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10 Backyard Science Activities

Ready? Set? Let's go! Here are ten great activities to celebrate the start of a new learning year.

  • Backyard Weather Station: Track changes in the weather. It's fun, easy, and makes a great family project!

  • The Science of Snow: Snowflakes and kids are made for each other. You can use your children's natural curiosity about snow as a gateway to scientific exploration. Here's a primer.

  • The Night Sky: Some of the best backyard science can be found right over your head! Getting started is easy -- here are a few activities for you and kids of all ages.

  • Map Making: Sometimes, kids learn just as much on their way to school as they do in the classroom.

  • Take Your Camera for a Walk: You can turn everyday errands into a fun activity. Just bring your camera or camera phone! (Hint: This is a great activity to do with the map-making project above.)

  • Follow Your Nose: Are you ready for some serious smells? Pack a pen and paper, follow your nose on a stroll this weekend, and be nose-y! (Hint: Combine this activity with the map-making project and camera walk for a truly unique experience.)

  • The Backyard Volcano: Encourage your children to explore science in their own backyard by building a live volcano!

  • Build Your Own Stonehenge: Here's a unique way to celebrate the next 1,000 years. Building your own Stonehenge is easier than you think. All you need is rope, marker stones or small stakes, and a compass.

  • Living Green, Learning Green: For most kids, there are three great mysteries of urban life . Where does stuff go when I flush the toilet? What's on the other side of the light switch? Why does Mom go nuts when I leave the light on?

  • Turn-Off Tips From TV-Free Kids: Having trouble keeping the kids away from the TV long enough to do these activities? Here's a few tips to help them turn off the tube and turn on to the world!
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