shakespeare for kids (shakespeare globe terrariums)

 Many, many years ago I had a dream that my sister Katrina and I owned a little terrarium shop full of hanging glass spheres full of green life. This dream will always be in my mind and it inspired me to do this little Shakespeare activity with the girls. Shakespeare was a country boy and knew his herbs and plants. He always incorporated his medicinal knowledge and herbal lore into his plays. As The Little Ladies and I read Shakespeare we always stop and talk about the plants he writes about; it’s fun to see them recognize the names of the plants.

shakespeare globe 3

To make a Shakespeare Herbal Globe (ha, kind of a bad play on words) you need:

glass ornaments- the thicker the glass the better (I found mine at Michael’s craft store)

charcoal (from a pet store)

potting soil

herbs from Shakespeare’s plays, preferably with roots, but cuttings are OK

chopstick or pencil


shakespeare globe 5

  Carefully sprinkle a couple pinches of charcoal into the glass sphere. Add soil using a funnel to help guide the soil into the sphere. The Little Ladies used a rubber tree leaf as their funnel, silly girls, however it did work!

shakespeare globe 4

Add the herbs. We used ones with the roots already formed. This is easy to find with mint and thyme. If you are using cuttings, pull off the bottom leaves and insert the bare part of the stem into the soil. Use a chopstick or pencil to bury and arrange your plants.

shakespeare globe

Add a sprinkle of water and the terrariums are ready to go. Be warned though, sometimes this little habitat gets too warm and it can crack the glass. I have had a few do this. Last year I tried garden soil and moss from my yard, each sphere cracked within 12 hours! These little herb terrariums haven’t failed us yet though! Personally, I wouldn’t put the caps back on, this will prohibit even more warm air to escape. We are planning to make wire hangers to hold the Shakespeare herbal globes; they would look so cute hanging from the window!

shakespeare globe 2

shakespeare globe 7

Here are some beautiful words of Shakespeare and click here to read more with a list of herbs mentioned in his plays. 

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with elgantine.
(-A Midsummer’s Night Dream)

There is rosemary, that’s for remembrance:
pray, love, remember:
and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts. -Hamlet)

 What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet. (
- Romeo and Juliet)

 I am that flower,
That mint,
That columbine. (
- Love’s Labour Lost)

 Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ th’ sun,
And with him rises weeping; these are flow’rs
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age. (
-The Winter’s Tale)


  • Millicent
    June 4, 2010 - 12:18 am | Permalink

    great idea! I had extra glass globes from Christmas and my husband was pestering me and trying to throw them away. Now I have something to do with them.

  • March 31, 2010 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea.. I always wanted to make terrarium and searched all over every antique shop to find those big glass bottles with little necks… they are really really hard to find.. but these glass spheres or christmas ornaments are perfect.

  • January 22, 2010 - 11:41 pm | Permalink

    i love this lisa, so awesome!!

  • October 24, 2009 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I just love the projects you and the girls do… You are so talented and have a wonderful imagination.

  • October 22, 2009 - 8:27 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful art-job!

    You created a wonderful place!

  • October 8, 2009 - 12:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for bringing Shakespeare to the kids and keeping it fresh!

  • October 2, 2009 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I found my glass globes at Michael’s craft store. They work fine with the plants and soil I used. They will not work with garden soil and moss however, much too warm and it WILL crack the glass.


  • Monique
    October 2, 2009 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi – I love this idea. Can someone recommend a good website for ordering the globes, or did you find them in a store?

  • September 30, 2009 - 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh, this little terrarium is fabulous!

    I love your blog–just discovered it from the comment you left on mine–thanks!

  • September 30, 2009 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    i am so inspired by your creativity! yours is my new favorite blog – i tweeted about it!

  • September 30, 2009 - 4:35 am | Permalink

    Advice: Benjamin and I just started studying Medieval Times. I’d love for him to have a windowsill garden of medieval herbs & then, assemble a lapbook that details each herb’s magical, medicinal, and culinary properties.

    Which herbs do you suggest for a windowsill garden…and, what type of container?

    You may just email me…rather than reply here. :)

    P.S., I currently have basil going to seed in my garden as well as some thyme and methinks I still have some oregano. Could I use any of it to start a new garden–or would fresh seeds or plants prove more successful?

  • September 29, 2009 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Shakespeare knew his plants and potions because everyone knew them and used them. It is also thought that he had access to specialist knowledge because his daughter, Susanna, married John Hall, the best apothecary in the country. If you want to read about John Hall’s patients, the Royal Shakespeare Trust have produced an anotated manuscript from John Hall’s original book together with modern comments. It’s a fascinating read. Hall’s Croft is owned by the Shakespeare Trust and is just around the corner from Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford on Avon. It has a small herb garden and they do guided talks there throughout the year.

