Making a rainforest terrarium with your kids is a great way to give them a hands-on experience with the climate of rainforests, and opens up a great dialogue about the animals and plants that thrive there.
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Rainforests aren’t actually covered very deeply in my animal habitats unit. We scratched the surface with deserts, oceans, arctic, and general forests. You know, raccoons and deer and whatnot.
My only reasoning for this was the fact that I knew we’re going to do a full-on rainforest theme soon. However, I wanted to at least go over the basics of what makes a rainforest, and how the climate and wildlife is actually quite different from your regular old forest.
I knew a quick rainforest terrarium would be the perfect little addition to our animal habitat theme, for 2 reasons:
- It allows my kids to get dirty and explore different senses.
- They get to feel first-hand how warm and wet rainforests are, making it a more impactful experience.
The fact that they got to add little rainforest animals, and I now have a beautiful terrarium to look at are added bonuses!
WHILE YOU’RE PLANNING YOUR ANIMAL HABITATS THEME:
- Check out my Animal Habitats Unit here. (Use code HABITAT25 for 25% off) If you join my Preschool Program Membership, you’ll get a major discount on all past Unit Studies, and 2 brand new units included each month!
- Here are 25 Animal Activities for your Preschooler’s Habitat theme!
- Here’s a list of Animal Books for your Animal Habitat Unit Study.
- Here are 25 Animal Habitat Crafts for your Preschooler
- Here’s a list of 16 Fun & Delicious Animal-Themed Snacks for your Kids
Animal Habitat Activities & Crafts We’ve Done at the Moore Homestead:
- How to Make a Paper Bag Nest
- Make a Bear Cave Craft
- Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeders
- Animal Habitat Invitation to Play
- Paper Plate Lion Craft
- Owl Paper Bag Puppet Craft for Kids
- Desert Sensory Bin
- Arctic Sensory Bin
- Forest Sensory Bin
- Ocean Sensory Bin
Animal Habitat Facts for your Preschooler:
For tips on planning your homeschool preschool year, including curriculum recommendations, check out this article.
Join the Homeschooling Preschoolers Facebook Page! There are free resources available, and it’s the perfect way to connect with other families!
How to Make a Rainforest Terrarium with your Kids
Layers of a rainforest terrarium
Depending on the type of terrarium you’re going for, there are different mediums and layers to consider. I kept this one pretty basic.
I’d like to mention that I definitely recommend doing a closed terrarium instead of an open one like ours. When I ordered this from Walmart pickup, it appeared to be closed in the pictures. I was disappointed but didn’t want it to go to waste. And, actually I think it worked out beautifully because my son likes to gently play with the rainforest animals and change their hiding spots, so maybe it was actually a win.
However, a closed terrarium would be preferred for the type of controlled, tropical environment you’re trying to emulate.
Here are they layers we added to our terrarium:
- Large rocks
- Smaller rocks
- Activated horticulture charcoal
- Sphagnum Moss (soaked in water and squeezed out)
- Potting soil
- Layer of sphagnum moss on top
P.S. – These rainforest animals are the perfect size! And this pack came with a ton!
What plants to add to your rainforest terrarium
Anything tropical! Some popular choices for rainforest terrariums include:
- Nerve plant
- Friendship plant
- Baby tears plant
- Strawberry begonia
This creates a perfect little rainforest environment in your terrarium!
Don’t forget to let your kids spray the plants after planting. From here, they can arrange various little rainforest figurines in the terrarium.
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