Creative Child

8 Outdoor STEM Activities

by Rebecca Eanes

School may be back in for most of us, but learning doesn’t stop there. There are plenty of opportunities in our own backyard for children to learn science, technology, engineering, and math. Here are 8 outdoor STEM activities your child will have a blast with!


1. Start off with a BANG using this basic baking soda and vinegar reaction experiment. You’ll need plastic zipper sandwich bags, baking soda, toilet paper, and vinegar. Have your kid fill a gallon size bag with 2/3 cup of vinegar. Seal the bag most of the way shut, leaving just enough room to slip in a small pouch. On a small paper towel or square of toilet paper, place a heaping tablespoon of baking soda and wrap it into a pouch. Slip the pouch into the opening in the bag and quickly seal the bag shut. Give it a shake and toss it on the ground. The bag will start to swell up and may even POP!

2. Make a rocket balloon! You’ll need a long string, 2 trees or chairs to tie the string to, a balloon, scotch tape, and a drinking straw. Thread the string through the straw and tie each end around a tree or chair, making a long, level track for your rocket balloon. Hold the straw near one end of the string, and blow up a balloon, holding the end to keep the air inside. Scotch tape the balloon to the straw, ensuring that it is securely attached. Then, tell your child to let go! Watch as the force of the air rockets the balloon across the string!


3. Geocaching is a fun family outdoor activity that uses technology. Simply download the app onto your mobile device and go on a search to find a hidden container. It’s like a treasure hunt! The only rule is, if you take one, you leave one, so be sure to carry something small and neat to leave for others to find.

4. Give your child a digital camera to take photos of the environment or of the rocket balloon and zipper bag experiments! Have the photos printed to start their very own STEM photo album.

Engineering and math activities on page 2...

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