Kids can create their very own terrarium with the rainforest biosphere. With this hands-on gardening kit, you can grow your very own rainforest, complete with colorful, tropical rainforest plants and even a little rainforest friend. The kit comes with a germination dome, four seed packets of exotic plants (Tropical Umbrella Plant, Pink Polka Dot Plant, Rainbow Plant, and Moon Flower), a plastic frog (the rainforest friend), plant stakes, photo decals, river gravel, rainforest treasure (fool's gold), and two germination disks.
To begin growing your rainforest, hydrate the germination disks by placing them in the base of the terrarium and filling it with four cups of room temperature water. The disks will dissolve, and you mix it up to make sure there are no clumps. Place the river gravel on top to create paths or designs, and designate areas before planting the seeds. When you're ready to plant, place the seeds on top of the soil and press them in. Be sure to follow the instructions on how to plant the seeds for best results. Place the dome on a windowsill or near a window with an eastern or southern exposure. Each plant grows at a different rate, anywhere from one week to one month.
While you're waiting for your seeds to grow, decorate the outside of the dome with the decals and place the rainforest treasure and plastic frog inside the dome.
While this kit is a good concept in theory, there is a lot of waiting around for the plants to grow. Kids might have fun putting everything together and getting the terrarium ready, but after a few weeks of waiting to see if a plant will start sprouting, some kids might become frustrated or bored. This kit does not offer anything you won't get from just going to your local nursery, picking up some plants, and creating your very own terrarium.
The Rainforest Biosphere is for ages 4 and up. Younger kids might need help from mom and dad.
We found that the germination disks do not dissolve as easily as the instructions lead you to believe.
For younger kids, as noted, the idea of waiting a month for seeds to germinate is really excessive.
You'll also want to be very careful in marking the individual plants when you set this up, as it's easy to get confused. Also, parents may want to start the assembly and soaking of the discs before getting the kids involved.
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