Kid Science: Make a Seed Viewer

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
  • Tape
  • Scissors

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…

Seed Viewer Project 001

2.  Place plastic wrap over the inside “flap”, covering opening as much as possible, and tape on.  See photo…

Seed Viewer Project 003

3.  Fill container with potting soil.  Fill almost to the top.

Seed Viewer Project 009

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).

Seed Viewer Project 012

Seed Viewer Project 018

5.  Close the flap over the plastic wrap viewing window, and secure with a rubber band.

Seed Viewer Project 014

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

14 Comments

  1. Pecora Nera says:

    I have passed this to Mrs Sensible, she said she will try this with her Italian kids this year.

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  2. Fun! My youngest likes to grow her own plants from seed for her spot in the garden. Watching the process is such a fun way to learn!

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    1. Every day, my son was so excited to check in on the plants to see how they’d changed from the previous day. So cool!

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  3. simple but good.🌼

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    1. Perfect for a kindergartener!

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  4. Deb Platt says:

    What a great project! Another fun thing to do is to sprout an avocado seed; the sprouting activity happens in water, so it is very easy to observe. Once the root grows to be several inches long, you can transplant it to a pot. There’s a nice explanation here: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1999/7-16-1999/sproutav.html

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  5. Mark in Sumpter says:

    how fun is that? you’re going to give us regular updates as his seeds grow, right? 🙂

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    1. Sure! We’re also conducting a bit of an experiment… more on that another day. 🙂

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  6. Pam says:

    Great idea! Richard is a scientist and it is a great career. Science is wonderful for teaching kids to be curious, observant, and analytical.

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    1. Agreed! If I could choose a college career all over again, I’d go with a science.

      Like

  7. leeannesteer says:

    EXCELLENT!!!! 🙂

    ________________________________

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    1. 🙂 Your older one would love this…

      Like

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