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11 Outdoor projects for science-loving kids

Warm weather is finally here, so break out your beakers and head outdoors. Your little science bugs will love these outdoor projects that let them get messy while they learn a thing or two.

Outdoor science project
Image: Graphic by Karen Cox/Sheknows, Photo provided by Image Source/Getty Images

Science experiments are rarely neat and tidy. Moms everywhere rejoice when summer arrives and we can move the mess outside, where the only cleanup required is a garden hose — or a good rain.

Egg drop

Egg drop |
Photo credit: No Time for Flash Cards

Dropping eggs from someplace high sounds fun to us. It’s the not breaking them part that gets a little more tricky. Give your kids a lesson in physics, like they did over at No Time for Flash Cards, by helping them find a way to keep the egg intact.

Candy and soda expanders

Candy and soda expanders |
Photo credit: Learn Play Imagine

Pop Rocks are fun enough on your tongue, but they get even more exciting when you drop a few into a bottle of soda. Teach your kiddos about gases — and avoid the exploding soda mess — by securing a balloon on top, just like they did over at Learn Play Imagine.

Baking soda reaction

Baking soda reaction |
Photo credit: Play Counts

If you went to elementary school, chances are you know what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar. Skip the baking soda volcano and teach your kids about reactions in a fun new way — the blogger over at Play Counts shows you how. Fill a pan with baking soda and a few cups with colored vinegar. Hand them some straws and watch what happens.


Butterflies |
Photo credit: School Time Snippets

Butterflies go through an incredible metamorphosis, and most kids are amazed at the process. Either purchase a butterfly kit, like they did over at School Time Snippets, or try your luck catching your own.

Bottle rocket

Bottle rocket |
Photo credit: Science Sparks

Let your kids learn about pressure and have a little fun with space pretend, like the blogger over at Science Sparks did, by building a bottle rocket.

Plant identification

Plant identification |
Photo credit: The Pinay Homeschooler

How about a little botany this summer? Take a cue from the blogger over at The Pinay Homeschooler and let your kids wander through the yard or a local park and collect leaves from various plants. When you get home, use books or the internet to identify your finds.

Bucket pulley system

Bucket pulley system |
Photo credit: Happy Hooligans

You’re never too young to learn about physics and mechanics, especially when you have a fun project like this one from Happy Hooligans. Head outside and have your kids fill a bucket with whatever they can find, then have them try to pick it up. No go? Now set up a pulley system using a nearby tree, and show them how much lighter that bucket can be.

Lava flows

Lava flows |
Photo credit: One Perfect Day

Lava flows are fascinating. There’s a science to the way they flow, and how they actually help build the volcano when they solidify. We love One Perfect Day’s idea for recreating that with sand on a sunny day at the beach.

Plant life cycle

Plant life cycle |
Photo credit: mattBgomez

What better way to put the plant life cycle on display than by growing a plant… out of a plant? The kindergarten teacher and blogger behind mattBgomez shows us how simple it is to pull off, and his results are impressive.


Catapult |
Photo credit: JDaniel4’s Mom

Your kids can learn about energy and stored tension — while hurling objects across the yard — with a simple egg carton catapult like the one we found on JDaniel4’s Mom. Help them construct one, but we recommend you stand back after that.

Create a lab

Create a lab |
Photo credit: Caution! Twins at Play

Start that science bug early. Make even the littlest science fans feel like real scientists by creating their very own “lab” in your backyard. The blogger at Caution! Twins at Play made one, filling containers with play slime and water beads, and test tubes with colored water.

More outdoor fun

Treasure hunt at a park
Create a backyard carnival
Secrets of super sandcastles

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