Fun STEM Activities For Your Summer Bucket List

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STEM Activities for Summer Bucket List

I know it’s hard to think about summer when this winter has been never ending. The last quarter of school started earlier this month, so it’s only a matter a time before I start yelling at the kids to take a screen break and go outside to play.

Every year I vow to be more organized about our summer activities. It doesn’t happen because I’m juggling working from home, feeding my family, and a million other household chores.

How about we do things different this summer? Instead of creating a schedule of activities, I made a list of fun STEM activities for the summer. Each week, we’ll look over it as a family and choose a couple of things. Then I can schedule my work (thank goodness for flexible work at home life) around our summer activities.

Did I miss something on this list? Add it in the comments!

Fun STEM Activities to Try This Summer

Get Out of the House

Jaxson matching neurons at Franklin Institute

Playing with neurons at Franklin Institute

Most cities have abundant resources for STEM learning. They include obvious places such as museums or science centers, but you don’t need a formal center to find your own fun.

Museums: My kids love science museums because of all the hands-on exhibits. Even if you don’t live near one, it’s worth a day or overnight trip. We’ve trekked to Philly to visit The Franklin Institute (see our visit here). There’s the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore and all the Smithsonians, Air & Space Museum, and more in DC metro.

Children’s museums & activity centers: Children’s museums are usually geared towards younger kids, but they bring out the inner kid in our entire family. Look for places like Port Discovery and Snapology in Maryland. We’ve seen live science shows and exhibits at Port Discovery. STEM focused places like Snapology offer a wide range of activities for your kids. Check the Snapology website for locations near you.

Parks, botanical gardens, & nature centers: Create scavenger lists or pick up  Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail for a nature walk at your local park or your backyard!

Zoos & aquariums: We love zoos, especially when there’s baby animals. My kids still talk about when we saw the baby cheetahs at the National Zoo.  So adorable! Not only can you walk the zoo or aquarium at your own pace, but most have special events that let you meet animals and chatting with the scientists who take care of the animals.

STEM Subscription Boxes & Activity Kits

Sometimes you can’t get out. Or the weather isn’t cooperating. That’s why I love the convenience of kits. I try to keep at least one hidden away for hot or rainy days. Kits come with almost everything you need to complete the project. If your kids are older, you can even let them complete it independently.

Klutz Maker Lab Circuit Kit contains 5 different projects/games which means your kids won’t get bored (as quickly). The kit comes with electronic components to DIY the games and a book with detailed instructions. They also offer a Gumball Kit.

Groovy Lab in a Box: Subscription boxes are great because you get a new project every month! Each box contains almost all the supplies your kids need to complete the activities, inquiry experiments, tests, and engineering challenges. They also offer one-time purchase boxes with themes such as What Goes Up, Pull Your Weight, and Lunar Launch.

Thames and Kosmos Science or Magic Science Kit: My daughter has always been skeptical about magicians so this kit would be perfect for her! It teaches magic tricks and the science behind each one.


You can never go wrong with books! Before I make some recommendations, don’t forget about your library. Your local library offers fun programs year round, but they add even more kids programming during the summer. We’ve seen science shows and climbed inside an inflatable planetarium thanks to our library.

10 Biographies About Women Scientists and Explorers For Kids via I'm Not the Nanny

Learning about groundbreaking scientists is an important part of STEM learning too. I put together a list of diverse women scientists and explorers every kid should know.

STEM colelection

Epic Reads: For a huge, on-the-go friendly selection of science books and videos, try Epic Reads. The digital subscription offers your kids an all-you-can-read selection of all sorts of books not just STEM books. Perfect for road trip or for the kid who devours books! Epic Reads offers 30-day free trial, so give it a try.

On a budget? Check out the current selection of children’s science and technology books at BookOutlet.

Other STEM Activities

Coding: Scratch and are free coding how-to resources that my kids love. They make coding fun and teach kids basic to intermediate coding. My kids play their often.


Watch a science-inspired movie or tv show together. Then discuss the fact from fiction in them. Try Hidden Figures. Then read a book from my books to read after seeing Hidden Figures list.

Free day camps: Every summer Apple and Microsoft stores offer free camps for kids. It’s no surprise that these fill up fast, but they’re worth it. My kids are asking to return to Apple Camp this summer.

Whew! That’s a long list. Thanks for reading this far. 

What STEM activities do you have on your list for this summer?


  1. Roz Dougherty April 23, 2018
  2. Kay April 26, 2018
  3. Lisa Frame April 26, 2018