Having gear ready and portable helps make outdoor math and science activities fun and interesting. Here are some materials you might want to keep in your backpack for spontaneous science and math investigations:

  • A "measuring kit" with ribbons in various lengths, plus a cloth windup tape measure for long distances. Measure footprints, heights, jumps, and hops. 
  • Chalk for quick designs such as islands to hop around and segmented snakes that children can use to count their way from head to tail.
  • Beanbags that will enable a variety of math activities. How many can children toss in a bucket? Drop from the climber into the bucket? How far can children throw one?
  • Magnifying glasses on cords; baggies for collections; egg cartons for rock collections; paint samples for "matching color" hikes.

(See the special feature, "Pack 'n' Go Activities" for more backpack fun ideas.)