Earth Science is not just about rocks and minerals. It also includes topics such as space, weather, and learning about the oceans. Cover the big ideas of Earth Science for kids with our best Earth Science lesson ideas! Below you’ll find a variety of hands-on science activities that use simple materials. Plus, free printable information packs to get you started!
Earth Science For Kids
Kiddos at any grade level can explore Earth Science on various levels, from preschool, kindergarten, elementary to middle school.
Younger students can check out rocks with a magnifying glass, while older students can dive into learning about the atmosphere or climate issues. Below you will find science projects that are a perfect addition to your earth science lesson planning!
What’s a fun activity to start with? We always love the shaving cream rain cloud for preschoolers!
Another super simple activity is a water cycle in a bag! Or get playful with sand and a beach erosion activity for older kiddos!
What Is Earth Science?
Earth Science is the study of the earth, and everything that physically makes up the earth and its atmosphere. From the soil we walk on, to the air we breathe and the oceans we swim in… learning about Earth Science isn’t just for Earth Day activities!
While some aspects of Earth Science are related to biology, it’s important to note that biology deals with the living things on earth. This includes plant life cycles, food chains, animals, and more. Learn more about plants.
Earth Science Topics
What do you learn in earth science? Earth Science topics include the 4 main branches of Earth Science which are:
- Geology – the study of rocks and land.
- Oceanography – the study of oceans.
- Meteorology – the study of weather.
- Astronomy – the study of stars, planets, and space.
Fun Earth Science Questions to Ask
Kids are always curious about the world around them, especially since it feels so big and magical. Plus, they have many questions you can answer with easy-to-set-up earth science activities.
More fun questions to explore…
- What makes a volcano erupt?
- Where does rain come from?
- Why does the beach get smaller or change shape?
- What are fossils?
- How does a tornado form?
- Why causes an earthquake?
Why is the Sky Blue?
Ever wonder how to answer this question? Here’s the super simplest answer you can give your kiddos. Blue (and violet) light has the shortest wavelengths, so it more easily scatters when it hits the air molecules in the sky during the day. Other colors do not scatter as easily.
How To Set Up An Earth Science Project
Want to turn one of these fun earth science activities into a science project? Then you will want to check out these helpful resources.
Quick Toddler or Preschooler Earth Science
You don’t always have to set up an experiment for younger kiddos, especially when attention spans are short. Older pre-k kiddos may enjoy some fun ideas below but adjust your expectations. You really can introduce earth science topics without using worksheets or setting up complicated projects.
Hands-on Earth science activities you can do with young kids include:
- Talk about the weather and mark sunny, cloudy, snowy, or rainy days on a paper calendar.
- Talk about the water cycle and what happens when it rains.
- Set up a rain gauge and check how much rainwater you collect after a storm.
- Collect special rocks, and discuss what they look like.
- Grab a magnifying glass and look at anything up close.
- Lay on the ground and look up at the clouds.
- Dig up a sensory soil bin and look through it (add some water).
- Play in the sand and ocean at the beach.
- Go for a nature walk and talk about the air, the clouds, and the ground.
Get Your FREE Printable Earth Science Project Ideas
50 Earth Science Lessons To Explore
We have divided our Earth Science activities into Weather, Space, Geology and Ocean. Click on each activity for step-by-step instructions.
Make a shaving cream rain cloud model.
Learn how a tornado forms with a simple tornado in a bottle.
Find out how to make a rainbow with a rainbow prism.
Explore where rain comes from.
Name the clouds you can see with an easy cloud viewer.
Explore how clouds form with a cloud in a jar.
Investigate what happens to plants when there is acid rain.
Identify the layers of the atmosphere with these printable worksheets.
Build a DIY anemometer to measure the direction of the wind.
Set up a water cycle in a bottle or a water cycle in a bag for weather science.
Learn about the constellations you can see with these easy constellation activities.
Build a fun satellite or even a space shuttle.
Make a DIY planetarium from simple supplies.
Make a spectroscope like astronomers use to study stars.
Use Oreo cookies to learn about the phases of the moon.
This moon craft is another fun way to explore the moon phases.
Create a watercolor galaxy painting inspired by our Milky Way galaxy.
Build a simple model of the Aquarius Reef base inspired by astronaut John Herrington.
Learn about our amazing solar system with this printable solar system project.
Make your own tasty sedimentary rock to explore geology.
Explore the stages of the rock cycle with a crayon rock cycle or candy rock cycle!
Why not grow sugar crystals, salt crystals or borax crystals!
Explore the layers of soil with simple LEGO bricks.
Learn all about volcanos with these volcano facts and even make your own volcano.
Find out how fossils are formed and go on your own dinosaur dig.
Make edible geodes from a few simple ingredients, as well as geodes in eggshells.
Build a LEGO layers of the earth model.
Grab some colored sand and glue for this fun layers of the earth activity.
Make an edible tectonic plates model.
Explore storm water runoff and how it affects the land.
Learn about soil erosion for kids with a fun edible model.
You will want to try this shaky earthquake experiment!
Put together a sensory beach in a bottle.
Set up this beach erosion demostration.
Explore the layers of the ocean with this easy ocean experiment.
Learn about the oceans with this printable biomes of the world lapbook project.
Learn about ocean currents with a few simple supplies.
Have a go at mapping the ocean floor!
Explore ocean waves in a bottle.
Explore what can remove oil in the ocean with an oil spill experiment.
Investigate what happens to seashells when the oceans become acidic.
Enjoy more fun ocean activities, including ocean crafts and learning about animals that live in the ocean!
Printable Spring Theme Activities
If you’re looking to have all of your printable activities in one convenient place, plus exclusive worksheets with a spring theme, our 300+ page Spring STEM Project Pack is what you need!
Weather, geology, plants, animal life cycles, and more!