A child who appreciates growing things will respect the environment, marvel at the wonder of life, and may just be a better person. A great way to get a little one interested in the garden or the outdoors is by letting them create something uniquely personal. It can be done in many ways. One great idea is a dinosaur garden. You can do in indoors or outdoors.
Start with a large container. A half whisky barrel is perfect. Sand the rough edges, drill five one inch holes in the bottom, and cover each hole with a large pottery shard of a piece of drywall tape. Next, pour a layer of Styrofoam peanuts into the barrel, 6-8 inches deep. Place a layer of landscape cloth on top of the peanuts and staple it to the barrel's walls. This prevents the Styrofoam from finding its way to the top. Add a layer of potting soil to the container, several inches deep.
Gather your plants & determine how to arrange them, keeping in mind that you little ones will be playing in the pot. Place the largest plant in the back; a cycad or large rabbits foot fern will do nicely. Next, plant a squirrel's foot fern or a whisk fern on either side, and maybe one more right in the middle. Finally, fill in the bare spaces with small club mosses for a spongy carpet.
When you are satisfied with the layout, plant the ferns and moss into the pot, adding more potting soil where needed to fill in the gaps. Pack the soil in firmly and water it all in. You will want to water till you see it coming from the bottom of the container. If you are keeping this indoors, you will need a saucer for you container. Add some boulders to your prehistoric scene for a realistic effect.
Here's a list of ferns that will work well in the Dino Garden Setting:
Christmas Fern, Cinnamon Fern, Horsetail, Irish Moss, Japanese painted fern, Little club moss, Sago palm, ZZ plant