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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Make a Terrarium

You will need:

A clear 2-liter bottle with bottle cap
Potting soil (or dirt from your backyard)
Rye grass seeds
Clear packing tape
A spray bottle filled with water
Scissors or an Exacto knife (and your caring adult's help/permission)
Ladybugs! (or any bug you find and would like to observe for a while)

How to Assemble:

1) Rinse out an empty 2-liter bottle
2) Have your adult help you carefully cut the top off of the bottle. Make the cut about three inches down from the lid of the bottle (see picture). Be sure to keep this part all in one piece!
3) Fill bottom of container with about 4 to 5 inches of potting soil
4) Sprinkle a few teaspoons of rye grass on top of the soil and cover with a little bit more dirt-- just a quarter of an inch or so
5) Wet the soil and spray the walls of the bottle with water
6) Add bugs if desired
7) Place the top back on the bottle and tape it together with packing tape.

Ta-da! You have a terrarium! The grass should start to grow in just a few days. Every week or so check the moisture level, unscrew the bottle cap and add a few teaspoons of water as needed. If you put bugs in there make sure they have the food they need (like aphids for ladybugs). Remember that bugs don't live very long, so this won't be a forever pet. You can also make this bug-free and have fun watching how tall the grass will grow. You could also add stickers or other decorations to the bottle, just make sure some sunlight can get through. Enjoy!

Alyssa's terrarium was made about seven weeks ago and although the cricket has passed on to The Great Terrarium in the Sky, the grass is still growing!

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