Miracle-Gro Root Viewer
I was sent the Miracle-Grow Root Viewer to review. It is listed for ages 5 and up, but my four year old was able to help. The object of the viewer is to be able to see your plant growing not only from the top but be able to see the root system as well. This is a novel idea, as we have never been able to see the root system before. It comes with dirt, seeds and the actual viewer.
The set up is relatively simple but messy. Following the step by step instructions was easy, except when it came to adding the dirt. It must be pre soaked and mixed before adding to the viewer. I recommend using something that is disposable for mixing the dirt, as the dirt has the potential to ruin your bowl. You have to be precise when placing the seeds in the dirt - the instructions call for the seeds to be placed 1/8 inch away from the plastic viewer.
My boys were excited to use this product. As a family, we do quite a lot of gardening. Our first signs of germination took place at the seven day mark. After two weeks, we have the plant growing slowly, but due to our seed placement we have been unable to see the root growth (again, the placement of the seeds must be precise).
Some things to look out for - we are having a mold/fungus problem with the dirt. Also, it is very easy to over water. I recommend touching the dirt prior to watering. If it is damp, do not water. On the plus side, it does come with an interesting paper pop-up pyramid with facts about roots and germination, and a root recorder to record your results. Overall, it is a very educational idea, but it requires an adult to set it up.