Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins® – Spring and Summer STEM Activities
Science, Gifted and Talented, Engineering
PreK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Activities, Fun Stuff, GATE
Compressed Zip File
Be sure that you have an application to open this file type before downloading and/or purchasing.
Also includes a STEAM version and Editable labels and task card templates!
Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins® and STEAM Bins are natural engineering centers that are ideal for outdoor classrooms, outdoor learning centers, or occasional outdoor excursions. They are also a creative and developmentally appropriate form of natural engineering for elementary students.
Listed materials for each Outdoor Discovery STEM Bin are found in nature or at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby. Many flooring stores or rock and stone stores will also donate material scraps for your children to build with. Children can gather items from nature on their own at home or on the school grounds, and you may choose which materials that you feel are best for your outdoor learning environment. Additional STEM materials and photos can be added to the EDITABLE STEM Bin Covers in the separate file.
To assemble your Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins, You will need waterproof plastic containers to hold the materials and task cards. Sandwich storage boxes work great. My pictured containers are from the food storage section at Dollar Tree and were 3 for $1.00. Laminate the STEM Bin covers and adhere to the front of the containers using Velcro dots or Scotch tape.
Although free-choice, creative engineering is highly encouraged with Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins, task cards with real world structures are also provided to inspire students. Task cards should be laminated and attached to metal rings in several sets so that students can create multiple structures using one material. This allows them more flexibility because certain materials lend themselves more easily to certain types of structures. This also allows them to persevere, explore, and test with one material for a more extended period of time.
The management of your Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins is completely up to you, as they can be used during multiple times of your day. Students can take bins outside during brain breaks or a scheduled outdoor discovery time. “Challenge Yourself” cards are provided to take structures to the next level, allowing students to improve and enhance their structures. Teacher Questions and Prompts are also provided.
Includes the following:
Page 3: What Are My Students Learning?
Page 4: How to Use
Page 5: Teacher Questions and Prompts
Page 6: Parent Letter
Pages 7-8: Nature Hunt
Pages 9-12: STEM Bin Covers with Labels & Photos
Pages 13-14: Basic Engineering Skills posters
Pages 15-17: STEM Bin Task Cards
Pages 18-19: Character and Prop Cards
Page 20: “Challenge Yourself” extensions
Page 21: My Outdoor Creations (Foldable Booklet)
Page 22: My Outdoor Creations (Pictures/iPad Template for Pic Collage app)
Pages 23-26: Writing Prompts and templates
Page 27: Credits
***Separate File: EDITABLE Outdoor Discovery STEM Bin Cover to add your own photos and materials and EDITABLE task cards***
***Separate File: STEAM Version of all materials
©Teach Outside the Box, LLC
Thank you so much for visiting my store!
Nicole M. –
I made sets of stem bins using these graphics that my second grade students loved! I now teach kindergarten and they are still applicable and well liked. The graphic cards are awesome and help to promote critical and creative thinking. They can be used individually or in pairs and are easy to manage once you create them. The supplies list was super helpful, right down to where to purchase the items included in her samples. I found about all of them with no trouble and they have lasted years! A great vacation project to make for your classroom and most materials are quarantinable and able to used by another student after a short period of time if you are using them for ” in person learning” during this pandemic. -Nicole M.
Angleia T. –
The children were so excited to find this in the outdoor learning area! The stimulus pictures engaged the children and they came up with some wonderful structures of their own, great problem solving and teamwork involved. -Angleia T.
Sara R. –
I love this, and it is super easy. Most items are what you already have. You can even use large ziplock bags to contain the items so that you don’t need to buy a morning tub to store the items. -Sara R.
Allison M. –
my students enjoyed these during distance learning last spring! I plan to use them again this year, both in-person and virtually! (my school is currently using a hybrid schedule) -Allison M.
Jennifer M. –
My class uses and loves STEM Bins, so naturally I was super excited to see these Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins. These were a perfect activity for our outdoor learning periods due to COVID and the kids truly enjoyed being creative with them. -Jennifer M.
Marissa J. –
I love having the outdoor stem bins! My kids love using them during play workshop and listening to them play and tell stories has been so much fun! -Marissa J.
Jessica T. –
Such a great addition to my summer school STEM club. We went on nature walks to find items for the bins and my students loved it. -Jessica T.
Shannon C. –
I just made all of these bins and I am so excited for the fall! My outdoor program really needed some help and I am so thankful that I found this resource. My own 2 children have been loving these tubs, so I know my class will too! Thank you so much, this is exactly what I needed! -Shannon C.
Amber Y. –
This resource was exactly what I was looking for! It was easy to set up and implement in my classroom and my students were very engaged. It was easy to adapt for my students who needed accomodations/modifications! I would recommend this resource for any other kindergarten teacher out there looking to use this in their classroom. -Amber Y.
Laura G. –
This product really helped my get outside with my two boys during these crazy times and learning how to homeschool for the first time! Thank you for making it all so simple yet colorful and very thorough! We even invited friends over to enjoy the fun with us! Thank you! -Laura G.