Maybe it’s because I love all the beautiful terrariums I have been seeing around lately, but we figured we could make one really easily. When my son Henry came home a few weeks ago with this plant in a plastic cup, I was excited.  So we waited until it outgrew its home and was ready for replanting. It is beyond easy, requires NO maintenance and really brightens up a corner of our kitchen. It was so fun and quick that we wanted more.


You will need: flat sided glass jars (these are sauerkraut jars), chalkboard spray paint, 1 cup of potting soil, moss plant, plastic dinosaurs.

Save those simple jars that have no words embossed in the glass and straight sides. Wash them and save them under the sink until you have one for each kid, trust me.  Take the lids outside and spray with 2-3 light coats of chalkboard paint. Let dry between coats. This is the fun part. Cover your table with newspaper or parchment paper. Set up each of the jars, your dinos, a bowl of dirt and your moss plant.

Honestly, I have no idea what plant this is. Henry came home with this little guy in a plastic cup, but I swear I just spent last weekend ripping these guys out of my flower bed. If you aren’t lucky enough to have them growing everywhere, like we do here in Seattle, the most technical term I got from Henry was “moss plant.” Any basic fluffy moss  or ground cover that requires little water will do.

Have your child take a fist full of dirt and spread it evenly across the bottom of the jar. These jars have wide mouths, so it was really easy for little hands to get in. Let them fill about 1/2 to 1″ of dirt on the bottom of the jar.

We split our moss plant in two and plopped him in.  The boys played with the dirt until the roots were mostly covered.

Then we inserted our dinosaurs so they looked like they were on an adventure. Take the terrarium to the sink and have your child drip a few drops of water from his finger tips. Seal the lid on and set in a warm place, near but not directly in sunlight. Our kitchen window was perfect.

Maintenance? Oh, once or twice a year, sprinkle some more water in. You have just created a fully functioning ecosystem. Can you say, water cycle?

Another option is a large glass jar and lid from a discount store like Marshalls or TJ Maxx. These would fit with your decor and let your little one feel like he was helping decorate the house. A huge jar with a few tiny dinos hiding in the foliage would be awesome!