If you’re looking for outdoor science experiments for kids, you’re in for a treat! We’ve curated 14 hands-on ideas your little ones will love.
With a huge shift towards STEM education, finding ways to get kids interested in and excited about science is becoming more important than ever. STEM is a multifaceted approach to learning that combines science, technology, engineering, and math to develop a child’s problem solving and critical thinking skills while also encouraging creativity, communication, and teamwork. Science experiments in particular help:
- Encourage higher level thinking
- Teach children not to accept the status quo and make their own predictions
- Foster an interest and excitement for research
- Provide opportunities for failure in a safe environment
- Encourage innovative and creative thinking
- Teach children how to work collaboratively
How to Get Kids Excited About Science
Getting kids excited about science at a young age can have a huge impact on their academic growth and development, not to mention their career paths. If you’re looking for tips to get kids interested in science both in the classroom and at home, here are some tips to consider.
1. Start young
The internet is filled with all kinds of amazing science experiments for kids of all ages. Sensory science experiments tend to work best with younger kids as they are more hands on, and we’ve included tons of options below!
2. Make it hands on
Finding ways to get your kids/students involved in science activities will make them more interested and engaged, helping them retain more information.
3. Appeal to your child’s interests
Think outside the box and use props, materials, and/or toys that appeal to your child’s interests to capture his or her attention and make learning fun instead of tedious.
4. Get online
Children love spending time watching TV and on their iPad, so use this to your advantage! Find science-themed TV shows and search YouTube for inspirational videos and tutorials your child might find interesting.
5. Be a good role model
Instead of telling your child how much you hated science when you were in school (ahem…), model everyday inquisitive behavior to foster a love for learning in your child. You will be amazed at what this simple change in mindset can do!
6. Make it fun!
From sensory science experiments for preschoolers to amazing science experiments for kids in elementary school, there are SO MANY WAYS you can make science fun for kids, and we’ve rounded up 14 outdoor science experiments for kids below!
14 Outdoor Science Experiments for Kids
If you’re looking for a way to combine outside time with learning, this collection of outdoor science experiments for kids will inspire you! We’ve included a mix of ideas for different seasons, many of which can be done indoors if you don’t mind a little mess and chaos.
1. Leak-Proof Bag Experiment | Paging Fun Mums!
Grab a couple of Ziplock bags and several sharpened pencils and watch in amazement as your little ones push holes into a water-filled bag without any water dripping out!
2. Bouncy Egg Experiment | Science Sparks
This is a surprisingly fun and fascinating experiment that both kids and adults will enjoy. You need to soak the egg in vinegar for 24 hours, but that’s about as complicated as this experiment goes. I suggest soaking many eggs so you can experiment with bouncing them from different heights to see if they break.
3. Exploding Baggies | Kids Activities Blog
If you’re looking for outdoor science experiments for kids, this is a fun way to demonstrate the reaction that occurs between vinegar and baking soda. Adding a drop (or 3) of food coloring is the perfect way to bring this experiment to life, and will add a pop of color to your outdoor space when all is said and done!
4. Exploding Diet Coke & Mentos Science Experiment | Tinkerlab
If you haven’t tried to explode Mentos in diet coke, are you even a parent? LOL. This is such a fun experiment to do with kids, and it doesn’t require a lot of setup, which I love. Tinkerlab has all the details, which you can find HERE.
5. Oil and Water Summer Experiment | Growing a Jeweled Rose
This is a great experiment your kids can enjoy indoors and outdoors, and all you need is water, food coloring, and a few liquid droppers. It’s a great way to demonstrate why oil and water don’t mix, and keeps kids busy for ages!
6. Sugar and Yeast Balloon Experiment | Happy Brown House
While many people are familiar with the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment, did you know you can do the same thing with sugar and yeast? This is another great idea to try if you’re looking for outdoor science experiments for kids – it’s fun and easy, and something even little kids can participate in.
7. Fizzing Ice Cubes | The Play Based Mom
If you’re looking for outdoor science experiments for kids, fizzing ice cubes are a great way to keep them entertained while also offering a bit of education. You will need to prep the ice cubes the day before (don’t worry, they are super easy to make!), and kids of all ages can enjoy this activity in the hot summer heat!
8. Egg Drop Challenge | STEAMsational
If you’re looking for STEM activities that require a little more thought and work for your child/students, this egg drop challenge is a great one. The goal of this challenge is to create a container that will protect an egg, ensuring it won’t break when it’s dropped to the ground from a significant height. This is a great way to encourage kids to put their thinking caps on, and it works as both a group or individual project!
9. How Do Leaves Breathe? | KC Edventures
Leaves are living parts of a tree, but do they actually breathe? KC Edventures shows you how to discover the inner workings of leaves. By using green leaves you pick from a tree or plant, a glass jar, and a rock, you can see photosynthesis taking place right before your eyes!
10. Racing Water Drops | Green Kid Crafts
This is another one of my favorite outdoor science experiments for kids as it’s SO easy to setup, and it’s something the whole family can enjoy together. All you need is some water, straws (we love these metal reusable straws!), a dropper, and parchment paper, and you can enjoy this experiment both indoors and outdoors!
11. Pop Rocks Volcano | Inspiration Laboratories
If your child loves Pop Rocks, this outdoor science experiment is sure to be a hit! All you need is a base for the volcano (a jar, a cored apple, etc.), Pop Rocks, water, dish soap, and food coloring. It’s so much fun, and makes a great idea for a school science project!
12. Erupting Watermelons | Little Bins for Little Hands
If you aren’t afraid of making a mess, this is one of my favorite outdoor science experiments for kids! All you need is a watermelon, baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, and food coloring. You need to hollow out the watermelon before doing the experiment, which you can easily do with a melon baller. It’s the perfect excuse to enjoy watermelon on a hot summer day!
13. Why Do Pinecones Open Up? | Lemon Lime Adventures
As autumn winds down, pinecones, acorns, and other tree seeds fall to the ground. But why do pinecones open up? This is a fantastic fall outdoor science experiment for kids that are in the older age group of elementary school because you can demonstrate the scientific method and set up different jars for each hypothesis.
14. Dry Ice Bubbles | Eating Richly
Kids of all ages will enjoy these dry ice bubbles, but adult supervision is required to ensure they don’t touch or try to eat the dry ice. All you need are oven mitts, tongs, a tall jar or glass, dry ice, dish soap, and food coloring (optional). This is a really fun activity, and another one of my favorite outdoor science experiments for kids!
I hope this collection of outdoor science experiments for kids inspires you to find new and creative ways to enjoy your time outdoors year-round!
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