Bart is a bat who loves the night sky. The stars sparkling, and the moon shining down get his imagination going and he can almost picture what it would be like to stand in a crater on the moon and look down at the earth. He thinks it would look like one of his favorite marbles with all of its blues and streaks of white clouds. Fiddlebug and Craig love hearing Bart talk about space. He makes a trip to the moon sound like the best idea in the whole world! The three friends know that building a real rocket isn’t something they can do, but Craig came up with a great idea to build a very useful pretend rocket. The little frog thought of this rocket terrarium while Mother Dragon had him and Fiddlebug planting seeds to start indoors for her spring garden. Everyone had so much fun making it that they wanted to share the idea with you!
Here’s what you need:
1 two-liter bottle with the cap
1 handful of gravel
2-3 cups of potting soil
Seeds for your favorite small vegetable (I used peas. Lettuce, green onions, cherry tomatoes, etc. would work well too)
Chops sticks (optional depending on your plant choice)
1 paper towel tube
Crayons, markers, glitter glue, and other decorations
What you do:
1) Have your big person make a cut all the way around the 2 liter bottle about 1/3 of the way up from the base. You will have two parts to your bottle when they are done.
2) Fold pieces of masking tape over the edges of both the base part and the top part where it has been cut. This will help you avoid sharp edges and give the future tape a better hold when its time to put everything together.
3) Add a handful of gravel to the base. This helps excess water drain out of the soil but still keeps it available to the plant when it needs a drink.
4) Add potting soil up to about 1 inch below the edge. Pat the soil in nicely and add some water if you need to help the dirt settle better.
5) (one plant) Poke a hole into the center of the dirt. Follow the direction on your seed pack to see how deep it should be. Add your seed and tuck it in gently. (Multiple plants) If you are planting lettuce or something else that grows in bunches, make sure you follow the directions on your seed pack so you add the right number of seeds for the space.
6) If you need to add a little water for your seed, do so now. Future water will be added through the top of the two liter bottle, but this way will be easier now.
7) Put the top of the two liter bottle back onto the base and use masking tape to hold the two parts together. Your bottle should look like a bottle again.
8) Cut a strip of construction paper that is tall enough to cover your masking tape. Wrap it around the base and use the glue stick to glue it in place. You will probably have a gap between the two edges.
9) Use another strip of construction paper to fill in the gap between the edges that are covering the base of your rocket. It should reach all the way up to where the top of the bottle curves. This will also be where you name your rocket.
10) Fold a cone of construction paper that is big enough to set over the top of the bottle and look like the nose of your rocket.
11) Have your big person help you cut the paper towel tube into 3 equal parts.
12) Wrap each paper towel tube section in aluminum foil. These will look like the rockets engines.
13) It’s time to decorate your rocket! You can use crayons, markers, glitter glue, more construction paper, buttons… Anything you like!
14) Make sure your rocket has a name and put it on the strip of construction paper that goes up the side.
15) Glue the foil covered tubes to the construction paper at the base of your rocket. Put one on either side of the name strip and one in back so they are evenly spaced around the rocket.
16) Be sure the construction paper nose cone is on top of your creation!
17) Find a sunny spot to put your rocket. Vegetable plants like lots of sunlight! The seed inside should sprout and begin growing in a few days or weeks. You can check the back of your seed pack to find out how long it will take. If your seed fails to grow, you can always try again. Some seeds are just too sleepy to grow a plant.
18) Add water as needed by removing the cap and pouring a small amount inside. Terrariums hold onto most of their water, so you shouldn’t have to do this often.
19) When your plant is too big to be comfortable inside the rocket, remove the tape and carefully lift off the top to give it more room. If it grows even bigger, you may need to replant it into another container.
20) If you take good care of your plant, it will produce some healthy and tasty snacks for you!
Craig also wanted to mention that this rocket terrarium will grow other plants just as well as vegetables. He is thinking about making a whole fleet of rockets and planting everything from marigolds to Venus fly traps that like to eat bugs just like Craig does!
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!