Backyard Science Activities and Ideas for Families
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Explore Living Landscapes

Superheroes TurfMutt & the Outdoor Powers teach kids and families backyard science, including how to take better care of the green spaces around them and the importance of living landscapes. With the activities in this hands-on science program, you can help them save the planet one yard at a time.

Read TurfMutt’s True Story >

Be A Backyard Supehero Contest

This contest is now closed. Check back again in the 2016/2017 school year!

child with cape

Help your kids be BACKYARD HEROES! Check out these resources on Living Landscapes to help you and your child care for green spaces sustainably.

Get Additional Activity Sheets >

Videos: Tips to Go Green

play circle
family taking walk

Backyard Science for Teachers

Creative Writing Story Tool


© 2016 brought to you by OPEI. Photos: superhero kid, © Dean Mitchell/Getty Images;
family walking, © Klaus Tiedge/Blend Images/Getty Images.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited. The contest is open only to public schools, accredited private schools, and home schools in compliance with their state of residence and have any or all of the following grades: K–5 in the fifty (50) United States (and the District of Columbia). The contest entries on behalf of the School must be composed by a student currently attending the School who is a legal resident of the United States and is enrolled in grades K–5. Entries may only be submitted electronically or via mail by teachers and/or parents/legal guardians on behalf of the student/child. To enter the Be a Backyard Superhero Contest, the eligible student must create an original picture using the character cutouts. Then the student will write a story about how he/she is a Backyard Superhero working to combat the environmental villains (Carbon Creep, Dust Demon, Dr. Runoff, and Heat Freak) alongside TurfMutt & the Outdoor Powers and save living landscapes everywhere. For students in grades K–2 the story should be 25–50 words and for students in grades 3–5 the story should be 100–150 words. Start: 12:01 a.m. ET on 10/14/16; deadline: 11:59 p.m. ET on 1/23/17. The student’s parent/teacher must submit the entry in one of two ways: (i) Visit and complete the online registration form; or (ii) mail the completed entry form (available at to Scholastic’s Be a Backyard Superhero Contest, Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, 5th Floor, Attn: M. Montalvo, Office 540, New York, New York 10012. One (1) Grand Prize winning school will receive a $10,000 grant from OPEI to improve their green space and a trip for a teacher to attend the National Science Teachers Association conference in Los Angeles, CA, 3/30/17 – 4/2/17 (Approximate Retail Value: $13,000). Official Rules: SPONSOR: Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012