Let’s make a terrarium – rāihi kōataata.

Happy New Year Whanau and friends!  I hope that everyone is enjoying their Christmas holidays.  If you have children at home I have a great idea for an activity.   Today I am going to show you how to make a rāihi kōataata- a terririum.  This could even be made for a christmas gift for someone.

Making a rāihi kōataata/terrarium.

Step 1.

Find an empty glass container.  You can pick a glass container up from the warehouse or  second hand shops.

Step 2.

Fill the bottom of the terrarium with pebbles.

this provides drainage.


Step 3.

Sprinkle over activated charcoal on top of pebbles about a tablespoon or two full.  I got my activated charcaol from King’s Plant Barn.  This ensures that the terrarium does not smell especially if it is closed with a lid.

Step 4.

Add potting mix.  Enough to cover the pebbles and deep enough for plants to root in.

Step 5.

Add plants that can fit into the terrarium.  I found succulents, cacti and water loving ferns good  plants to start with.

Step 6.

Add pebbles or shells or tiny ornaments to the top of the terrarium.  You can place a lid on top which will help the terrarium produce its own moisture.

Step 7.

Spray plants with  water try not to over water.  Keep out of direct sunlight.  Enjoy or give away for a gift.







Growing kai with children.

Have you a garden?  If not well it is time to start growing kai with children.  Māori were great gardeners and knew how and when to plant in the garden.  The maramataka or Māori calender was useful in creating their gardens.  I will look at the maramataka in a future post.

Gardening is a fun activity and children love helping out here.  If you have no garden at all or have one that needs work I have a good idea for you.  Lasagna gardening.  It is the creative way to get gardening with children and also incorporates recycling.

So I will let you in on how I do my lasagne gardens.

ONE.  First a layer of cardboard to cover the ground you will be using.  You can rough up the ground a bit first if its straight grass.  The cardboard will stop the grass coming through.  Water the cardboard to hold it down.  You can use newspaper or other cardboard pieces.  Recycle what you have.

TWO.  Then I put down a layer of scraps from the kitchen.  You may have to collect a bucket of scraps over a few days.

THREE.  I follow up with some lawn clippings.

FOUR.  Put a layer of  brown material paper,straw, cardboard

FIVE.  Then put a layer of green material leaves, grass clippings,.

Keep layering brown and green until you have a substantial pile.  Place compost or soil on top and sow your seeds or place your seedlings you have grown in.  There you have it your very own lasagna garden.


Add water throughout the process and after planting or sowing.  Ensure the garden is watered daily.  Children love to water the garden.  If you have no hose then use containers or watering cans.

Make sure your hands are washed after gardening.


In no time at all you and the children will be collecting fresh garden produce.  I would suggest to start with radishes if you want to see fast results.

Happy Planting!