Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Playful Learning

Learning Goals: Needs of Plants, STEM, Mutually-Directed Play, Outdoor Play


  • Model for the students how to create a terrarium and provide them with a variety of materials (containers, soil, plants) to create their terrarium.

  • Bring students outside to gather other found materials (rocks, sticks, leaves) to contribute to their terrariums.

  • In small groups, children can create terrariums using a variety of plants and a collection of soil, sticks, leaves, and other natural materials.

  • Guide the students’ play by continuing to model how to create a terrarium and supporting the children in the creation of their terrariums.

Suggested Resource(s):

  • Terrarium materials (containers, soil, plants)

Other Ideas:

  • Students can create other objects based on interests such as fairy gardens or aquariums and brainstorm the materials needed to create these.

Why is it Playful Learning?

  • The educator planned out and initiated the play context, providing the children with the materials they need.

  • The students had input in deciding how to design and create their terrarium with their peers.

We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.



Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

45 Walmer Road, Room 320
Toronto, ON M5R 2X2

© 2020 by Play Learning Lab