Most children are enamored by the mysteries and magic of science. They’re so curious about how things work; they love to question and experiment with things whenever they come across something new. To supplement what children get in school, you can purchase science kits that spark that imagination and feed the curiosity. There really is a kit for everything: from volcanoes to butterflies to crystals, and everything in between. One of the great things about science kits is that they come with everything you need for the experiments, so you don’t have to run around buying different materials. Choosing the right kit for your young scientist can be a bit daunting, though. That’s why we’ve narrowed it down to the 7 best science kits on the market. We’ll help you get the sparks flying!
Best Science Kits for Kids
(Most Variety — $)
Why it’s great: If your child hasn’t quite figured out which science experiments are their faves yet, this kit will be a perfect starter. With 21 experiments, there are sure to be several activities that ‘blow’ their minds! Some of the activities include creating a lava lamp, growing crystals, and making a mini volcano. The items are all included except a few household items, so there’s no need to chase around or create delay during an experiment. The Learn & Climb Dynamo Kit fortunately features a full color instruction manual with easy to understand illustrations. Not every kit out there has such easy to follow instructions, so that’s a great bonus. Each page is broken down into simple steps to complete individual experiments. Kids 5 years and up will have a lot of fun with this entertaining array of activities.
Keep in mind: Young kids are going to need some initial assistance understanding the instructions, but luckily there are pictures for guidance.
Good for: Kids who haven’t done much experimenting yet, and want a little bit of everything.
(Best for teamwork — $)
Why it’s great: It seems like most little kids are into dinosaurs at some point. Maybe it’s the impressive mystery of the large reptile world that once was…. Or maybe it’s simply the unusual look of the animals. No matter what strums up the interest, you can feed your child’s imagination by letting them ‘dig in’ to learning with this dino egg kit. It comes with 12 dinosaur models that each young paleontologist will ‘excavate’. They chip away with small chisels until their dinosaur is revealed. One of the parts I love about this one is that there are information cards about each dinosaur; a good teaching tool. This can also be a great birthday party activity, since it comes with the 12 dino eggs AND 12 chisels/brushes. Then they can compare their dinos after excavation and even work out trades if they wish. So many possibilities, and all very exciting for young children.
Keep in mind: It doesn’t take a long time to excavate the eggs; typically 5 minutes per egg at a typical child’s pace.
Good for: Birthday party activities, Easter egg twist
(Most strategical — $$)
Why it’s great: The goal with Circuit Maze is to create real electrical circuits that light up when you’ve created it correctly. There are 60 different challenges that go from an easy level all the way up to a challenging level, which means your child can increase the difficulty as they progress. They actually discover how real circuits work! This logic game is perfect for a kid who likes smart games and challenging activities. The instruction cards are easy to understand and lead the child through the different challenges. It’s quick to set up and fun to go back to over and over again (we love it for rainy days!). This science kit is sure to ‘electrify’ your child’s curiosity through fun game play!
Keep in mind: There are small pieces with this, so young children are not a good fit. It’s specifically for ages 8 and up. I suggest doing this in on a clean table, where pieces won’t get lost.
Good for: Slightly older children who like logic puzzles.
(Best technology — $$$)
Why it’s great: Designed for ages 8 and up, this STEM robotics kit helps kids learn robot programming in a fun, yet simple way. If your child is interested in electronics, robotics, coding, or just likes problem solving, this will be a great science kit for him/her. The materials needed are included, except for the app you’ll need to download on your own device to control the software. You can also use the remote control that comes with it for many of the functions. With this kit, there are over 60 games to engage with, and the kids will learn to code in a step-by-step way. Educators love having a few of these in the classroom for group STEM activities. There are online instructions and ideas for teachers/parents to help guide children if you choose to use it in an educational setting. The possibilities seem endless with this great robot kit. This keeps your kiddo entertained and learning at the same time.
Keep in mind: You will need to have internet and the ability to download an app.
Good for: Classrooms, homeschooling, or teaching coding
(Most fantastical — $$)
Why it’s great: The colors draw us in; who doesn’t love pretty crystals that you can actually create in your own kitchen?! This science kit contains 6 different colors of crystals, and comes with a night light display for showing off your finished product. The full-color learning guide that is included with the set reinforces STEM education that is so important to a child’s academic development. One of the best things about this crystal kit is that the crystals are created faster than the usual counterparts that you can purchase. In only 3-4 days, children can see definite changes and growth. It’s fun for them to check the development each day, and to read about the changes that are occurring. This is a great basic science kit for children who are patient and like the accomplishment of seeing something grow over (a short) time.
