Outdoor Science Projects and Activities for the Classroom

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and every kid in your classroom is staring out the window anyway. It’s time to just give in and head outdoors! These 25 outdoor science activities give you a good excuse to go enjoy the fresh air. So, what are you waiting for?

1. Construct a dirt battery.

Outside Science Dirt Battery Teach Beside Me

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: Teach Beside Me

2. Play a game of Nature Bingo.

Outside Science

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

3. Send a soda geyser sky-high.

Outside Science Soda Fountain Scholastic

This is the kind of experiment that simply has to be done outdoors. Kids will marvel at the chemical reaction that sends diet soda shooting high in the air when Mentos are added.

Learn more: Scholastic

4. Make and plant DIY seed bombs.

Use recycled materials to create “seed bombs.” Then plant them in the school yard or send kids home to use them in their own gardens. Students learn about ecology, recycling, and plant life cycles.

5. Experiment with limestone rocks.

Outside Science Rocks KCEdventures

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: Edventures with Kids

6. Build a solar oven.

Outside Science Solar Oven Desert Chica

Explore the power of the sun when you build your own solar ovens and use them to cook up some yummy treats. The link below has complete instructions.

Learn more: Desert Chica

7. Find the best soap bubble solution.

It’s easy to mix up 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

8. Blow the biggest bubbles you can.

Outside Science Bubbles Scholastic

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: Scholastic

9. 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: Teach Beside Me

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

Outside Science Centripetal Steve Spangler

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: Steve Spangler Science

11. 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: Childhood 101

12. Slide into friction science.

Outside Science Slide Buggy and Buddy

Head out to the playground, gather up a variety of objects, and hold races to see which ones make it down the slide first. This is a fun introduction to friction and inclined planes.

Learn more: Buggy and Buddy

13. Test your local water quality.

Outside Science Water Testing Homeschool Scientist

Kids will be fascinated to discover what’s in the water in their local streams, ponds, and puddles. Student water testing kits are readily available online—try this set available on Amazon.

Learn more: The Homeschool Scientist

14. Count tree rings to explore dendrochronology.

Outside Science Tree Rings Edventures

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: Edventures with Kids

15. Blast off with bottle rockets.

Outside Science Bottle Rocket Science Sparks

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: Science Sparks

16. Attract birds with a DIY bird feeder.

Bring all the birds to the yard with this easy recycled bird feeder project. Kids can learn to identify common backyard birds in your area. Visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s educators’ resource page for more ideas.

17. Become a human sundial.

Outside Science Sundial Scholastic

Choose a sunny day and grab some sidewalk chalk—your students are about to become sundials! They’ll practice measuring skills and learn about the movement of the sun across the sky.

Learn more: Scholastic

18. Grow a carbon sugar snake.

Outside Science Carbon Snake Kiwico

This eye-popping chemical reaction demonstration is sure to excite your students! You only need simple supplies like sugar, baking soda, and sand, but the element of fire makes this experiment best done outdoors.

Learn more: Kiwico

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

Outside Science Baggies Kids Actvities Blog

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

20. Brew some elephant toothpaste.

Speaking of foamy messes, elephant toothpaste (ok, it’s not really used by elephants) creates a huge exothermic reaction that will blow kids away!

Learn more: Science Bob

21. Estimate the height of a tree.

Outside Science Measuring Trees From ABCs to Acts

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

22. Assemble an anemometer.

Outside Science Anemometer Piikea Street

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

Learn more: Pi’ikea Street

23. Float a baking-soda powered boat.

Outside Science Boat OT Toolbox

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

Learn more: The OT Toolbox

24. Conduct an egg drop.

Outside Science Egg Drop Buggy and Buddy

Here’s another classic science project that’s best done outdoors—the egg drop. Challenge kids to engineer a container that will protect an egg from a long fall (this is especially fun to do from upper-story windows). 

Learn more: Buggy and Buddy 



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