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Back to Basics: Terrarium Gardening with Kids

Back to Basics: Terrarium Gardening with Kids

Published: 04/28/2015 by Poppy Innovations

» Health & Wellness

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a huge back yard to grow edible plants. In fact, you can grow them in something as small as an empty soda bottle. Creating a soda bottle terrarium is an excellent way to teach children about the lifecycle of plants while growing delicious produce to enhance your menu.

With obesity rates on the rise, it has never been more important to educate children on the importance of fresh

vegetables and fruit in their diet. In fact, seven out of 10 children ages four to eight, and half of adults, do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables and fruit. (Statistics Canada 2006). And the amount of time and opportunities for children to learn to cook from scratch has diminished with an increase in processed foods.

(Cooking and Food Prep Skills, Government of Canada)


So it’s time to get back to basics and grow your own food!


Make A Terrarium Garden

What you will need:

• 2L soda bottle (washed and dry)

• potting soil

• handful of stones or pebbles

• a marker

• scissors

• seeds (herbs, round carrots, lettuce and other greens work well. Can also use the bottom from a bunch of

celery or root and white part of green onions)

• Optional - activated charcoal, spaghum or spanish moss



First, cut your soda bottle in half and keep the cap on the top of the bottle.

Then in this order, layer materials into bottom half of bottle:

1. Pebbles to allow extra water to stay at the bottom and stop soil from becoming too wet

2. Activated charcoal (if using) to filter water as it moves up and down

3. Moss (if using) to stop soil from settling down into the rocks

4. About 4 inches of potting soil to feed the plants


Plant seeds about 1/2 inch into the soil. Gently water your seeds so the soil is moist. Put the top of the soda bottle

back on and watch the plants start to grow!


You may need to make a couple of vertical slits on the lower edge of the top half of the bottle to get it to fit over

the bottom. Place the bottle in an area where it will get indirect light during the day and away from heat sources 

like radiators.


Terrariums are self-contained environments. They do not even need water for a long period of time. Your seeds

should start to germinate in three or four days. Open the top of the bottle to harvest your plant as you need, and then replace the lid and the plant will continue to produce. Planting is a rewarding, fun activity that introduces many science concepts naturally to your child.