Most kids these days devote all of their time to technology, and who could blame them? There’s so many gadgets and gizmos available, and all of the adults have them, so of course, they’re going to want it.
That being said... never underestimate the entertainment (and secret learning!) that a science kit can provide for your child. In the guise of wacky experiments, you can sneakily reinforce an enjoyment of STEM subjects, and teach them a thing or two!
Having had a look at the top science kits on the market right now, we’ve picked out five of our favorites for you to take a look at, spanning chemistry biology and physics based sets so there’s something for everyone.
Want to know more about the benefits of getting your kids involved in science, the earlier the better? Our Buyer’s Guide outlines the positive effects it has on their learning, as well as what to look for in a high-quality kit.
For when you’ve still got a question on the tip of your tongue, we’ve also put together a set of FAQS, providing answers to the most common queries and asks of customers also seeking to spark science joy in their kids. Happy shopping!
OUR TOP PICK
With their decades of experience in giving kids easy access to the sciences, we’re happy to present this kit from National Geographic as our number one, and sure any child aged 8 and up would absolutely love what it has to offer.
Boasting over 15 science experiments and other interesting STEM activities for kids, including the classic erupting volcano, growing their own crystals, even dueling water tornados, there’s hours of entertainment in just one box.
Great for the whole family, to play with friends or even classmates, this little lab at home will allow them to conduct scientific investigations on their own or as part of a larger group, enjoying the magic of discovery together!
For skepticalminiaturized parents, a detailed learning guide is included as standard, teaching the science at work in every experiment to allow a deeper understanding. You could go through this with the kids yourself, or leave them to it - it’s child-friendly.
Each task has clear and distinct instructions that are easy to follow, to build confidence in your burgeoning scientist.
Backed by the NG complete satisfaction guarantee, in the slim event you aren’t satisfied, a full refund can be obtained.
- Wide range of activities to pique your child’s interest.
- Instructions are easy and simple.
- Suitable for solo or group use.
- National Geographic have been serving the US for 130 years.
- Volcano paint and powder is very messy - supervision required!
Got a space cadet for a kid? This kit from Jackinthebox is exactly what you need!
Six high-quality, DIY activities, all with a delightful solar theme, brought to you from renowned educational and learning experts.
As a STEM set, kids aged six and up will be encouraged to use their imagination, boost their confidence and develop practical skills.
They’ll be learning and they won’t even realize, which is huge for stubborn kids who don’t like school very much.
Entirely safe, completely non-toxic and wholly mess free, all products have been produced with strict quality controls in place. The crafts included should be completed without making any fuss, so there’s minimal cleanup required.
As a company, JackInTheBox are proudly women-owned and women-run, so every purchase supports hundreds of underprivileged women to build financial independence and gain confidence moving through the world. Win win!
Thanks to their 100% money back guarantee, even if you aren’t satisfied, you’re entitled to a full refund, no questions asked, in the first thirty days.
We don’t think you’ll need it, but it’s good to have a backup plan!
Safe, non-toxic and completely educational - in secret!
Money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.
Supports a company with great ethics.
Mess-free, kid friendly fun.
Fewer activities included than other options above.
Fit to burst with everything you might need for setting up an authentic home laboratory for your kids, the Lab In A Box from Kids Science is full of miniaturised versions of everything you’d find in a real science lab.
Designed by a team of parents, it includes chemicals that are safe, fresh and ready for experimenting, with all equipment made from durable, washable plastic. Reuse it all again and again - there’s even a premium quality lab coat, just like the real thing.
An included store and carry box is strong and solid, has secure side closing mechanisms and an easy carry handle. The lab can go anywhere you do! Once playtime’s over, it can be put away neatly for next time, without taking up space.
Any kid will be amused and entertained by the captivating kits, which let them mix, measure and make just like a real scientist. Build your own lava lamp, grow crystals, make your own live volcano… even come up with your own ideas!
For ages five and up, you’ll struggle to find a kit that’s filled with as much stuff, will offer as many hours of educational playtime, and has been developed by parents for your peace of mind.
All experiments are reusable - try them over and over again!
Made by parents, so you know it’s safe.
Comes in its own storage box.
Includes a realistic, well-made lab coat and safety goggles.
Some experiments require household items like baking soda or oil.
Though one of the most budget-friendly kits on our list, this offering from Discovery Kids is sure to leave any child #MINDBLOWN, as they get the opportunity to design and grown their own terrarium plant maze.
Learning all about phototropism, children aged eight and up can observe and grow, encouraging plants to move in specific paths through a maze by using the techniques of real botanists. Great for kids with a green thumb!
At the intersection of curiosity and STEM-based education, toys from Discovery Kids not only spark your child’s imagination, but promote their development of necessary skills, useful now and in the future.
Not only can you design and build your own plant maze, but once you’re done growing, you can take it apart and build it again. This is a kit that’s built to last and won’t sit on your shelf gathering dust.
You’re supplied with just about everything you need to get started: mini-shovel, magnifying glass, tweezers, a dropper, and all of the parts to create your own maze terrarium or planter.
Seeds and soil must be purchased necessary, though!
Encourages an early interest in biology.
Clear instructions and simple assembly.
Reusable for years of experimentation.
Fun for you AND the kids!
Seeds and soil not included.
Inspiring a love of science has never been easier (or more fun!) thanks to this Ridiculous Inventions set from Playz, so kids 8-12 and beyond can learn about circuits, switches, static electricity and loads more, in one simple box.
Promoting STEM education as a fun and enjoyable activity, there are more than 26 experiments, over 30 tools and ingredients, and a full-color guide packed with 72 pages of instructions, education guides and yet more activities.
