Family Engagement


Science learning and fun isn't just for school!  These are some activities you can do as a family to learn and laugh together. 

Note: Many of these links are to external websites not managed by Inside the Outdoors.

Project Zero Waste at Home

Inside the Outdoors is working with schools to help reduce waste on school campuses.  You can also reduce your waste at home.  Here are some ideas of ways to reduce what ends up in the landfill.

EcoChallege Activity Book

EcoChallege - Hazardous Waste Disposal

Column Composter - Build a mini composter that allows you to see decomposition in action!

Waste Reduction Challenge

Small Footprint Family - Ways to reduce waste at Home

Using Repurposed Materials for Crafts

Waste Reduction Resources - Includes information about local trash haulers.

Go Outside!

​Take your family outside and explore your neighborhood.  These are some activities that can be done as a family.

NSI (Nature Scene Investigators) Backyard Missions

Backyard Birding

Make a Rain Gauge

Project Learning Tree Family Activities

Homemade Spectroscope - Seeing Rainbows in the world

Let's Go Outside - Activities and Hikes in Orange County

Fun Orange County Parks - Park Tips and Play Trips

Plan a Day Out - Things to do in Orange County

Get to Know - Activities to help your family get to know the outdoors

Kitchen Science Lab

Turn your kitchen into a science lab!  These are some fun experiments that use common kitchen items.

Red Cabbage pH Paper

Kitchen Science for Kids - Over 30 different experiments

Science Kiddo Experiment Ideas

Engineering Challenges at Home

Challenge your family to use repurposed items in these activities.

Build a Bird Nest

Straw Boats

Build a Kish

Water Savers

Is your home water efficient?  In what ways can you save water at home?

Water Education Family Activities - Provided by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Water Calculator - Where do you use water in your house and tips on how to reduce water usage.

Install a Rain Barrel - You might be eligible for a rebate from the state!

Residential Water Rebates

Nature Scene Investigators - NSI

Nature Scene Investigators (NSI), a clue-based outdoor program with self-guided activities that guide your family though local Orange County Parks.  This project was created by local High School students as part of a school Service Learning Project.  NSI booklets are available at Inside the Outdoors events and local Orange County Parks and Libraries. 

Some of the operations are also available to download.

NSI Backyard Missions

Free/Low Cost Field Guide Apps

This is a short list of apps that our staff use to help with identifcation in the field.  These are free or low cost apps that are available on most platforms.  Search for these apps in App Store or similar store on your device.

Bird Identification

Merlin-(free) bird identification by Cornell University,
Audubon Bird Guide: California

Plant Identification

iNaturalist-(free) plant identification app
PlantNet (Pl@ntNet)


Hiking Project/Climbing Project/Mountain Project


Seek by iNaturalist
National Geographic – Many different apps fordifferent audiences

Interested in Student Contests?

Visit Contests and School Wide Activities page for contests available for students in and around Orange County!  Most of these contests are for individuals and students can participate on their own.

Nurturing a Natural Curiosity Inside the Outdoors logo with tree, bird, stream 714-708-3885