Tips for Creating a Bug Terrarium with Kids
I remembered as a child I got the idea to fill a clear glass jar with soil, followed by adding a few ants, I punched a few holes in the top of the container lid to ensure that my ants were getting sufficient oxygen. At that time I did not know anything about a terrarium garden, I was proud of it and made sure that my ants did not run out of food.
What made this experience interesting for me was from my glass jar I would watch the ants as they traveled into the soil by making long tunnels. In fact, it’s recorded that ” the first terrarium garden was invented by English botanist, Dr, Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842″ It’s said that the discovery of the terrarium garden was made accidentally when Dr, Bagshaw was raising moth pupa in a sealed glass jar.
He notice that the ferns and the moss were thriving in this sealed environment he had created for the moths, hence the discovery of terrarium gardens. Today terrarium gardens have gained popularity and have become a hobby for many. If you want to know how to create one of these miniature gardens then continue reading, this hobby can be so much fun for kids as well.
Steps to Take
A terrarium garden can be likened to a miniature ecosystem where plants and insects are thriving together in a tiny community, the plants that are chosen for this garden type should be able to thrive in indirect light along with humidity.
1. Study the Insects: Before starting your terrarium garden know which insect you will be working with, also understand through research which plant/plants that insect prefers (its habitat) and what food it eats.
2. What Container to Use: A terrarium garden can be any clear glass jar including a round glass fish tank, avoid using colorful glass jars or plastic containers, if you decide to use a round fish tank or fishbowl cover the top with plastic wrap, punch a few holes in the plastic wrap for air circulation. Netting or a screen top can work as well.
3. Clean the Container: Before adding plants or insects clean the container thoroughly and ensure that it’s dry.
4. Start adding Materials: Once the container is dry start by adding a layer of gravel or pebbles, sand can be used as well, now layer soil on top.
5 Add Plants: Once you know what insect you’re working with from doing a background study try to locate that insect in your yard or garden, the seem plant or the area where the insect is found remove the plant including the roots to bring indoors. Weeds can be used as well, remember your little ecosystem must consist of insect/insects and plants that thrive in the seem community
6. Giving Insect Shade: Now add a few little sticks and some dead leaves, this will not only provide a shade cover for the insect but will make the insect feel right at home in its natural habitat.
7. Add Insects: Add insects to your terrarium garden and watch them as they enjoy their new home.
8. Adding Food and Moisture: Now add bits of food and regularly mist your terrarium garden with water to retain moisture.
Maintenance of your Bug Garden
- Ensure that your terrarium is getting the right amount of lighting at all times too much light as well as too little can affect both the plants and the insect/insects
- Maintain the right amount of moisture, too much moisture can have a negative impact on the plants and the insects
- Dying or dead plants should be removed immediately as well as plants that are diseased
- Keep your terrarium garden away from heat sources such as heating vents or heat that are generated by radiators
- Use a damp cloth to keep the glass clean, a dirty or foggy glass can have a negative impact by making it difficult for light to reach your plants
- Keep fertilizers out of your terrarium garden, these miniature gardens don’t need fertilizers, and don’t forget that besides plant life you’re caring for insects as well
- Keep an eye out for mold, if mold is discovered you can do one of two things either open up the lid for more air to get into the terrarium, be careful because you don’t want your insect to escape, or use a Q-tip with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to remove the mold from the plant leaf
1. When working with different insect and plant species make sure that the plants and insects that are chosen are not harmful or poisonous, you want to keep it safe for your children as they have fun.
2. Insects should be kept in the terrarium at all times no matter how harmless they seem always play it safe.
3. Although you’re taking care of your bug and are proud of your miniature ecosystem, after a while it’s best to release the bug back into the wild.
4. Once a week or every other day keep a check on your terrarium garden, keep an eye out for mold or rot, and clean as needed.
5. Old food that’s not eaten should be removed
6. Replace plant materials and food as the need arises.
The final word on how to make a bug terrarium
Creating a bug terrarium garden is that simple, this is a great activity for kids as they take care of their little ecosystem and connect with nature indoors. Following this guide will help you to grow and care for your very own terrarium garden that you can be proud of this was my experience as a child and it can be yours also go for it you will be happy with the result.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.