DIY Outdoor Science Discovery Center

3 Materials
3 Hours
This Outdoor Science Discovery Center is a STEM twist on the classic outdoor kitchen. Kids can explore the world around them through science and nature pretend play.
I wanted to make this space minimal, but provide several different kinds of tools for her to use during my daughter's outdoor exploration. She can really use this workbench in any way she wants, but it’s specifically equipped for scientific discovery. Yay STEM and STEAM activities for preschoolers!
This project is completely made out of 2×3″ boards and cedar fence posts that we found in the cull (discarded) lumber section, so this is a very simple build. It’s easy to make in an afternoon.
I also created several sets of Vintage Science and Nature Flash Cards to go along with this Science discovery center, which  you can find by clicking here.
  • (2) 24″ (Front Legs)
  • (2) 55″ (Back Legs)
  • (3) 50″ (Table Frame + Shelf)
  • (1) 54″ (Back Top Support)
  • (2) 15″ (Table Frame)
  • (2) 17″ (Lower Shelf Supports)

  • (9) 50″ (Lower Shelf + Backing)
  • (4) 54″ (Table)

I started by building the frame – making the rectangle frame for the top of the table and adding the legs. There are two shorter legs on the front of the center and two longer legs on the back that will serve as the support for the back of the center.

Then I added two supports about 3″ up from the bottom to support the lower shelf. I used a piece of scrap wood to measure both sides of the bottom support to ensure they were level.
I added 50″ cedar fence posts to the table and the lower shelf, and then up the back of the piece. We just attached these boards with a nail gun – it was quick and easy!
We did cut a rectangle on the back piece of cedar fencing to accommodate the back support.
I finished by adding a top support, some hooks, and a shelf as an extra little space for treasures to be stored. (Kids always come up with a lot of treasures, don’t they!?)
This Outdoor Science and Research Station for Kids turned out wonderfully!
It’s a little twist on the classic outdoor mud kitchen for kids.
I love anything that will get my kids outside and exploring the world around them!
I love sharing these projects with you! I really hope you find them useful – maybe even inspiring a project for your backyard. If you want to see more photos and details from this project, just visit the blog - If you have any questions, just ask them in the comments and I’ll be happy to help!
Suggested materials:
  • Cedar Planking
  • 2x3" Wood
  • Single Hooks
Megan Harney | Our Handcrafted Life
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation