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The Best Science Kits for Kids

Christin Lola/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated May 2022

Learning about the world doesn't have to be a cut-and-dry fact-building fun-zapper. If we engage children early on, the more prepared they'll be. Below are science kits that target various age groups and interests to get them excited about science.

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  Glow-in-the-Dark Fun Best with Volcanoes Comes with Lab Coat Online Video Lessons Best Value
 
  NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Mega Chemistry Kit
Learn & Climb
Kids' Science Kit for Ages 8-12
UNGLINGA
Science Kit for Kids
Learn & Climb
Science Set for Kids Ages 4-8
Einstein Box
Science Experiment Kit for Kids
 
Our SummaryThis loaded, colorful, interactive science kit will encourage your child to awaken their inner chemist.This large science kit features not only the classic baking soda volcano experiment but a whole host of other projects as well.This STEM-oriented science kit is meant to encourage girls and boys to advance their science and art aptitude alike.This science kit aimed at younger kids offers fun experiments and teaches basic science facts.Your child will be entertained and educated for hours on end, thanks to the 100 different potential experiments this kit contains.
ProsColorful, engaging, intro to chemistry, good quantity of experiments, several varieties, can produce toys.Classic science experiment, wide variety, DVD and manual instructions, good value, covers all STEM fields.Wide age range, scientist outfit included, STEM and art in one, step-by-step instructions.Great starter kit, affordable, kid-friendly instruction manual, online video option, ASTM-safety approved.High quantity of experiments, good value, better stocked, simple picture instructions, safety-tested and approved.
ConsOlder kids only, messy, doesn't contain all materials.Many common household items missing.Very limited ingredients included, less experiments.Fewer experiments, won't engage older kids.May leak, too simple for teens.
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The Best Science Kits for Kids

A little girl child is at home doing a science experiment with a toy science kit.
Christin Lola/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Science Kits for Kids

Young students, girl and boy, working in pair, putting a robotics kit together.
Yuriy Golub/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a science kit for kids?

Finding a child’s toy that is fun and educational is every parent’s goal, and a home science kit aimed at kids fits the bill perfectly. These kits contain all the necessary components for children to conduct their hands-on scientific experiments at home and keep them entertained for hours at a time. In many cases, the experiment in these kits is repeatable. They contain multiple experiments. The result is a toy your child can keep playing with even after the experiment is over. Children use their imagination and build their critical thinking skills while learning scientific facts, the scientific process, and the world around them. If the experiments are group-oriented, it also helps them to learn about teamwork and how to work well with others.

What should you look for in a science kit for kids?

  • Age and Learning Style: Use the targeted age range as a gauge, not a directive. Some products will indicate ages five and up, for example. Others are for more advanced learners and would overwhelm a child unprepared for hard science. Also, think about how your child learns best. Many products are hands-on, but a number of them include a manual or textbook to accommodate different learning styles.
  • Components: This depends on the kit, so keep an eye out for that. You’ll find that some science kits don’t include essential home ingredients that they’ll assume you already have on hand, like baking soda and vinegar. Think about what you need for cleanup; any parent can tell you how messy kids get.
  • Learning Goals: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is a term you’ll run into when product searching. It indicates an approach to learning the sciences incongruently. There are science kits for young kids that are STEM-oriented. Additionally, some science kits have won educational awards. There is plenty of fun and challenging science kits for kids to choose from.

What types of experiments come in science kits for kids?

It varies based on the target age and the type of science(s) that they’ll be learning in the process. Science kits can teach children chemistry, biology, physics, earth science, and even more specific branches of these sciences, like paleontology or geology, or robotics. Common experiments found in kids’ science kits include making volcanoes, growing crystals, making slime, creating electrical currents, growing plants in terrariums, and mixing color-changing solutions. However, these are far from your only options. A good kids’ science kit will include more than one experiment, sometimes up to a dozen or more. This keeps your children occupied for longer and allows them to learn about a wider variety of topics and sciences.

Our Picks for the Best Science Kits for Kids

Glow-in-the-Dark Fun

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Chemistry Kit

This loaded, colorful, interactive science kit will encourage your child to awaken their inner chemist.

Pros: This science kit is an excellent introduction to chemistry thanks to its detailed yet easy-to-follow instruction booklet featuring step-by-step instructions and 45 chemistry-based experiments. Among other facts, kids will learn the chemical differences between solids, liquids, and gases and how they react together. The various experiments are colorful, hands-on, engaging, and varied to keep your child’s attention longer. Some will even produce toys they can keep playing with afterward, like bouncy balls or glowing worms. If you or your child would prefer an alternative to chemistry, there are three other types of kits from which to choose.

Cons: This kit is designed for ages eight and up; younger kids won’t be able to follow along without a lot of help and supervision. And since this chemistry-based set involves a lot of chemical reactions, be prepared for things to get messy. You may also have to supply the occasional home ingredient.

