Camp is an experience many people have had during their youth. Students attending a Jr. Naturalist Camp for Tiger Challenge at Louisiana State University recently learned how to build a terrarium, giving them an appreciation for plants and the role they play.
Students got their hands dirty, played with rocks, and constructed their own terrariums.
“This can be something the child completely manages,” said Kiki Fontenot, a horticulturist at the LSU AgCenter. “It teaches responsibility and how to care for another living thing, which I think is very important in today’s society.”
By building the terrarium on their own, the students were actively involved in a hands-on activity that helped them learn what plants need to survive.
“They understand it more,” said Jodi Messina, a camp teacher. “It’s more concrete to them. A lot of these students, they’re more hands-on visual learners. I know I am, so that way they learn information best.”
Moss was the focal point of the activity, and the students were aware what they needed to do to keep the moss alive and where they needed to place their terrariums.
“They can’t have a lot of sun, but that can have a little bit of sun,” said camper Max Gaudet. “They don’t want that much.”
Fontenot stressed the importance of getting children enthusiastic about activities like building their own terrariums. She said it helps them appreciate the usefulness of plants for both food and medicine. This is engaging children at a young age and showing plants are fun.
It took the campers roughly an hour to build their projects, and it cost a dollar to make.