I love it when the weather finally improves and we can get outside to learn. Sure we can sneak out for quick experiments in the winter, but it is so much more fun when the weather is nice and we can spend our time enjoying some backyard science! This is a list of our favourite backyard science experiments and science fun to enjoy with your kids.
Brilliant Backyard Science Experiments
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There are so many amazing ways to learn in your backyard, that the list was quickly becoming huge, so I broke it down into sections to make things easier. I’ve included STEM projects plus lost of science experiments to inspire your lessons.
Bottle Rockets – Blast off your backyard fun with bottle rockets! This chemical reaction driven rocket can hit some serious heights and always results in squeals of excitement. This fun science experiment is a must do every year with my kids and uses baking soda and vinegar to launch!
Oobleck – Is it solid? Is it a liquid? Can you punch it? Can you run on it without sinking? These are just some of the profound questions kids face when exploring this non-Newtonian Fluid that can be made with just one ingredient and some water. It is fascinating stuff, but can also get messy fun! Making it perfect for backyard fun!
Pumpkin Volcano – You can do this experiment with pumpkins or any fruit, but if you are going to go big, make sure you do it outside. This one gets messy!
Does it Float? – This is a great activity to do with the kids in the backyard using water and various soda pop cans. Another variation you can try around the “does it float” concept is to take a black garbage bag, run around on a hot, sunny day to fill it with air, then tie off the end tightly. Leave it in the sun and watch what happens when the air inside the bag heats up… it floats!
Egg Drop Challenge – This classic challenge is perfect for the backyard, mainly because it can get very, very messy! Our favourite egg drop challenge was an Oobleck egg drop!
Water Balloon Science – In this water balloon science we explore how different liquids float. It is a fun twist on the Does it Float experiment but if those balloons pop it is best to be in the backyard!
Balloon Races – We love a good balloon race and when you take them outdoors you can really power up those balloons!
Paper Airplane Challenge – Put those paper folding skills to work in this Paper Airplane Challenge and see if you can find the best paper airplane design.
Nature Senses Detective – Easy science experiments are a great way to introduce young children to science. This is a simple sensory investigation project that helps to calm kids, promote mindfulness and awareness of nature.
Butterfly Lifecycle Model – Summer is all about sunshine and butterflies! So embrace kids love of butterflies this summer by building a spinning, 3D model of the butterfly life cycle. Then explore your backyard to see if you can find butterflies at each stage.
Build a Flower Bouquet – A great activity for younger kids, have them explore the yard and collect flowers to create a pretty bouquet. Make sure you talk about the types of flowers.
Magnifying Nature – Take a magnifying glass and have your kids explore plant and insect life up close.
Leaf Lab – Gather up those leaves and learn more about how leaves change colour in this leaf lab.
Colour Changing Flowers Experiment – Can you change the colour of a flower? You can in this experiment! With some water, a drop of food coloring, and a bit of time you can create a rainbow of colours in flowers that is like magic. This project also examines the effect of pollution on flowers.
Pool Noodle Periscope – Put those engineering skills to work as you construct a periscope that is perfect for backyard adventures.
Bubble Science – Every kid loves bubbles, so take a moment to explore a bit about the incredible science behind how bubbles are formed and why they have such pretty colours. Simple science experiments are sometimes the most beautiful and memorable.
Giant Bubbles – Do your kids really, really love bubbles? Then make them super-sized!
Catapult Cannon – This is such a fun activity! Kids build their own catapult cannon that shoots so far! Perfect for the yard!
Nerf War Battlefield – Are your kids obsessed with Nerf? Grab some recycled materials and build them their very own Nerf War Battlefield. Guaranteed to make your yard THE place to play and be all summer!
Backyard Earth Sciences
Acid Rain Experiment – Make it rain – in a jar – and explore the effects of acid rain on plants in this simple but profound experiment.
Make a Rain Gauge – Love the rain? Make a rain gauge to measure rainfall and study the natural weather patterns in your area and watch your kids develop a love of rain.
Seed Bombs and Launcher – Got some corners of the yard that could use a little rewilding? Embrace some backyard science by making some seed bombs with special launchers and watch your seeds grow this summer and create incredible pollinator habitats. You can also use recycled paper to make seed paper.
Build a Bird Feeder – We love attracting lots of birds into our backyard and one of the best ways is to make bird feeders.
Water Pollution Experiment – Teach your kids about the importance of protecting our water with this water pollution experiment. Then send your kids around the yard to collect water samples and test them in our Water Lab.
No matter which backyard science activities you decide to do this summer, the most important thing is to explore, learn and discover together! Have a wonderful summer full of fun in your backyard this year!