  • September 27, 2009 - 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE this idea! I think they would be adorable hanging in a window.

  • September 27, 2009 - 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Nice project :-)

    In 70ties they did in the big green glass bottles.

  • Shannon Buckley
    September 27, 2009 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I just love this idea!! Could you share pictures of the globe when it is hanging with the wire hanger? I have already ordered some heavy duty glass ornaments. We are so excited to get started!! Thanks for you great ideas. :o)

  • sherri
    September 27, 2009 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    This is so sweet. Thank u for sharing! I just love your ideas.

  • September 27, 2009 - 5:05 am | Permalink

    so lovely.thank you.

  • Anet
    September 26, 2009 - 7:50 pm | Permalink

    These are fantastic! You’re so clever. :)

  • September 26, 2009 - 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Amazing! I just LOVE your blog!

  • September 26, 2009 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

    They look wonderful. :-)

  • September 26, 2009 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

    These are precious! I love them!!

  • September 26, 2009 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    this is deeply cool.

    when making globes as ode to Bard
    the warmly cloud can cause a shard

    careful not to cap your creation
    a means of escape needs imagination

  • September 26, 2009 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Excellent Post!! I will be using this in a book club I do…we have Shakespeare coming up and I was lost! How very cool! Thanks!!!

  • September 26, 2009 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Your projects are pure magic! I love the terrariums! And what a lovely way to bring Shakespeare into nature study!

  • Robin
    September 26, 2009 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    I love the picture of Fauna peeking through the globe

  • September 26, 2009 - 7:22 am | Permalink

    How lovely and how gentle and delicate your little ladies are.

  • September 26, 2009 - 7:17 am | Permalink

    These are brilliant. And so very clever. And I love Shakespeare. And those ornaments look heavier than any I have seen, mind you I have never looked for super thick ones. I’ll have to take a trip to Michaels.

  • September 26, 2009 - 6:43 am | Permalink

    What a fun project. You’ve inspired me to both read Shakespeare and to do a terrarium. My Dad used to do them in the 70’s and I think my plant loving kids would dig it~

  • September 26, 2009 - 4:42 am | Permalink

    thanks lisa… (now i´m adding words because i´ve been told my comment was to short…) besos!

  • September 26, 2009 - 3:54 am | Permalink

    Being a drama nerd, I love Shakespeare and this is a nice activity to do while reading his plays. Our local botanic garden has a Shakespeare garden in which they grow all the plants mentioned in his plays!

  • September 26, 2009 - 1:27 am | Permalink

    Oh, they’re so sweet, Lisa! I just realized our annual Shakespeare Festival is putting on Midsummer Night’s Dream this weekend, so we’re going to try to take the kids for the first time! What versions of Shakespeare are you reading together?

  • September 25, 2009 - 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m not kidding you, this is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a very, very long time! Can you recommend a place to get the ornaments?

  • September 25, 2009 - 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Those are so pretty! We have yet to try a terrarium!

  • September 25, 2009 - 11:00 pm | Permalink

    All my clear glass ornaments are thin, but I may try this in a jar. Thanks for the recipe to make little gardens in my apartment. Come next Spring I’ll make sure I have plenty. You and the girls are so much fun and are teaching this old girl plenty. xxoo

  • September 25, 2009 - 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh my gosh… you are just the best! These are stunning… imagine them on your Christmas tree!
    Thank you so much for sharing on Friday’s Nature Table.
    Blessings and magic

  • September 25, 2009 - 10:11 pm | Permalink

    They’re gorgeous!!
    How fun.
    We’ll try this later in the year!

  • Jane
    September 25, 2009 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I have leftover charcoal from our terrarium that we made in the spring. Yours look so beautiful! I was thinking that they we be so nice hanging on the Christmas tree until I read about them possibly breaking. :(

  • September 25, 2009 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    This is an awesome idea. I’ll have to pick up some charcoal, but I have more than enough Thyme out in my herb garden. My girls and I look forward to trying this.

  • September 25, 2009 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

    So fun, we made terrariums this week too but ours are BIG!!!
    I think my girls would love this and we do have some leftover charcoal!! : )

  • September 25, 2009 - 8:30 pm | Permalink

    How very cool! The picklets and I have just started listening to Shakespeare. What a fun activity this will be for us! Thanks for sharing.

  • Comments are closed.