Before Christmas I was looking for good insect related presents for our toddler. I'm an insect nut and so far she's really enjoyed interacting with ladybugs, earthworms and beetles. Browsing through Amazon I came across this Ladybug Land toy http://www.amazon.com/Insect-Lore-2100-Ladybug-Land/dp/B000099Z8H/ref=pd_sim_t_3 but it's all plastic and yuck. I have very fond memories while young of catching insects and having a bug zoo during the afternoon before letting everything go at dark and I want to pass this fun on. We have a few of those basic bug houses with the mesh, but they're rather boring and hard to see through the mesh. Plus, I think it must be a horrible experience for the insect!
At any rate I decided to make something myself for insects to crawl around in while we could watch them. A trip to the thrift store turned up this large, glass container and I had an idea of what to do with it. I was inspired by this book I stumbled upon called 'The Butterfly Vivarium'. It has some beautiful illustrations (which I used for another project!) and was inspired to make something nice. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/66051#/summary
It was so simple to put together I almost feel silly posting it! First I layered some potting soil in the bottom followed by some large gravel. I dug up a bit of moss from our front yard (we live in Seattle, moss is plentiful!) to give some color and texture. I also found a great, small branch and a little bit of wood which looks like a miniature log. The white is a bottle cap which we'll fill with water. I think I'll paint it brown or maybe blue. The final step is to make a mesh lid. It turned out like a miniature scene from Lord of the Rings.
Much better than the plastic one! I can't wait until it gets warmer and we can find some insects to try this out. I'm certainly going to try finding some more good, glass containers and make some more!
Links to my photos since I'm not to 10 posts yet!