Seeds… how incredible that plants of all sizes can grow from such a tiny thing. If you’ve gardened with a young child, you’ve witnessed their fascination and wonder at the mystery of plants. To give your child the opportunity to actually witness the growth of a plant from the first roots shooting out of the seed to ultimately pushing through the surface of the dirt, I recommend making a seed (root) viewer. It’s easy to do with items you may have around the house.
Here’s what you’ll need…
- Empty 1/2 gallon milk carton
- Rubber band
- Plastic wrap
- Potting soil
- Pea seeds
And here’s how you make the viewer…
1. Cut more than half of the top of the milk carton off, so the remaining “pot” is about 4-5 inches tall. Poke a few holes in the bottom for water drainage. On one side, cut the sides, so the side can be bent down. See photo…
2. Place plastic wrap over the inside “flap”, covering opening as much as possible, and tape on. See photo…
3. Fill container with potting soil. Fill almost to the top.
4. Plant the pea seeds (2-3 seeds), placing them 1/2 inches deep, against the plastic wrap (so the seed can be seen when viewing through the plastic wrap viewing window).
5. Close the flap over the plastic wrap viewing window, and secure with a rubber band.
6. Place the “pot”on a dish in a sunny place, water a bit daily, and watch the seeds sprout! To view the progress of the sprouting seed, take the rubber band off and bend down the flap.
If you want, when it’s ready, transplant your pea sprouts into the garden. Enjoy!
Source: What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know: Preparing your Child for a Lifetime of Learning, edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr and John Holdren