Wet and Wild Outdoor Science Activities and Experiments

Shared from WeAreTeachers.com
March 1, 2023 by
Wet and Wild Outdoor Science Activities and Experiments
School Aids, Inc, Elaine Swart

The whole world is one big science classroom.

The only thing more fun than hands-on science is taking it outside! These outdoor science activities are perfect for taking advantage of sunny days. You’ll only need simple supplies for most of these, so any teacher or family can head out to learn about chemistry, biology, physics, and more!

1. Gaze at the clouds

Look up and take some time to admire the clouds! Craft this cute “cloud viewer” and find a cloud in the sky. Then, identify what type it is, and learn more about how clouds form.

Learn more: Cloud Viewer—Little Bins for Little Hands

2. Fly a kite

You can learn a lot about physics when you make and fly your own kite. Experiment with different designs to see whose kite flies the highest or the longest.

Learn more: Inner Child Fun

3. Wrap a watermelon in rubber bands …

You’ve probably seen videos of this making the rounds online, so why not try it out yourself? This is one of those outdoor science activities that’s easy to do, but make sure you wear safety equipment like goggles.

Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me

4. Assemble a nest

Birds build intricate nests, and they make it look easy. Can you do the same? Gather some materials outdoors, and try to make your own nest.

Learn more: Views From a Step Stool

5. Explore one square foot

There’s an amazing amount of life in every square foot of nature. Grab your magnifying glasses or microscope, and take a closer look at the ground you walk on every day.

Learn more: One Square Foot—Little Bins for Little Hands

6. Explode a DIY seed pod

Find out how some plants spread their seeds far and wide with this cool balloon experiment. Fill it with seeds and air, then pop it outside on a breezy day and watch the seeds fly!

Learn more: Around the Kampfire

7. Send a soda geyser sky-high

This is one of those outdoor science activities that simply can’t be done anywhere other than outdoors. Kids will marvel at the chemical reaction that sends diet soda shooting high in the air when Mentos are added.

Learn more: Soda Experiment—Scholastic

8. Compost food scraps in a bottle

Food waste is a big problem, contributing to much of the material that winds up in landfills. Teach kids how to compost with kitchen scraps in a plastic bottle, and use the compost to feed your plants.

Learn more: Busy Mommy Media

9. See the greenhouse effect in action

Climate change can be a contentious topic, so start by teaching kids about the greenhouse effect, which is easy to see and understand using this simple experiment. Then, urge them to explore data collected by other scientists so they can learn to make informed decisions about topics like global warming.

Learn more: Teaching Science With Lynda

10. Construct a dirt battery

This outdoor science project is similar to building a battery from a lemon, but you also get to dig in the dirt! Kids learn about electric currents and conductivity.

Learn more: Dirt Battery—Teach Beside Me

11. Test the power of sunscreen

We slather kids in sunscreen when they’re playing outside, but do they understand why? Try this fun little experiment, which demonstrates how sunscreen protects from the sun’s harmful rays.

Learn more: STEM Sunscreen Experiment—JDaniel4’s Mom

12. Construct a LEGO waterwheel course

Are you looking for outdoor science activities for kids who love to build with LEGO bricks? Explore the power of water with a cool homemade LEGO water course that includes a dam and a water wheel. This engineering project is fun to play with when you’re done!

Learn more: LEGO Course—Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

13. Blast off with bottle rockets

A simple adapter kit allows you to turn an empty plastic bottle into a soaring rocket! Kids learn about pressure and Newton’s third law of motion with this perennially popular outside science project.

Learn more: Bottle Rockets—Science Sparks

14. Put together a simple microscope

This DIY microscope isn’t very powerful, but it does magnify small objects so you can see details. It’s also really simple to make. (Looking for a stronger microscope you can take on the go?

Learn more: Mini Microscope—Childhood 101

15. Create nature discovery bottles

Stroll through the great outdoors and have kids collect interesting natural objects. Use recycled soda or water bottles to display their specimens.

Learn more: Discovery Bottles—Little Bins for Little Hands

16. Assemble an anemometer

Scientists use anemometers to measure wind speed. Build this DIY version and do some weather science with your class.

Learn more: Pi’ikea Street

17. Find the best soap bubble solution

It’s easy to mix your own soap bubble solution with just a few ingredients. Let kids experiment to find the best proportion of ingredients to blow the longest-lasting bubbles with this fun outside science activity.

Learn more: Science Buddies—Bubble-ology

18. Blow the biggest bubbles you can

Bubbles are part of many fun outdoor science activities. Once you’ve blown the longest-lasting bubbles, move on to creating the largest bubbles you’ve ever seen! Kids learn about surface tension as they engineer these bubble-blowing wands.

