This is what I like to call a “Lakeshore Hack”, which is when you make something yourself for much less money than it costs at the Lakeshore Learning store.
I recently discovered these petri dishes in the Target Dollar Spot and was immediately reminded of this fantastic idea from A Little Learning for Two. I searched high and low for affordable petri dishes last summer after I initially read about this idea but had no luck.
I bought the petri dishes and the magnifying glasses at the Dollar Spot and the rest of the materials I had on hand at home. I started by turning over an old wooden puzzle frame and attaching the petri dishes to the back using E6000 glue. If you are not familiar with E6000 glue it can be found at Wal-Mart in the home improvement section or at any craft store, it will permanently adhere anything to anything.
Next, I placed the items inside the petri dishes and used the glue to permanently seal the lids closed. I have listed the items I put inside my petri dishes below but you can use anything you have on hand or think your students will be interested in:
- Text cut from a science magazine
- Picture cut from the same magazine
- Dried pumpkin seeds
- “Fossil” (dried playdough with an imprint in the middle)
This would make a great addition to your science center. Students can use the magnifying glass to examine the items inside the dishes.
To introduce this activity I read an age-appropriate book on the topic of sight titled Look! (Amazing Body: The Five Senses) by Dana Meachen Rau.