Paint Bucket Terrarium

Looking for a cool way to spend a summer afternoon?  Try making this paint bucket terrarium.  Just get a clear paint bucket from a craft store or and fill it with potting soil.  Then add either seeds or live plants.  You can put several small plants inside.  Give it a little drink of water and put it in a sunny window.

You’ll need to water it regularly, and you can observe its’ growth too.  Eventually you’ll be able to see the roots going down as the plants grow up.  It’s really easy to see when it’s time to water too, because you can easily see the soil.  If you’d like, you can add small rocks, sticks, or other natural items to your terrarium.  If you don’t have a clear paint bucket, you can also do this same project in a large pickle jar.

Additional Layers

  • Try making another version of one using cacti or other succulents.  Compare how much water is required in each.
  • Learn about the plants you selected.  Where do these varieties come from?  Can you find out their scientific names?  What care do they require?
  • Measure the growth of your plants and chart it.
  • Make two identical pots, then try a plant experiment.  You could play classical music for one pot while not exposing another one to music.  Another classic experiment is putting one inside a dark cupboard while letting the other reside in the sun.

Writer’s Workshop

  • Write a poem about your terrarium.
  • Writer’s Imagine you are a tiny lizard stuck inside your terrarium, able to see the outside world but not get to it.  Write a story from the lizard’s point of view.


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