Learn more: Giant Bubbles—Scholastic

19. Launch Ping-Pong balls with a catapult

Young kids will simply adore building this basic catapult and watching Ping-Pong balls soar! Older kids can experiment by changing the position of the fulcrum, the length of the board, and the objects being flung.

Learn more: Catapult—Buggy and Buddy

20. Play a game of Nature Bingo

Give your nature walk more direction by giving students specific items to seek out. You can make your own boards, or hit the link below for free printables for every season.

Learn more: Massachusetts Audubon Society

21. Test out parachutes

Gather a variety of materials (try tissues, handkerchiefs, plastic bags, etc.) and see which ones make the best parachutes. You can also find out how they’re affected on windy days or find out which ones work in the rain.

Learn more: How To Make a ParachuteInspiration Laboratories

22. Start a nature journal

Nature journals are a great way to partner writing and outdoor science while building kids’ observational skills. You can use any sturdy notebook or check out the link below for free printable journal pages and a fun DIY carry-along journal project.

Learn more: Nature Journal—Edventures With Kids

23. Experiment with limestone rocks

Kids love to pick up rocks, and there are plenty of great science experiments you can do with them. In this one, you pour vinegar over a rock to see if it bubbles. If it does, you’ve found limestone!

Learn more: Limestone Rocks—Edventures With Kids

24. Turn a bottle into a rain gauge

All you need is a plastic bottle, a ruler, and a permanent marker to make your own rain gauge. Monitor your measurements and see how they stack up against meteorology reports in your area.

Learn More: NurtureStore

25. Learn about plant transpiration

This simple project demonstrates how plants get rid of excess water they don’t need, a process known as transpiration. The supplies and method are simple enough for anyone to try it.

Learn more: Transpiration—Teach Beside Me

26. Swing a glass of water to learn about centripetal force

When you do this experiment right, you won’t make a mess at all. But while kids are still getting the hang of swinging glasses of water around their heads, you’ll probably want to make this an outdoor science activity.

Learn more: Sick Science!

27. Learn to identify trees

Give trees a closer look and learn to identify them by their leaves and seeds. These jars preserve the leaves and seeds for future study, too.

Learn more: Identify Trees—Edventures With Kids

28. Go on a nature scavenger hunt

Take kids outdoors to use their five senses with this free printable scavenger hunt activity. They’ll hone their observation skills and learn so much about the world around them.

Learn more: Nature Scavenger Hunt—Childhood 101

29. Help monarch butterflies

You may have heard that monarch butterflies are struggling to keep their populations alive. Join the fight to save these beautiful insects by planting your own butterfly garden, monitoring monarch populations, and more. Get all the info you need at the link.

Learn more: Monarch Watch

30. Count tree rings to explore dendrochronology

Your students might know you can count tree rings to find out how old the tree is, but do they know why that’s true? Explore dendrochronology using this free printable as a guide.

Learn more: Tree Rings—Edventures With Kids

31. Seek out signs of birds

Have you ever noticed that birds can be difficult to spot, even though signs of them are all around? This free printable scavenger hunt helps you find evidence that birds live nearby. Just look for nests and food sources and listen for their sounds.

Learn more: Inspiration Labs

32. Identify birds with an app

Some birds are easy to identify, but others stump even longtime bird-watchers. If you’re looking for outdoor science activities for kids who love feathered friends, check out the free Merlin Bird ID app! Snap a pic, answer a few questions, and the app will provide you some probable identifications, just like that.

Learn more: Merlin Bird ID

33. Harness the power of the wind

Wind turbines have become common sights in some parts of the country as we explore alternative energy sources. Build your own to learn how they work with this outdoor science experiment.

Learn more: Build a Wind Turbine—Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

34. Explode plastic baggies (and make a big mess)

Vinegar and baking soda experiments are always a big hit with kids, and this one is no exception. They’ll love seeing the bags pop from the chemical reaction, and you’ll be glad the mess is outside.

Learn more: Kids Activities

35. Estimate the height of a tree

Kids work in pairs to estimate the height of a tree in this project that puts the M in STEM. Get a free printable at the link below to walk you through the process.

Learn more: From ABCs to ACTs

36. Build a light box

Kids can entertain themselves for hours with a big empty cardboard box. Channel that energy by turning a box into a place to learn about light refraction and reflection, using colored water in plastic bottles.

Learn more: True Aim Education

37. Float a baking-soda-powered boat

Here’s another experiment using the classic baking powder and vinegar reaction. This one uses it to power these cute little DIY boats! A kiddie pool is the perfect spot for this outside science project.

Learn more: The OT Toolbox

Wet and Wild Outdoor Science Activities and Experiments
School Aids, Inc, Elaine Swart March 1, 2023
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