Colorful, bright and easy to use, it will challenge your child’s mind - Playz promise you might even see test grades improve in STEM subjects as a result! With so many hands-on activities, it’ll keep the kids busy for hours.
Though it’s targeted at 8-12s, kids younger and older could certainly benefit from playing with the kit, and so long as there’s a grown up there to supervise, you’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about.
If unhappy with your purchase at any point, just remember the Playz Promise. Contact the manufacturer anytime for a full refund, no questions asked.
That’s how you know you’re getting a quality product your child will love.
More than 26 experiments and activities.
Boasts over 30 tools and other accessories.
Teaches STEM topics entirely DIY to engage kids.
Great if your child struggles with theoretical learning.
Requires common household items and one AA battery, not included.
Best Science Kits For Kids Buying Guide
Why Buy Your Kid A Science Kit?
So, what do these kits have that an iPad or a drone don’t? There are several reasons we recommend science kits as excellent gifts for the children in your life, whether they’ve expressed explicit interest in science or not.
Considered a STEM toy, they are capable of discreetly providing tidbits of education as a child plays with them. Instead of being bombarded with boring information, they are treated to some live-action, hands-on experimenting. It may even get messy!
When you introduce your kids to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, even as early as age two or three, you’re preparing them for the learning they have to come. By the time they hit school, they’ll already have foundations to build on!
Careers and ideas that we are exposed to as kids tend to make their way into our adult life. Buying them a kit could be the start to a future passion for space, botany, chemicals, microbiology… you name it, there’s a kit for it.
The majority of the kits available will be interactive, so the whole family can participate and spend some well-needed quality time together. That doesn’t involve a screen, or the Internet. What a miracle!
There are sets that are suitable for just about any age, from toddler to pre-teen, even some to interest your begrudging teenagers! Not every kit will be dismissed as ‘for babies’ - you’ll surely be able to find at least one to suit the kid you have in mind.
By nurturing an interest in science early on, you can not only enhance a child’s fine motor skills, creative thinking and problem-solving skills, but they’ll have fun as they do it. It’s good preparation for school, but also the world in general.
Absolutely any time away from Youtube, video games and technology in general is a rare treat for youngsters in today’s technological world. We’d highly recommend you giving one of these kits a shot. What have you got to lose?
Features To Look Out For
As we’ve said already, there are hundreds of sets out there, each targeting a different age group. You want to make sure the set you go for is suited to your child’s age, otherwise it’s likely they won’t want to engage with it for very long!
A set aimed at 5-7 year olds, say, will prove far too easy for your kid who is 10, and they’ll quickly become bored of the excitement it has to offer. Likewise, a 5 year old would probably struggle to understand what was going on in a kit for older kids.
Suited To Interests
A child doesn’t have to have shown a direct interest in science for you to buy them a kit. However, if they do seem to have a favorite subject, buying a kit that builds on their preference will only further your interest!
For instance, a kid who’s crazy about dinosaurs would really love the Earth Sciences set from National Geographic we’ve picked out, whilst one into our solar system would surely love the Space Explorer set from Jackinthebox.
Ah, the nemesis of any parent: the interactive, DIY at home kit. Not all of the products we’ve chosen will require cleanup fortunately, so if you’re put off by the idea of that volcano experiment, no need to worry.
If you don’t mind a bit of mess to tidy up, be aware that you might need to lay down some plastic or at the very least, a tablecloth, if you want to protect your furnishings. May we also suggest aprons (or, failing that, dish towels) on the kids?
Whilst everything we’ve chosen is one hundred percent safe and child-friendly, when kids are involved, you can never be too careful. If your little darling is likely to put things in their mouth, maybe don’t go for the kit that comes with fake fossils and dirt.
Most kits will have hazard warnings and clear safety guidelines to follow, so make sure you take note of everything they say. It isn’t like playing a board game - you really do have to read the instructions thoroughly!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a science kit?
Typically designed to effortlessly blend education and enjoyment for kids, they are sets that feature some interactive or experimental elements, as well as bestowing facts and imparting wisdom along the way.
Whether it’s a rock tumblr for some good old fashioned geology, an at-home chemistry kit so your kid can feel like a real lab technician, or a space set that lets them explore the stars, they’ll be able to get involved and learn something new.
Many kids will dislike the idea of studying at home. By avoiding the use of too much theory, and making sure there is plenty to see, smell, hear and touch (though certainly not taste!) they are excellent for kinetic and sensory teaching.
Homeschool educators will also find them useful, as science kits (or some derivative of them) are often utilized in the classroom by teachers. Making a theoretical concept come alive can help even the most confused kids get to grips with hard topics.
Are science kits part of STEM learning?
In a word: yes! STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, so any kit that involves science in some way, shape or form is a STEM learning tool. Of course, it actually has to be educational to count!
As most, if not all, science kits are treated as more than a toy, and will help a child to understand scientific concepts, they can be considered a key part of their education, even when used at home with their family.
That’s why they’re so great. Bringing the classroom alive, getting everybody involved, and convincing the kids they aren’t actually being ‘schooled’ while they learn to boot! It’s genius, and will really set them up for success later in life.
Will I need to supervise my child using a science kit?
That depends on several factors. If your kid is still young enough to need supervision with any toy that may be unsafe for them in some way, you’re going to want to make sure they use the kit around you. Small children + experiment sets = choking!
However, even older kids might need to play within earshot, or will require your help with some of the experiments, building or set up at the very least. If it’s a messy one, we doubly encourage you to stick around and minimize the disaster zone!
Each kit is different, so ensure you check what the manufacturer’s guide or instructions suggest. When it comes to live experimenting, even with household or kitchen supplies that are harmless, it’s probably best an adult supervises. Trust us!