Welcome to our list of amazing outdoor STEM activities to keep your kids busy outside! Get kids outdoors to enjoy the natural world while developing problem-solving, creativity, observation, engineering skills, and more. We love easy and doable 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 stand for? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Additionally, you might hear about STEAM, which includes an “A” for art!
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 kids better understand science, adapt to the latest technology, and engineer new solutions to solve problems of all sizes. Try our Real World STEM challenge!
Outdoor STEM is one of the best ways to get kids involved and keep them engaged. 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 to help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident 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
You’ll find fantastic Nature STEM challenge cards that are meant to be done outdoors!
Outdoor STEM Activities
These outdoor STEM activities provide new ways to incorporate favorite electronics, get dirty, look at nature differently, and 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.
- 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.
- Simple outdoor science and a cool chemical reaction with an easy DIY Alka Seltzer rocket!
- Explore surface tension while you blow geometric bubbles!
- Try this color-changing slime outdoors and watch what happens!
- Set up a leakproof bag science experiment.
- Make a bottle rocket and blast off!
- Blow bubble snakes and learn about surface tension.
Nature STEM Activities
- Build an insect hotel.
- Make a cloud viewer and determine 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
- Explore physics through play with this homemade Toy Zip Line.
- Design a homemade pulley system and learn about simple machines.
- Make a paper helicopter and see if it flies.
- Craft a paddle boat and watch it move!
- Test the wind with a DIY Anemometer.
- Develop those design and planning skills when you build a stick fort.
- Build a solar oven and even try s’mores on it.
- Design and build a water wall.
- Explore forces as you fly a kite.
- Alternatively, track the time with a DIY sundial.
More Outdoor STEM Activities
Set up an outdoor STEM camp, explore nature-inspired STEAM, learn about the weather, or study plants.
- 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 creative with these outdoor art activities.
- Design and craft a DIY kaleidoscope for kids or try this spectroscope.
- Record the moon’s phases for the month, or track the weather!