Welcome to our list of the coolest outdoor STEM activities to keep your kids busy outside! Get kids enjoying the natural world around them while developing problem solving, creativity, observation, engineering skills and more. We love easy and do-able STEM projects for kids!
What Is Outdoor STEM?
These outdoor STEM activities can be used for home, school, or camp. Get kids outside and get kids interested in STEM! Take STEM outdoors, on the road, camping, or to the beach, wherever you go, but take it outside this year!
So you might ask, what does STEM actually stand for? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. The most important thing you can take away from this, is that STEM is for everyone!
We love STEM for kids because of its value and importance for the future. The world needs critical thinkers, doers, and problem solvers. STEM activities help develop kids who understand science, who can adapt to the latest technology, and who can engineer new solutions to solve problems of all sizes.
Outdoor STEM is one of the best ways to get kids involved and loving it. Below you will find nature STEM activities, outdoor science activities and ideas for STEM camping activities. We even include some cool outdoor science experiments!
Helpful STEM Resources To Get You Started
Here are a few resources that will help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.
- Engineering Design Process Explained
- What Is An Engineer
- Engineering Words
- Questions for Reflection (get them talking about it!)
- BEST STEM Books for Kids
- 14 Engineering Books for Kids
- Jr. Engineer Challenge Calendar (Free)
- Must Have STEM Supplies List
Click below to get your free printable STEM challenges!
Outdoor STEM Activities
These outdoor STEM activities provide new ways to incorporate favorite electronics, get dirty, look at nature in different ways, explore and experiment. Don’t spend too much time sitting indoors when the weather is beautiful outdoors!
Click on the links below to learn more about each activity.
Outdoor Science Experiments
Do you know you can make a Battery out of dirt by Teach Beside Me.
Love fizzing and exploding experiments? YES!! All you need are Mentos and coke.
Or here is another way to do it with diet coke and mentos.
Take this baking soda and vinegar volcano outdoors.
Bursting Bags is a great outdoor science experiment.
Rocks and Minerals: A Fun Testing Experiment for Kids by Edventures with Kids.
Simple Science Experiments With Pill Bugs by Capri Plus 3 . No animals hurt!
Grab some samples of dirt and carry out these simple soil science experiments by Left Brain Craft Brain.
Simple outdoor science and a cool chemical reaction with an easy DIY Alka Seltzer rocket!
Explore surface tension while you blow geometric bubbles!
Set up a leakproof bag science experiment.
Make a bottle rocket and blast off!
Nature STEM Activities
Explore balance and the fulcrum point with this Nature Balance activity by STEAM Powered Family.
Building a sun shelter is a great STEM challenge. Learn about the negative and positive effects of the suns rays on people, animals, and plants.
Use and learn about your 5 senses in nature. Draw them in your nature journal!
Get planting! Start a garden bed, grow flowers or a container garden.
Build your own insect hotel.
Make a cloud viewer and work out if the clouds you can see will bring rain.
Set up a bird feeder, grab a book, and identify the birds around your house or classroom.
Start a rock collection and learn about the rocks you find.
Build your own mason bee house for a few simple supplies and help the pollinators in the garden.
Outdoor Engineering Projects
Build your own Solar Heater by STEAM Powered Family.
Explore physics through play with this homemade Toy Zip Line.
Build a nerf war battlefield with STEAM Powered Family. Yes, outdoor STEM can be this much fun!
Measure time when you build a water clock by Teach Beside Me.
Alternatively, track the time with a DIY sundial.
Design a homemade pulley system and learn about simple machines.
Develop those design and planning skills when you build a stick fort.
Build a solar oven and even try your own s’mores on it.
Build a Stick-Tee Pee by NerdyMamma.
Design and build a water wall.
Explore forces as you fly a kite.
Learn about symmetry with a Nature Collage by Kid Minds.
Take Technology Outdoors
Check out these best free outdoor apps.
Create A Real Life Video Game Outdoors by STEAM Powered Family.
Try an outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt by Edventures with Kids.
More Outdoor STEM For Kids
Set up a simple DIY Outdoor Science Station to explore all kinds of science.
Make LEGO Sun Prints for a fun outdoor STEAM (Art +Science) activity.
Trace your shadow and color it with sidewalk chalk for Shadow Art by Rhythms of Play.
Design and craft a DIY kaleidoscope for kids.
Get outdoors, paint pictures, and enjoy a kid-favorite fizzing chemical reaction with fizzing sidewalk paint.
Bonus Outdoor Activities
Want to set up a STEM camp? Check out these summer science camp ideas!
Love science? Check out all our summer science experiments.
Find all our nature activities and plant activities.
Here’s our list of things to do outside for easy outdoor activities for kids.
Get creativity with these outdoor art activities.
Printable Engineering Projects Pack
Get started with STEM and engineering projects today with this fantastic resource that includes all the information you need to complete more than 50 activities that encourage STEM skills!
Do you have instructions for the Stem challenges please? Particularly catapults.
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