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Sample Science Projects
from Science Made Simple

Backyard Science Fun

No matter the season, your yard and neighborhood provide many wonderful opportunities for kids to both play and learn. Physical activities like riding a bike are wonderful, but your child can also use your backyard for science projects. It's easy to help by providing a little bit of guidance and direction. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the many outdoor science and nature activities that can be done in your backyard.

Children don't spend enough time outdoors anymore. You can show them how much fun outdoor exploration can be. No matter where you live, there are many, many different plants and animals just waiting nearby to be discovered. Kids naturally enjoy science and nature, especially with a little bit of encouragement from you. This is particularly true with toddlers and elementary school aged children. Choose activities that you enjoy, because your youngsters will require your help.

One way for children to learn science is by examining the local plants. You can find many different species of plants in your own backyard - some of them planned, and others unwanted. The most interesting environments may be found in wooded, bushy and unmowed areas.

You can find many habitats for the different animals and birds in your backyard. See how many different species you can identify. Be patient and quietly observe them for awhile. What do they eat? Can you find their homes? Bird watching is a popular hobby, and even amateur bird watchers often contribute to real science projects. If your child really enjoys it, they may ask for a new pet.

You can also find many different kinds of insects in your yard. Like plants and flowers, your child may enjoy examining these bugs. It is not only fun to see what kinds of bugs live in your backyard, but it is also exciting to learn about how they survive.

Encourage your child to study the impact of the weather on the environment for the plants and animals in your yard. Backyard conditions change as the weather changes. Study your backyard after a heavy rain, and have your child look for all the changes they can find. Your child can learn a lot by studying the effects of the weather on the animals and plants in your yard.

What Supplies Do You Need?

To make the most out of your child's next backyard adventure, you may want to consider purchasing them some science supplies. Consider purchasing science and nature books, butterfly nets, magnifying glasses, containers or insect cages, and so on. If your child is planning on capturing a few insects, a small cage or breathable container may be just what they need. These supplies, along with others, can be purchased from many retail stores, including department stores, home improvement stores, and toy stores. Or find what you need by searching online.

Science and nature guide books may be useful for you and your child. Many books and guides have a specific focus on insects, birds, plants, or flowers. The pictures and information found in these resources can help you identify the animals and plants living in your yard. You can find a large choice of science and nature books at local book stores, or at online retailers.

When examining the plants, bugs, and flowers in your backyard, you and your child may want to document what you see This can easily be done with a notebook or a camera. Your child can record their adventure by using a camera to take pictures. You can use the pictures for other science projects and crafts. You can turn the photos into memories by using them in a scrapbook or collage project.

When your child sets out on an adventure in the backyard or nearby woods, it is likely they will discover many interesting new things. Teaching kids science in your own backyard is just one of the many ways you can both share the outdoors. And it just may be the start of a life-long interest in science.