Father and son project: The Turtle Table

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The things we do for our kids.  Have you ever noticed how we do things for our kids because it makes them happy, even if it doesn’t make sense.

The boys have been wanting a turtle for the longest time. 

We have been playing the redirection game since earlier this year.  However, it’s always been in the back of my mind and I’ve quietly kept my eyes open.

Well the other day, I came across one, looking for a new home. The boys have been struggling a lot more lately and I wanted to do something to make them happy.  I realize that it may not have been the most logical move in the world but there are many things about parenting that aren’t logical.

Having released the fully recovered snake already, we had everything we needed for a turtle. 

This particular turtle is a young, female, Russian Tortoise.  Having done some research already,  they are pretty easy to keep and are herbivores, so no expensive crickets to buy every month. 

I went ahead and reached out and was able to bring the turtle home and surprise the boys. 

Emmett has named her Turtle Turtle.

Elliott, Emmett and I used some things from around the house, to build it a decent habitat. 

It was a fun project and I’m proud of the boys and they’re proud of themselves.  As time and resources allow, we will build a more elaborate habitat.  For now, she seems really happy and son are the boys. 

We have spent a lot of the time that the boys are actually in a good place and not fighting or screaming, to learn all about different kinds of turtles and observe Turtle Turtle.

I have to say that this has been a really cool experience. 

The very open nature of the habitat allows for the boys to sit and watch, without a problem..  The opaque walls are the preferred material because the turtles do better without a transparent surface. 

To make this habitat we utilized things we already had around the house, along with our amazing imaginations.

Things We used:

1) Old book shelf
2) Screen top from old aquarium
3) Old plastic flower pot
4) Left over mulch substrate from toothless
5) Broken cinder blocks
6) Two heat lamps from old reptile setup
7) Basking bulb from old setup
8) UVB bulb from old reptile setup
9) Old octagon tank stand

We were able to recycle all these things from either our yard or our basement. That made this little project all that more fun and meaningful.  It didn’t cost a single penny. 

Elliott has been busy drawing new designs for Turtle Turtles home.



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About Rob Gorski

Father to 3 with Autism and husband to my best friend. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)


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Um… that's not a turtle.  Not that that's a problem, of course, Emmett can call it anything he likes.  "Tortoise tortoise" doesn't have the ring of "turtle turtle".  An added bonus:  tortoises live like 100 years, so you have a long-term project on your hands…. 🙂


What a beautiful home for Turtle Turtle. A lot of people out there wouldn’t take the time and effort to create something like this – thank you for showing them how simple it can be to provide a suitable habitat for a tortoise!