I’ve been working with a lot of Science & Outdoor Classroom ideas lately and set up a Root Vue Farm® planter to watch the carrots, radishes and onions grow. I had seen this product for years but never watched one develop, and while I found it very easy to set up, it was so plain to look at that I decided to decorate it with BioColor®.
It’s so much more inviting with the BioColor® design on the plastic “light shield,” that I wanted to pass along this idea. I think it’s a great example of how art, even simple doodles or designs, can always ADD VALUE to any project. Color adds a playful element to activities and is nature’s most delightful form of “sensory stimulation.” I can for sure say that the color I added to my Root-Vue Farm® definitely made my family more interested in keeping track of its developments. It now sits over my kitchen sink in a sunny window, and I find my son lifting up the “light shield” every day to check underneath and see how much the vegetable plant roots have grown.
I planted it on Oct 1 (noted on the plant stakes which come in the kit) – and here it is on Oct 14. The radishes have taken off, although the roots are all very delicate still.
The Root-Vue Farm® kit comes with seeds, soil, and accessories, and an activity guide that gives you several ideas on how to incorporate it into classroom lesson plans. I found it easy to set up, and it took me less than 20 minutes to read the guide (which was well written) and plant the carrots, radishes and onion seeds.
The final set up phase involves inserting a plastic “light shield” onto the front to protect the delicate roots from the sun as they continue to grow.
The light shield was so plain, that I immediately thought of painting it with BioColor®, which of course sticks to plastic, so was the perfect choice for paint. I first cut out the Root Vue log from the cover of the Activity Guide and glued it onto the light protector, since I figured we would be studying the root growth for a few months and I wanted visitors to see at a glance what this project was. Labeling is always good for language development, so I suggest doing this in the early childhood classroom as well.
Now for the painting part: I set out to paint on my kitchen counter, squirting a few colors of BioColor® onto a paper plate and rolling through them with patterned foam rollers. I chose the square roller pattern from the Colorations® Cool Designs Foam Roller - Set of 12, which has six different designs. It's easy to get a "cool design" onto the light shield in no time.
Gardening is a great way to teach science to children, and helps foster curiosity and wonder. How a small seed can grow into a radish or a carrot is one of nature’s greatest miracles. I’m glad I took the time to start up a Root-Vue Farm® and look forward to seeing root vegetables grow on my kitchen window sill in the weeks to come. Please join me if you can!