Microclimates Workshop: We love terrariums!

This Friday we welcome Mushrooms (age 1-3 with Caregivers), 9-10 am, and Sprouts (age 3-8) 3:45-5pm to the GEC, for some fun nature play with microclimates!

IMG_3876Each young gardener will choose two terrarium plants from our greenhouse and build their own small green space to bring home.  Space is limited, so invite your friends and pre-register by Thursday 2 pm, and check out our upcoming family events and field studies too.  This is a super fun topic.  Since September we have introduced hundreds of terrarium plants from our greenhouse to nearby youth and teachers, offering new stewardship opportunities to toddlers, preschoolers, private science classrooms, and gatherings of friends.

Why does everyone LOVE terrariums so much?   We wonder:

10.  Is it because you can feel like you are holding a rainforest in your hands?
9.  Is it because you have your own small world to imagine and build in?

8.  Maybe you feel inspired to be a scientist when you learn the story of one of our rainforest science heroes, when you see how a soil sample is placed on a slide, or when you get a chance to examine terrarium soil life under the microscope?
7.  Maybe you love terrariums because the rich life in our soil inspires fun games with insects?  We practice looking closely, and scientific sorting.  Here we are playing, “what’s missing” with our super powers of observations and our bug scopes
6.  Maybe it’s because our plants have great names and personalities, like the polka dot plant, the climbing fig?  We can wonder, how will they grow?   Which ones are thrillers, fillers, and spillers?  Do the shapes and colors inspire the charcoal artist in you?
5.  Maybe you’re drawn to the mystery and surprise of a closed ecosystem?  This simple terrarium was built in a reusable container,  and it has not been opened for a year!


4.  For our littlest ones we wonder if the drainage stones are the most fun part.  They make great sounds!  They feel wonderful in our hands.  It is fun to collect, scoop, shake, and sing, while we build a home for some plants



3.  Maybe we love terrariums because the mini ferns help us remember our walk through these giant ferns in the Pinetum in Autumn?
2.  When we look closely at the moss and ferns in our terrariums, do we remember exploring the ferns and mosses together in the Pinetum in the Springtime?


1.  Each small terrarium reminds us of our summer adventures in the Montgomery Pinetum.  Don’t you just love warm summer memories in the wintertime?

Why do YOU love terrariums?



Above:  Terrarium workshops journal notes from a 4th grade science lab.  Contact us for more information about Gardening for Stewardship workshops with the GEC, or to schedule a workshop field trip and visit to our greenhouse microclimate in Cos Cob  – Contact youth.director@ gecgreenwich.org



Together we are planting seeds for lifelong learning, healthy living, and green stewardship





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