Keep in mind: Don’t use aluminum pots when heating the materials, as this can change the quality of the crystals.
Good for: Children who are interested in colorful creations, or mystical worlds of unicorns and fairies that this can contribute to in imagination.
(Most objective — $$)
Why it’s great: To feel the most like a real scientist, you need a microscope and briefcase, right? That’s how children feel when they utilize this science kit that’s equipped with a microscope, slides, and other tools all in a handy case that they can carry with them. There’s actually 52 pieces included in this set. One of the most interesting for my son was the brine shrimp experiment. He was able to observe the life cycle of the tiny brine shrimp and gain hands-on experience in the scientific method, observational analysis, and note-taking. He also really enjoyed being able to focus the magnifications on the microscope to see what different things are made of. It’s great for reinforcing STEM activities they are doing in school. It comes with everything your child will need, even petri dishes and tweezers. Inspire their inner scientist with this microscope set!
Keep in mind: It’s helpful to watch YouTube videos about the different things you can do with the set, including how to grow the brine shrimp, before attempting them.
Good for: Inquisitive kids who always ask “why?” or “how?”.
(Most lively — $$)
Why it’s great: This is a kit that goes above and beyond, toting over 25 different experiments you can do. Of course, there’s a helpful activity and lab guide to help your kiddo walk through the experiments. Unlike slower experiments that you need to cultivate results over time, these experiments yield fast results which are perfect for short attention spans. This kit is better for kids 8 years old and up, due to some of the more complex activities that are included. For example, making an orange into a candle, or powering volcanic activities with a lemon! It’s a very exciting way to learn, and even adults will be surprised of some of the reactions that are created. This Playz kit will engage the mind with STEM activities in an entertaining way. A lot of excitement for an affordable price, too!
Keep in mind: You will need some common household items (such as water, dishsoap, and salt) for some experiments.
Good for: Energetic children who like exciting experiments with quick results.
FAQs about Science Kits for Kids
1. How do I know which science kits are right for my child?
First, evaluate your child’s interests. Are they going through a dino phase? Are they curious about nature? After you figure out a theme, check for science kits that fit your child’s age group. Then you can narrow down a science kit to start with, which is sure to entertain.
2. Can the science kits be used over and over again?
Some science kits house multiple experiments, which can be spread out over time. However, generally once a science kit is used, it cannot be re-used without at least replacing some components. For instance, crystal growing sets conclude when the materials provided are used up. However, with a microscope set, several of the pieces can be used over again (slides, petri dish, etc) and new materials can be brought to the table for continued experiments.
3. Are science kits messy? Should they be done outside?
Some are messier than others. Always read the packaging to find out what’s in store. A volcano? On the messy side. Dino egg excavation? Also sure to be a bit of a clean up. But not all experiments will be that way. Even so, it’s nice to lay down some newspapers or a towel before letting your child loose; your carpet will thank you later! You can always do them outside if there’s adequate shade and minimal wind.
4. Are science kits a good birthday gift for another child?
Since most children are inquisitive and drawn to science naturally, a science kit as a holiday or birthday gift can be a huge hit. I suggest getting one of the science kits that has several types of experiments in one. That way, it’s not too specific and you can be assured that the recipient has plenty of variety to choose from and enjoy.
5. What can I expect to find in a science kit?
Most materials will be supplied in the kit you choose. You shouldn’t have to buy extra items to go along with it. However, it’s a good idea to read the package for any household items that may be necessary to supplement. Such as salt, oil, soap, a paper clip. Sometimes those types of things are not included, but are easy enough to encounter at home.
6. What is a good first science kit to start with?
As you can see, science kits have a wide variety of themes and fit a multitude of personalities. Your budding scientist will find plenty to keep the interest high, all the while learning while having fun. The high importance of STEM activities has been noted in the research, and that’s a heavy component of science kits. It really doesn’t matter which theme your child is in to…. Volcanos, dinosaurs, human anatomy, explosions…. no matter what your kids’ interests are when it comes to science, there is a kit for them. You may even find a kit you’d like to try out, too!