Ideas for Outdoor STEAM

Updated: Jul 20

Whether the weather is sunny or you want to put on your rain coats and get out the house, I've got five fun ideas for some outdoor STEAM exploration that will have little ones entertained for hours.

Girls doing potions
A tuff tray is very useful to have!

I've included specifics for anyone like me who prefers to know exactly what to do, but of course feel free to adapt as much as you like.

In general I'd recommend starting the exploring together, showing them the ideas you have and helping them with vocabulary, counting, measuring etc. Then you'll soon find you can go and make a cup of tea while they carry on (fingers crossed!).

1. Potions

It's a classic, but it's always a winner. Potions is an activity little ones can genuinely explore for hours for messy educational fun.

Potions recipe for kids
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You'll need:

  • Jugs, bottles, containers

  • Spoons, measuring spoons

  • Funnel

  • Sieve

  • Water

  • Any ingredients: sand, salt, rice, pasta, leaves, grass, sticks etc.


Little ones don't usually need a lot of directions for potions but you could start exploring together by coming up with a garden potions recipe.

You could even add a bit of science fun with the Bubbling Worms potion in the image!

2. Sink It

Sink It! is a simple game that will inevitably lead into a lot fun with floating and sinking objects and general water play.

Boy watching class with boats
Exploring together in my Sink It class

You'll need:

  • Toy boats or containers (tupperware, margarine etc)

  • Small stones or pennies (weights to put into the boats to make them sink)


Predict how many stones/pennies it will take to sink the boat/container. Then count them into the boat until it sinks to test out the prediction.

Test with other boats or containers and different weights to make them sink.

What other floating objects can they make sink by using stones or other weights?

3. Melting Races