This simple dinosaur terrarium is a skill & sensory-filled activity that will be fun for kiddos of all abilities!


  • Jumbo Dinosaurs
  • Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set
  • Container – We used a “coconut” planter for an added touch of sensory and balancing (it is a wobbly container, so the weight of the items inside needed to be distributed evenly- tricky!)
  • Rocks – we found the bags of rocks at the Dollar Tree, and they were the perfect size for the helping hands tools!
  • Marble Pebbles (flat pebbles are great for in-hand finger manipulation)
  • Succulents (This fun pretend “use again and again” succulents are from the Dollar Tree)

Step 1:

Using the helping hands toolset items, fill the terrarium container with rocks (dirt, sand, etc.). The rocks were perfect for the tongs pictured (great for practicing scissor skills, coordination, as well as strengthening)

Step 2:

Add marble pebbles (we chose blue and white ones to give it a “water” effect)

Step 3:

Plant succulents and create a dino-scape. Using tweezers to carefully place the succulents around the terrarium works on motor planning, along with more finger and hand strengthening – all of which will develop those underlying skills need for future handwriting!

Step 4:

Add dino’s!

Variation: We also used all of the same materials for an indoor water play version using an oven tray.

The materials selected for this activity help to develop lots of intrinsic hand muscles and joints, along with visual and motor coordination!  For younger kiddos, you can always remove the use of the tools and have them use their fingers and hands – for the older kiddos, you can always add more challenges by having them use the tools and more detailed coordination to create their terrarium.  This is a fun activity that can grow with the kiddo as their skills progress!