A terrarium is similar to a greenhouse, in that it is an enclosed container with transparent walls, to let in the sunshine. A greenhouse craft project allows the student to create a miniature ecosystem, with its own atmosphere and living plants. While it can be a messy project, it is not necessarily an expensive one, and makes an ideal gift for the parent.
The miniature greenhouse is an opportunity for the recycler. The goal is to find a container made from transparent material, which will create a miniature environment while letting in necessary light. Instead of supplying the individual students with containers, the teacher might provide a list of acceptable containers for the youngsters to consider, and have each child bring her own container in for the project. This might be an old goldfish bowl, large pickle jar or empty plastic milk carton with its top cut off. Instead of creating a terrarium to simulate a greenhouse, another option is to have the child bring in clear bowl or container to place over a plant already confined in a small pot of soil or another growing medium.
Collecting suitable plants to grow in the miniature greenhouse project might involve an outing, where the youngsters take small cuttings from existing plants. If visiting a park or other public or private area, check ahead of time to make sure you will not be violating any rules by taking cuttings. Another option is to purchase small plants from the nursery, or harvest miniature spider plants from a parent plant. Instead of plants, it is possible to sow seeds in the greenhouse. When adding the plants or seeds to the greenhouse, they can already be contained in their own pots with soil, or you can place the soil at the bottom of the greenhouse and treat the project as a traditional terrarium. Instead of using potting soil, soak a sponge in water, add seeds and place it in the greenhouse.
To personalize the greenhouse craft project, allow each youngster to embellish the interior or exterior of his greenhouse. This might involve adding small figurines of hardened clay, or adding decorative rocks or shells to the interior. If the container has a lid, allow the child to decorate the lid by gluing on embellishments. Plastic figurines used in cake decorating make suitable decorations for such a project, and they will withstand the moisture.