Looking for something a bit different then you might be interested in the So Magic DIY – Magic Terrariums. Canal Toys kindly gifted me the Medium Tropical Magic Terrarium and the Large Desert Magic Terrium in exchange for my honest review. Whilst the items have been gifted to me all words and opinions are my own.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the Magic Terariums but was pleasantly surprised and the kids seemed to enjoy themeselves. It can be hard for me to find activities that my autistic son wants to do with me but for this one he needed an adults help. My niece was very excited at the thought of growing her own tree.
The Magic Terrarium
The Magic Terrariums come in a really nice display box which makes them nice to give as presents. There is a little picture in the terrarium box of what your final terrarium will look like. My non verbal son used this picture to help him when he did his decorating which was a really lovely visual aid.
In each of the boxes was the following:
- 1 x plastic terrarium
- Sand colours (pink, yellow and green)
- Coloured and glittered stones
- Decorations including llama and flamingo characters
- So Magic powder bags (growing powder)
- 1 x So Magic tree or cactus
- 1 instruction sheet
Creating your Terrarium
My first tip is to read the instructions and to follow them carefully. The kids were very excited and I made the mistake of having three kids trying to help with the first one. This is much better as a one on one activity (at least with my lot).
The first step is to add the water and growing powder to the base of the terrarium. This then needs to be mixed, it is using chemicals so adult supervision required and washing hands afterwards.
The Tree / Cactus
Each kit comes with a tree that you put together. My son really enjoyed doing this bit.
Once you have your tree you need to slot it into the base, it will then be touching the water. The water (with the magic powder) in will then start to rise through the tree and over time begin to grow.
This was the bit we all enjoyed the most. My kids love messy play and decorating the terrariums using sand was a big hit. My niece was really impressed with her pink sand in the Tropical Terrarium. Each kit had the perfect amount of sand to fill the bases and even enough for spillages!
The kits also contained some gem stones and decorations including little characters. We had a llama and flamingo in the Desert Terrarium and a toucan and llama in the Tropical Terrarium. The kids really enjoyed placing all the bits into the terrarium. My son took great delight in burying the little gems in his sand.
All the decorations are really bright and colourful so look great regardless of where little hands choose to place them. In the picture below you can see the water beginning to rise through the cactus.
The trees do take time to grow. You can start to see the water rising almost straight away but it took a couple of hours to see the start of growth then it was the next day before the trees grew. Make sure the kids know it will take a while and they have to wait for it to grow before you start.
I did make a mistake on our first terrarium and take full responsibility for not reading the instructions and not getting the best results. After we decorated I put the terrarium lid on – it does clearly say to leave the lid off while it grows. As soon as we realised (next day) we removed the lid and it started to grow. I think we would have got better results if my husband had not then touched the tree to see what it felt like and knocked off half the growth! Lesson learnt follow the instructions and dont touch the tree!
Having said that the kids still loved the results. My niece was impressed with her ‘yellow broccoli tree’ which she grew ‘all by herself’!!
We had great success with our Cactus which grew really well.
Once the trees have grown you can place the terrarium lid on and enjoy them.
Quality & Value
The kits are well thought out and look great. They are reasonably priced and there is a wide range so you can choose the one that suits you. This was a fun activity that the kids really enjoyed and it is always lovely to have a project to do with them. Making up the terrarium didn’t take too long so held the kids attention well and they were all really excited by the results. A lovely gift and something a bit different.