Cub Scouts love to create and do hands-on activities. Making a soda bottle terrarium is a great springtime activity. Plus – it reuses a plastic soda bottle, which is great for starting a discussion about Earth Day approaching. Reduce – Reuse – Recycle!
I think all of my kids have made these at one point or another – either in scouts or at school. They usually last several months, even though the kids seem to alternate between completely forgetting them and then smothering them with too much love and water.
Two Liter Soda Bottle Terrarium
This indoor garden makes use of a plastic bottle, so it can also be used to introduce the concept of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.
- 1 2 liter plastic soda bottle for each child
- loose pebbles or rocks
- potting soil
- plants or seeds something which won’t get too big
- stones, small plastic critters, etc for decoration
- Wash the bottles.
- Draw a line on the soda bottle about 4 inches from the bottom.
- Cut off the bottom of the bottle along the line. (Done by the adult)
- Put about 1 inch of pebbles in the bottom of the bottle.
- Add about 2 inches of soil.
- Plant the seeds or plants in the soil.
- Add the decorations if you have any.
- Water the soil so it is moist, but not wet.
- Slide the top half of the soda bottle onto the bottom half. You might have to squeeze the bottom slightly to make the top fit on it.
- Place the terrarium in a window.
To care for the terrarium, the scout can just remove the top and mist it with water if it starts to dry out. Our rule of thumb is that if there is condensation inside the bottle, then it is probably too wet. Take the top off for a little while to let some of the moisture escape.
One way to get Scouts interested in playing in the dirt and in healthy eating habits is to plant a pizza garden. They might be more willing to try different fresh foods if they harvest them from plants they tended.
Learn how to re-use items such as plastic grocery store bags, milk jugs, baby food jars, cereal boxes, coffee filters, and more in your garden.