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British Science Week Activities

Children's Science Activities for British Science Week

British Science Week will take place between 8-17th March 2024. It is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). This year marks the 30th anniversary of British Science Week, making it a special occasion.

The theme for 2024 is “Time”, exploring the significance of time in scientific discoveries, lifecycles, evolution, and more. Schools, libraries, museums, businesses, and communities come together to celebrate during this exciting event.

Incorporating the Outdoors into Science Education 

Incorporating outdoor science activities into science education for Key Stage 1 (KS1) can offer rich and engaging learning experiences for children. Here are some reasons why the outdoors is relevant to science education in KS1:

Hands-on Learning: The outdoors provides a real-world laboratory where students can engage in hands-on exploration. For KS1 children, this tactile experience is invaluable for understanding scientific concepts such as plant growth, animal behaviour, and the properties of materials.

a child holds a bug pod, whilst another searches inside it for bugs

Observation Skills: Being outdoors encourages children to use their senses to observe the world around them. They can explore different textures, colours, shapes, and sounds, honing their observational skills, which are fundamental in scientific inquiry.

Connection to Nature: Developing an appreciation for nature early on can foster a lifelong interest in science and environmental conservation. Children can learn to connect with the natural world, by identifying local plants and animals or learning about the seasons.

children go on a science walk through the forest

Cross-Curricular Learning: Outdoor science activities can easily integrate with other subjects such as numeracy, literacy, and art. For example, children can measure the heights of different trees, write nature diaries, or create wonderful nature-inspired pieces of artwork, whilst at the same time providing a holistic learning experience.

Curiosity and Inquiry: The outdoors is a natural catalyst for curiosity in children. Encouraging them to ask questions about what they see, and experience fosters a sense of inquiry and critical thinking skills, which are essential aspects of scientific inquiry.

a shot of an outdoor space

Health and Well-Being: Spending time outdoors has many health and well-being benefits, including reducing stress and improving mood. Allowing children to do outdoor science experiments helps promote children’s physical and mental health and promotes overall well-being.

Seasonal Changes: Exploring the outdoors throughout the year allows students to observe and investigate seasonal changes firsthand. By conducting easy outdoor science experiments, they can learn about concepts such as water cycles, migration patterns, and the life cycles of plants and animals.

children take a winter walk

Environmental Awareness: Outdoor science activities and lessons allow children to learn about environmental issues and the importance of conservation. Children can learn about recycling, habitat management, and pollution through hands-on activities and exploration.

Citizen Science Opportunities: Children can be part of a Citizen Science project. For KS1 this can be in the form of bird watching or monitoring local weather patterns.

Family Involvement: Families can get involved with outdoor science activities too. STEM activities don’t have to be hard they can be as simple as walking in parks and naming trees, to holding a mini-beast hunt in your back garden. Everyone can get involved!

a child stands and holds snails in the palm of his hand

Outdoor Science Activities for KS1 Children

Outdoor science activities for KS1 children can help them develop their observation, exploration, and inquiry skills, as well as foster their curiosity and appreciation for nature. They should therefore be engaging, hands-on, and tailored to their developmental level. Here are some easy outdoor science experiments for children to do:

Nature Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items for children to find outdoors, such as different insects, flowers, leaves, or rocks. This encourages observation skills and helps children learn about the outdoor environment around them and biodiversity.

Planting Seeds: Provide children with pots, soil, seeds, and water. Show the children how to plant the seeds correctly. Once potted up the children can observe and document the growth of their plants, learning about the plant life cycles and what they need to grow.

children sit on the planter benches and water the flowers

Weather Observations: A lovely activity for children to do is weather observations. Set up a weather station with simple instruments such as a thermometer, rain gauge, and windsock. Children can record daily weather observations and learn about different weather patterns and how they have affected the environment.

Shadow Science: On a sunny day a great STEM activity is…, have the children trace and measure their shadows at different times throughout the day. They can learn about the movement of the sun and how it affects the length and direction of shadows.

an adult makes a dinosaur shadow on the wall

Fun Science Play Products for Your Playground

Turn your children into budding scientists as they conduct investigations and examine wildlife using 1 or all 3 of the following Pentagon Play outdoor science products.

Wildlife Area:

Pentagon Play’s Wildlife Area helps children uncover the wonders of the natural world through play and investigation as they take part in fun science STEM activities.

This safe fenced-off area includes a large, decked area with a pond, planting area, attractive mini-beast habitat, mini-beast identification sheet, and seating.

The planting area is ideal for growing vegetables, herbs, and plants while it is the perfect habitat for mini beasts. Creating the perfect environment for children to examine and observe both plants and animals in a safe, natural setting. Children can refer to the mini-beast identification sheet to aid their learning and understanding.

children sit looking into the bug hotel

The pond also provides a wonderful habitat for aquatic insects, small fish, and water-based plants. Children can learn about pH levers and temperature regulation when fish are released into the pond’s water.

Watch how the children become enthused and excited about science as they discover the natural world around them through investigative learning as they participate in exciting outdoor science experiments.

Windemere Water Play Package:

The Windemere Water Play Package is a fantastic resource for any school looking to extend their children's learning through outdoor science experiments. Consisting of the Water Wall, Water Channel Stands, and a Water Table set is a wonderfully versatile package that enhances water play individually or in groups. 

The Windemere Water Play Package provides the perfect environment for outdoor science activities where children can discover the miracles of gravity as they channel the water through the tubes and direct it toward the Water Table.

a child stands and pours water down a water channel into the stands and along the wall

Teachers can incorporate this fantastic product into outdoor STEM activities such as utilising raindrops and mountain etches to teach the water cycle.

A fun science product for any playground that enhances children's understanding of scientific terms and facts through engaging, free-flowing play.

Flow Table:

Pentagon Play’s Flow Table is a wonderful addition to any outdoor science setting. Through child-led play, children can take turns releasing different objects down the table (cars, balls, etc). This is an easy outdoor science experiment setting, where children can learn about velocity and speed, whilst at the same time improving their communication and language skills as they discuss the results amongst themselves. 

For more information on Pentagon Play’s products Contact One of our Team or email [email protected] where one of our expert advisers will be happy to help!