Mini Ecosystems Activity
For a science project -- or just for fun -- make your own mini ecosystem with a display of the world's forests, deserts, and grasslands.What You'll Need:
- Aquarium or gallon glass jar
- Potting soil
- Charcoal for house plants
- Purchased or collected plants
Step 1: Clean and dry an aquarium or gallon glass jar. Pour a 1/2-inch layer of charcoal in the bottom, then add about four inches of potting soil. (For a desert use a mixture of 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 sand.)
Step 2: Buy plants, or ask someone for permission to collect plants from their property or garden. Never collect plants from nature because they could be endangered. Here is a list of biomes and some suggestions of plants you can use:
- Tundra (such as Northern Canada and Alaska): lichens, mosses, and any of the small alpine plants sold for rock gardens. These will need a sunny window.
- Northern coniferous forest (such as Southern Canada, Northern United States): Piggyback plants and small ferns.
- Deciduous forest (such as Eastern United States): Violets, Wintergreens, strawberries, and small ferns.
- Grassland (such as the Midwestern United States): Plant a prairie wildflower seed mix that includes several grasses.
- Desert (such as the American Southwest): Purchase cacti or aloe vera plants. Don't overwater or overfertilize. Leave the lid off.
- Tropical Rain Forest (such as the Amazon Basin): Most common houseplants come from the tropics. Try African violets, creeping Charlies, or aluminum plants.
Keep reading to try your hand at another miniature environmental activity.For more fun kids crafts and activities, check out: