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Playground Science

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Outdoor Learning

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5-7, 7-9, 9-12

Self-directed activities to support learning in science and add purpose and enjoyment to playtimes.

Playground Science is a set of fun and informal science activities that children can carry out in their playtimes. The activities use simple instructions and a small amount of equipment to encourage the children to explore the world around them and to develop scientific skills.

There are two sets of Playground Science bags available:

  • Lower primary for younger children (roughly aged 4-7), and
  • Upper primary for older children (roughly aged 7-11).

Playground Science was written by Regional Mentors Tom Holloway and Ruth Shallcross, with Ali Eley (Outreach Director).

What's in the kit?

Each set of Playground Science includes:

  • Five coloured drawstring bags (one each of: navy blue, turquoise, pink, orange and apple green) with space on the front to add a bespoke label to the bag (e.g. with the topic, class name, year group).
  • Five printed cards to guide the children through the activity. Each card has a set of initial ideas and questions on one side, with a follow-up activity on the back. The follow-up activities are designed to encourage the children to work more scientifically.
  • A teacher guide.

Click here to purchase
Playground science bag

Sample cards

What do Playground Science cards look like?

Playground Science cards are deliberately semi-structured so that children can follow the suggestions if they want, but they also have the option to make their own decisions about what to do. The children can do the activities independently or with other children.

Playground science page

Lower primary card

Playground science page

Upper primary card

Playground science icon

Look, think, wonder


Safety Notice & Disclaimer

PSTT advises teachers to refer to either the CLEAPSS website or SSERC website for up to date health and safety information when planning practical activities for children.

PSTT is not liable for the actions or activities of any reader or anyone else who uses the information in these resource pages or the associated classroom materials. PSTT assumes no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information contained in these resources. PSTT recommends that a full risk assessment is carried out before undertaking in the classroom any of the practical investigations contained in the resources.

All materials are ©Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and are freely available to download and share for educational purposes. Whilst educators are free to adapt the resources to suit their own needs, acknowledgement of copyright on all original materials must be included. Rights to images included in the resource have been purchased for PSTT use only – as such, these images may only be used as part of this resource and may not copied into or used in other materials.