Activities to do when it’s raining
My friends in Mumbai are whining about the rains while we in Delhi are complaining about the lack of them. Yet, we have been getting a random day of rain here and there and when it’s erratic like this, it’s best to keep the kids indoors. Rats, more indoors constructive activities to think of! Seriously, I am running out. While on the verge, I was out shopping for plants when it hit me. Its monsoon season, Ally is home at 5 pm instead of being in the pool, let’s have some nature fun. So I decided to make a ‘terrarium’ with her.
A terrarium is a miniature natural environment created with soil, plants and accents, usually inside closed glass containers like jars, bottles, fish tanks etc. Open terrariums are easier to make and are a beautiful addition to a kid’s room. A well-made terrarium can actually self sustain by creating moisture on its own, so it doesn’t need watering, just a source of natural heat from a window or door. Children love the novelty of playing with soil, creating something new and unique and becoming proud owners of a self made ‘pet plant’. We made an open terrarium in a fish bowl, so we need to add few drops of water every 2 days, that’s it!
What you need –
1 small cookie jar or fish tank/bowl (if you don’t get one with a lid, fashion one with plastic cling film)
½ bucket of soil and manure mix
1 cup marble chips
2-3 small river stones/seashells/Barbie accessories/any kiddie ornament
2 Typical terrarium plants – small leafed philodendrons, most succulents, cacti, black grass, aloe vera, lucky bamboo, small ferns. Try a combination of aloe vera and a small fern.
Butter knife (preferably plastic)
Clean and dry the fish bowl, make a layer of marble chips, add soil (2 inches or so), make another layer of marble chips, top with another 2” of soil. Make two indents in the soil with the butter knife, gently hold the plants at root level with tweezers and settle into the gaps in the soil. Pat
the surrounding soil shut with the knife. Decorate around the plants with accessories of your choice. Use tissue and paintbrush to wipe off the excess soil or stains on the clear part of the bowl. Don’t forget to label your fish bowl terrarium with your name and the name of the plants you have used. Enjoy!
(Note: avoid cacti with kids but they make great terrarium additions, so if you do one on your own; try a variety of succulents combined with cacti)
Fish bowls are available at any pet shop and are priced anywhere between Rs. 99-299 for small ones. Plants, marble chips and river stones can be found at local plant nurseries. Rummage through the kid’s drawers to find miniature stuff to put in the terrarium.