How to Make a Root-Viewing Box

When the weather turns cold, you can get young children excited about plants with a root-viewing box.

You'll need:

  • A half-gallon milk carton
  • Sheets of acetate (like the kind used to make overhead projector transparencies)
  • Carrot, onion or bean seeds
  • Soil mix
  • Waterproof glue
  1. To build your root-viewing box, cut the top off of the milk carton, then cut a large window on one side of the carton, leaving a "window frame" of about half an inch.
  2. Cut the acetate to fit the window and glue it in place from inside the carton.
  3. When the glue is dry, fill the carton with moist soil mix and plant seeds of your choice close to the window.
  4. Tip the carton over slightly toward the window side and support it there to keep the roots growing straight down toward the window.
  5. Tape the cut-out carton piece (or a piece of construction paper) over the viewing window to keep light from hitting the soil. Lift the covering when you want to view the roots' progress!

Last updated: 02/13/2024