Bottom Line: All parents are all-too-aware of how easily kids lose interest and their attention shifts, even when they’re past preschool and kindergarten age. Take it up a notch so that your child won’t get bored. This easy-to-follow science kit seamlessly merges traditional science knowledge—specifically chemistry—with fun.

 

Best with Volcanoes

Learn & Climb Kids' Science Kit for Ages 8-12

This large science kit features not only the classic baking soda volcano experiment but a whole host of other projects as well.

Pros: It doesn’t get much more classic than the baking soda volcano experiment, and this kit provides an excellent one and so much more. It instructs young scientists on all the STEM fields, including basic and acidic solutions. They learn to grow crystals, create an erupting volcano, and more. There are 65 different experiments that your child can perform for a slightly lower cost than some less-expensive kits. As a bonus, this science set comes with two instructions, one in DVD form and one in a manual booklet. Your child can follow along in whichever format is better suited to their needs and personality. The DVD also allows slightly younger kids to follow along easily since they won’t have to read the instructions.

Cons: This is another science kit that doesn’t include a few household ingredients you’ll have to provide for yourself.

Bottom Line: This science kit is named ‘Boom! Fun With Science’ for a reason. Your child will have an absolute blast (pun intended) making baking soda volcanoes and watching them bubble over, among other interactive science experiments.

 

Comes with Lab Coat

UNGLINGA Science Kit for Kids

This STEM-oriented science kit is meant to encourage girls and boys to advance their science and art aptitude alike.

Pros: This kit is notable because it covers not just STEM experiments but teaches kids about art and science. They’ll learn about primary colors, color recognition, and more as they mix and experiment. Also noteworthy is that the kit comes with a full scientist’s outfit for your child to wear. Not just a lab coat and goggles but a name tag plus realistic scientific equipment like beakers and test tubes in stands and eyedroppers. The double-sided activity book and cards provide step-by-step instructions to make experimenting easier. Unlike many science kits for kids, this one is suitable for a fairly wide age range—kids as young as three and as old as 11 will be able to enjoy this kit (with some reading help from you for a toddler).

Cons: You receive four bottles of chemicals, but that’s it for experiment ingredients—you’ll have to supply any others on your own.

Bottom Line: Lots of kids love dressing up when they play, and they’ll love feeling like a “real” scientist while conducting their experiments and wearing a complete scientific outfit that comes with this set. Moreover, this is a STEM and a STEAM (STEM + Art) product aimed at challenging kids with diverse interests.

 

Online Video Lessons

Learn & Climb Science Set for Kids Ages 4-8

This science kit aimed at younger kids offers fun experiments and teaches basic science facts.

Pros: This hands-on set makes for a great starter science kit and encourages kids as young as three or four to start experimenting and learning. This is aided by the kid-friendly instruction manual, which explains the “why,” not just the “how” of each experiment, and online videos that show each experiment step-by-step. Your little one won’t have to be a strong reader or know how to read to follow along. This kit is also safety-certified by ASTM and is quite affordable to boot.

Cons: This is a “my first science” kit aimed at younger kids. Once your child hits age eight, they’ll likely grow out of this set and require something a little more complex to hold their interest.

Bottom Line: You know how young kiddos ask questions endlessly, asking why the sky is blue or why soap is a necessary step in washing your hands? Well, this kit might be able to answer some of those questions for you. It’s an excellent first science kit to get children as young as four years old interested in experiments.

Best Value

Einstein Box Science Experiment Kit for Kids

Your child will be entertained and educated for hours on end, thanks to the 100 different potential experiments this kit contains.

Pros: You get excellent bang for your buck with this extensive kids’ science kit. It contains a whopping 100 potential experiments to conduct, many more than most offer. (Note that you’ll have to download an instructional manual from the included link to access all of them.) You will have to supply some items to do all of the experiments, it’s true, but the kit includes components like vinegar and baking soda that many sets expect you to supply yourself. You’ll be able to conduct plenty of experiments with what comes included in the kit. The instructions are easy to follow and include pictures you and your child can refer back to at any time for guidance.

Cons: Though this kit is listed as suitable for ages six to 14, most of the experiments probably won’t be quite engaging enough to keep the interest of most teenagers; it’s best for mid-to-late elementary schoolers. You may encounter some issues with the bottles leaking, so be sure to store them upright in a safe place.

Bottom Line: Get ready to break out the beakers with this high-value scientific kit that provides a broader range of experiments to keep your little one entertained and engaged for that much longer. As an adult, you will appreciate that it includes certain ingredients you often have to supply on your own with other kits.

Final Thoughts

Hands-on learning is far more engaging for most kids than sitting in a classroom or being forced to read textbooks, and with these home science kits, your children will get just that. They’ll be enjoying themselves so much that they won’t even realize that they’re getting educated and learning while they play.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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