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Boredom Busters: Make a mini-ecosystem in a jar

Welcome to day four of lockdown! To help you keep your sanity over the next seven days, we've prepared some boredom busters. Today's is a super interesting activity, creating a mini-ecosystem in a jar.


  • Clear glass jar with a lid

  • Containers to collect samples


You will be collecting 4 primary things for your jar: standing water you find outdoors, soil/soot, plants, moss/algae

Step 1

Take your jar and fill it with soil or soot, depending on what type of environment you want to create. Try to keep the dirt from going more than halfway up the jar, as this limits your plants' and your jar's ability to create a humid environment.

Step 2

Using a kitchen utensil or your hand, place the plants in the jar and arrange how you like, placing the roots into the dirt. Don’t worry if the roots aren’t buried all the way down into the dirt. They will be fine!

Step 3

Place the moss or algae on top of the dirt. If your dirt or water source already contains moss or algae, you can skip this step.

Step 4

Add murky water you find outside, on top of your soil. How much you add is up to you but do not completely submerge your plants!

Step 5

Seal your jar and place it near a window inside your house. Spend the next several weeks observing your jar. Your plants will come to life!


There are some great locations to collect the water and plants from. One area we would recommend gathering your materials from is off the side of Lance Bates Street (See Below)

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