It is intended to stop mold and yucky smells in closed terrariums. I decided to roll the dice and go without the activated charcoal. Four months later our terrariums do not seem to miss the activated charcoal. It is recommended that you replant your terrarium once every year.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Step 4: Add Plants and Decorations to Terrarium

  • Creating a Biome means that like plants must be planted with like plants – tropical plants with tropical plants, succulents with succulents, cactus with cactus.
  • Top your tropical plants with lids and you will have nearly self-contained Biomes. Very little watering necessary.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

How to Care For Your Terrarium:

  • All research warns that watering is a bit tricky. Over watering is the most common mistake.
  • Miss Enigma loves watering our terrariums. About once a week she opens the lids and mist the tropical plants with a little rain.
  • If your tropical plants begin to rot, you are watering too much!
  • It is recommended that succulents NOT be misted. We use an old vanilla bottle with dropper to water only the rocks at the roots of the succulents.
  • It is recommended that you replant your terrarium once every year.

Terrarium Observations and Excitement

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Within a few days of planting, the children were thrilled to find the a tiny fern frond sprouting. Soon there were more fronds reaching for the sky.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

It didn’t take long for the fresh little fern frond to unfurl. My kiddos find such joy in observing nature in action.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Another daily pastime for the kiddos is watching the mossy bits found on our scavengered pieces of bark spread across the pebbles in the terrariums.

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

Yes, this visitor has MacGyver’s name written all over it. As we were planting our terrariums, MacGyver spotted this anole lizard basking in the sun. MacGyver quickly scooped it up and added it to one of our succulent terrariums. Crazy lizard. He actually stayed and hung out with us as we planted. That’s MacGyver for you!

Make Mom a Terrarium for Mother’s Day

How to Make a Terrarium for Kids from

The kiddos made quite a variety of terrariums and gave them as gifts to grandma and our adopted grandma next door. These terrariums were so easy for the kiddos to make and let’s face it they have a bit more longevity than macaroni jewelry!

Geography Landforms for Kids from

We’re GIVING AWAY one copy Geography From A to Z by Jack Knowlton

To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries.

Answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

What are you giving Mom for Mother’s Day? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, May 11, 2014

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, May 12, 2014. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Geography Landforms for Kids from

You can also enter by leaving a comment on last week’s post: Geography Landforms From A to Z

Sharing this week at:

Deceptively Educational

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis at All Things Beautiful May 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I didn’t know you were supposed to replant a terrarium every year. Yours are quite beautiful. We plan to make some this summer.

Jeannine May 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm

According to the “experts” you replant to refresh the dirt. I’m new to terrariums so I’m relying on the expert advice. I guess maybe I should research this advice. Maybe replanting every year is another “controversy”.

Katy May 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Yay! I was just researching terrariums to plant one with my 4 year old. Thanks for the tips!

Jeannine May 7, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Katy, Have fun planting!

Deceptively Educational May 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm

You have totally inspired me. Not only do I want to do make a terrarium with my kids, but I also think I can actually keep these kinds of houseplants alive! That’s a win-win for sure! Thanks for sharing this at the After School Linky Party!

maryanne @ mama smiles May 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Your terrariums look fantastic!

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