Use this special root view box to watch how roots grow. Your kids will be amazed to learn that plants grow two ways -- up out of the soil and down into the ground. Here are directions for a root view box for kids.
What You'll Need:
- Half-gallon milk carton
- Sheet of glass
- Clear acrylic, or stiff clear plastic packaging
- Craft glue or tape
- Potting soil
- Seeds of vegetables with large roots
- Pan or tray
How to Make a Root View Box:
Step 1: Cut off the top of the milk carton and punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Cut a window in the side, leaving a 1/2-inch margin all the way around the window.
Step 2: Cut a sheet of glass or clear acrylic to fit the window inside the box. Another option is to check all the plastic packaging that is thrown away in your house for a piece of stiff, clear plastic that will fit the window.
Step 3: Glue or tape the plastic to the inside of box. Let it dry completely.
Step 4: Now fill the box with potting soil. Plant seeds of carrots, radishes, or other root vegetables right up against the side of the box where the window is.
Step 5: Set the carton on a pan or tray to catch extra water, then water the seeds well.
Step 6: Put a bit of cardboard under the bottom of the box on the side opposite the window. This will tilt the box slightly, so the roots will grow right up against the window.
Step 7: Check the plant's growth to see how the roots are developing. Be sure to give your plants enough water and light.
If you want to do this as a science-fair project, be sure to plant the seeds at least eight weeks ahead of time.
Have a garden of ripe onions or garlic? Learn how to braid them into a beautiful kitchen craft in the next section of nature garden activities for kids.