Introduction: DIY Terrarium Project for Children

This plant terrarium project is a great way for kids to explore nature, express their creativity and to get their hands dirty!

It's the simplest possible terrarium build; using materials and plants that many people have and can be easily sourced locally. In this guide, we'll be creating a pirate theme, but you can choose anything!


  1. A terrarium container
  2. Potting soil (or other suitable terrarium substrate)
  3. Gravel/rocks
  4. Houseplant cuttings or foraged plants

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

First, you'll need a suitable vessel for your terrarium. Pretty much anything will do as long as it's transparent and large enough to contain everything.

Next you'll need some gravel or river stones. Anything that's non-uniform and will create gaps for the excess water to drain in to.

For the substrate, pretty much any regular potting mix will do. If you're in a bind, you can use soil taken from your local natural environment, just bake it for 20 mins to kill any germs.

Finally, for your plants. Established terrarium plants would be ideal, but many houseplant cuttings will work just fine. Alternatively you can go for a foraging activity to collect plants from the wild. We picked some wild ferns and mosses that should adapt fine to terrarium life.

Step 2: Create Your Theme

First we create a fun theme using whatever you can find in the house. For our pirate theme, we managed to find all sorts of gemstones and rocks for our treasure chest, and we even made our own message in a bottle and fishing net!

Step 3: Build Your Terrarium

Now, we put everything together to build the terrarium.

Build the foundation using the following layers:

  1. Gravel: 1-3 inches
  2. Soil:- 2-4 inches

Then we add the plants. Gently placing the plants into the soil, leaving enough space for our theme elements.

Finally you can spray down the plants and substrate till it's saturated with water, but not soggy.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Now, we get to bring the theme to life!

Adding all of your theme elements carefully, taking care not to crush or uproot any plants.

We think it turned out great!