Backyard Bottle Terrarium

Part two of the Tuffet Tutorial is on it’s way but I wanted to take a quick intermission and share with you a fun project E and I did over the weekend. While exploring the back yard on Saturday, E found a nice little patch of clover and moss hiding out under back stoop. It reminded me of an enchanted fairy garden and the idea of making a terrarium popped into my head.

Bottle Terrarium

We rummaged through our recycle bin and found a plastic orange juice bottle that was perfect for housing our little garden. Then went on a hunt to find some rocks to put in the bottom of the terrarium for drainage. Turns out we didn’t have to look far because our window well was a jackpot.

E carefully selected rocks and put them into the container until we had about 2 inches full. E is very interested in counting right now so we made sure to count the rocks as she put them in. Next, we raided E’s garden box for a little bit of potting soil.

She scooped and dumped the dirt into the small opening of the bottle with her shovel which proved to be quite an exercise of fine motor control and coordination.

She loves to feel the dirt in her and holds it up close to her face saying “see”. She’s definitely my little gardening buddy!!! When she finally got enough soil in the bottle ( about an inch )  we were ready to harvest our moss. Back under the stoop E pulled out handfuls of moss and shoved them into the terrarium.

We talked about how the moss looked and felt and my little parrot quickly picked up a new vocabulary word, repeating “moss”  over and over. We thought the terrarium might look nice with a little tuft of clover so E yanked out a handful and dropped in the bottle. We then took our almost complete terrarium inside where I used a butter knife to turn over the pieces of moss that were upside down and to push the clover into the dirt. We gave our terrarium a few squirts of water and finished by screwing the lid on tightly.This was such a fun way to explore nature right in our own back yard and turned out to be a great way to fit in some fine motor skill work, sensory play, and counting exercises!

Come Check out some other fabulous summer play ideas at An Amazing Child’s Outdoor Play Link-up 

and It’s Playtime


It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow


  1. This is so cute! You always have the greatest ideas. My little guy is all about containers filled with things lately, so I bet he would love this.

  2. Thanks so much Mama Spaghetti! For a spur of the moment weekend activity it was definitely a hit. I hope your little guy enjoys it as much as E did!

  3. This is a fun idea! My son is always playing in his sandbox and maybe is getting a little bored of it. We are looking for new ideas to try and this is great!

    I am your newest follower from the Outdoor play share.

  4. Thanks for the great feedback and Welcome Rachel!

  5. oh oh oh- I just love her! I have all boys and I think your baby girl just stole my heart! My 3 boys have always been very curious and “outdoor enthusiasts” as well! new follower!

  6. This is lovely, what a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing on our Outdoor Play hop! Hope to see you there again!

  7. I love terrariums – although I have never quite been able to keep one alive :(

    What a wonderfully inquisitive little lady you have. And don’t the best activities always come out of spur of the moment opportunities? :)

    Thanks for sharing with us. See you again next week :)

  8. Thank you guys for the great link up! We’ll be back

  9. Just wanted to let you know that although I didn’t do a feature of last week’s linked posts because I was away on vacation, I just shared this idea on the Mama Pea Pod facebook page. :-)

  10. I absolutely love her intense concentration! How old is she? I had to include this in a round up of dirty, muddy ways to play :)

  11. Pingback: 30+ Fun Activities for Kids to Play in the Dirt! | hands on : as we grow

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