Our family loves summertime because we can move school outside. We homeschool all year-round, but summer is typically light work. I try to add fun experiments, books, and field trips to our schedule. My kids love backyard science experiments, and I love that the mess is outside NOT inside my kitchen.
If you have budding scientists, these backyard science experiments will be a hit.
Grow Your Own Crystal Geodes
Families with older kids will enjoy this project because it does require a bit of patience and cooking. Feels Like Home gives a fantastic set of instructions.
You are going to need:
- Alum Powder
- Eggshells or plastic eggs
- A box
- 4-Cup bowl
- Spoon or Whisk
- Measuring Cup
The experiment shows kids that substances form crystals, such as salt, sugar, snow, and alum.
Exploding Sandwich Bags
Every kid loves the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar. The reactions are exciting, but it is safe for your child to touch and be close, allowing them to watch close-up. These two substances react together to form carbon dioxide because vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base.
You will need:
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 TBSP baking soda
- Toilet paper
- Sandwich-sized Ziploc bag
To see the entire instructions, check out Come Together Kids. I love this experiment because it is fun for kids of all ages. Your two year old will think it is exciting just as much as a ten-year-old. Plus, you probably have all of the items needed in your house right now.
Turn a Penny Green
Another fun science experiment using vinegar is turning copper pennies green! The experiment is a common one that you can do with kids of all ages, but I would suggest no younger than three to four years old. This experiment does require you to observe the changes over several days, so it is a great way to practice science observation. The kids can record what they notice each day.
All you need is:
- A bowl
- Folded paper towel
Place your folded paper towel inside of the bowl and lay the pennies on top of the paper towel. Pour in the vinegar enough to saturate the paper towel. Then, you want to record the observations over the next few days! Does the penny look different? If so, write it down!
Watch a Leaf Breathe
I LOVE this science experiment! It shows how leaves use oxygen and let kids observe the photosynthesis process. All you need is:
- A bowl of lukewarm water
- Large leaf
- Sunny area
It takes moments to set up (score for mom), but the results take a few hours to show up. So, you can set it up and then play other games or run some errands. You need an active leaf that you remove from the tree.
Put the leaf into the bowl with a rock on top to keep it submerged. Place the bowl in a sunny area and wait. In a few hours, you will see bubbles along the leaf. You can see them without a magnifying glass, but all kids love to use those! The leaf is releasing extra oxygen, forming bubbles, as it continues the photosynthesis process.
Launch Water Rockets
Without a doubt, launching water rockets is something ALL kids will love. You’ll become the cool parent, and they will want to try this experiment over and over again.
- Empty toilet paper tubes
- Plastic eggs large enough to cover the top of the toilet paper tubes
- Scotch tape
- Tin foil
- Garden hose with a spray nozzle attached
This experiment by Edventures with Kids shows the power of force (the garden hose) when applied to the rocket. I’ve seen some rockets use vinegar and baking soda reactions to launch them, but this experiment isn’t nearly as messy and is even easier.
So, it’s hot outside, and you need something to do that will keep the kids cool. Let your kids pretend they are excavating lost dinosaurs stuck in the ice. Ahead of time, you need to freeze small dinosaurs in bowls of ice. Let your kids take these blocks of ice outside with butter knives or spoons. The ice will melt in the heat, but the kids should chisel away at the ice with the tools given. It is a great activity to keep them busy, and they’ll stay cool in the process.
Rainbow Bubble Snakes
This experiment is fun for adults and kids, plus you should have all other items needed in your house.
- Empty water bottle
- Duct tape
- Sock (don’t we all have ones missing a match)
- Dish soap
- Food coloring
Housing a Forest gives detailed instructions about how to make a rainbow bubble snake. Your kids will love this experiment. All kids love bubbles! Set up takes about 10 minutes, but it’s the perfect experiment for when your kid is bored and need something to do fast.