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Make A Terrarium With Your Kids And See How Many Decades You Can Make It Last

Make A Terrarium With Your Kids And See How Many Decades You Can Make It Last

Anybody who loves nature, planting, science, or all of the above will love terrariums. What is a terrarium? Essentially, it is a self-sustaining ecosystem that houses plants, usually enclosed within a glass jar or container of some sort. What makes terrariums special though is the fact that they require little to no maintenance once you have put them together.

While not all terrariums are the same, with some being more self-sustaining than others, there is always a chance that you will craft one with a shelf life as long as the one discussed in this article. That terrarium, created by David Latimer, housed in an immense glass sphere, has been living for more than 50 years, watered only once in its long lifetime.

Once you know exactly how it works (which will be discussed in-depth below), you will find that it is not quite as magical of a process as the amazing story linked above would suggest. It is simply a matter of careful preparation and implementation, and thus, making a terrarium is a fun and engaging activity for those who wish to test their scientific and engineering abilities.

Crafting a terrarium is such an educational experience that I highly recommend you consider making one alongside your child. Not only will they learn a bit about how the world works, but they will do so by building something that will possibly last for decades, serving as a symbol of what they accomplished.

Maybe it will even inspire them to work in a scientific field as an adult!

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How can you go about creating your own terrarium? Just follow the simple steps below!

1. What You Will Need:

First, let us go over what you will need to go out and get before starting your project.

– A tall and relatively wide container, preferably glass, with a lid.
– A small bag of tiny rocks (around pebble sized).
– Soil.
– Activated charcoal.
– A mix of plants that require a similar amount of water and light each.
– Decorations.
– A tiny shovel.

2. Pour The Rocks.

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    This should be a relatively thin layer, perhaps half an inch at most.

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    3. Cover The Rocks With Charcoal.

    This layer needs to be around an inch thick.

    4. Place The Soil On Top.

    Be sure to insert holes in the areas where you want to place your plants. Also, you do not need too much soil, as a four inch layer should be adequate if you are using a medium sized container.

    5. Put The Plants In.

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      Carefully place your plants into their designated holes. Once they are in, fill in any parts of the holes that may still be visible with extra potting soil.

      6. Apply Your Decorations.

      If you have any decorations you want to place in the container, like stickers, or little figurines, now is the time.

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      7. Lightly Water.

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        Get a small amount of water, and evenly pour it into the soil around your plants.

        8. Move It To The Light.

        Now you will want to close the terrarium, and place it in an area where your plants will get the proper amount of light. Do not place the terrarium in direct sunlight, as that will only serve to literally bake the plants within the enclosed container.

        9. Watch It Grow.

        Here is the fun part. All you have to do now is watch the terrarium maintain itself, and grow to fill the container you placed it in.

        10. How It Works:

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          Now you may be wondering, what makes a terrarium possible? Why do you not have to maintain it at all?

          Well, it is because terrariums create their own water cycle. When light hits the terrarium, it heats up, causing water to evaporate and collect on the bottom of its lid.

          Once the container cools down again, the water drips back onto the plants, essentially serving as a miniature rainstorm.

          The only input a terrarium has is light, which feeds the plant through photosynthesis, allowing it to reuse the same water for (possibly) years at a time.

          While your terrarium may not last 53 years, it should have a good long life. And if all else fails, you can always open your terrarium and add more water or rearrange things, if necessary.

          Have you made a terrarium before, or worked on one with your kids? How long did it last? What did you think of the experience? Did your kids learn something? Comment below!

          Featured photo credit: Terrarium/Erin via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on August 20, 2018

          35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

          35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

          Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

          But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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          The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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          While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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          While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

          If You’re Staying In

          1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
          2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
          3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
          4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
            • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
            • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
            • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
            • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
              • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
              • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
              • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
                • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

                If You Want to Get Away

                1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
                2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
                3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
                  • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
                  • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
                  • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
                  • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
                  • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
                  • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                    • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                    • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                    New & Exciting Experiences

                    1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                    2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                      experience.
                      • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                      • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                      • Experience white water rafting.
                      • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                      • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                        • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                        • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                          • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                          • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                          • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                          Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                          Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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