These kits bring science to life for kids through hands-on projects that touch on a variety of disciplines.
What kind of world will our children grow up in?
It’s a question generations of parents have asked themselves.
And while your guess is a good as mine, one thing we can be sure of is this: technology and science will continue to play an increasing role in our children’s lives.
For example, just think about how our own lives have been changed by technology: most jobs now require the use of computers every day, smartphones and social media have transformed communication, and our ability to access data on just about any topic is practically instantaneous.
Our children are likely to experience just as many technological and scientific changes in their own lives over the coming decades. Which is why an understanding of science and technology is so crucial.
- Approximately 65% of children entering primary schools today will likely work in roles that don’t currently exist due to technological advances.
- These jobs will require employees to think critically, synthesize information accurately, and solve problems creatively – skills that kids acquire through science education.
We also know that science education is essential for kids to understand aspects of their everyday lives: the weather, their health, cooking, and nature, to name a few.
While most children are exposed to science in school, letting kids play with science kits at home can make tinkering, exploring and experimenting all the more interesting and fun.
The science kits for kids and teens listed below cover a wide range of sciences and focus on a variety of different themes and interests. To make the cut for this list, a kit had to appear interesting and get the best reviews.
Looking for something specific? Click on a link below to be taken to that section:
General science kits
If you’re looking for a kit that touches on a few different fields, the kits listed below are a good option.
Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Activity Set: (Ages 3 and up) This general activity kit is designed for young kids. It includes 20 activity cards as well as step-by-step activities.
Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit: (Ages 6-8) This kit teaches kids the basics of science from chemical reactions to the use of science tools.
Learn & Climb Kids Science Kit: (Ages 5+) This general kit includes sixty experiments plus many of the supplies needed.
4M Kitchen Science Kit: (Ages 8 and up) This smaller kit allows kids to perform six different projects using common kitchen ingredients.
Chemistry kits for kids
These chemistry kits for kids focus on different interests to appeal to a wide range of children and ages.
MindWare Science Academy Perfume Lab: (Ages 4 and up) Discover the chemistry behind perfume with this kit that includes step-by-step instructions to create a variety of fragrances. The kit also includes information on essential oil extraction and the smell of science.
Scientific Explorer Magic Science: (Ages 6 and up) This kit capitalizes on kids’ interest in magic through experiments such as making ordinary powder foam, change color or “magically” boil, among other activities.
Crayola Color Chemistry Set: (Ages 7-10) Learn about the basics of chemistry through color. Included in the kit are fifty projects and enough supplies to do sixteen experiments right out of the box.
FIZZ! Chemistry Science Kit for Kids: (Ages 8 and up) This kit includes thirty-two experiments sixteen lab tools that allow kids to conduct chemical experiments that snap, crack and spar.
4M KidzLabs Volcano Making Kit: (Ages 8 and up) This kit allows kids to create and design their own volcano. Once it’s complete, they can use baking soda and vinegar to see it erupt (baking soda and vinegar aren’t included in the kit).
Playz Kaboom! Explosive Combustion Kit: (Ages 8 – 13) This kit explores explosive combustion with 25 experiments. For example, experiments include rockets, helium balloons, fizzy bombs and color explosions.
Scientific Explorer Tasty Science Kit: (Ages 8 and up) This kit teaches kids the chemistry behind food such as why soda pop fizzes and why cakes rise, among other chemical reactions.
4M Crystal Growing Experiment Kit: (Ages 10 and up) This kit contains all the materials needed to perform seven different crystal growth experiments.
Electricity and circuits kits
There’s a sense of satisfaction that occurs when one successfully causes a light bulb to light. These kits offer a variety of ways kids of different ages can explore circuits and electricity.
Snap Circuits Beginner Electronics Exploration Kit: (Ages 5 and up) This kit provides young children with a good introduction on how to build circuits and conduct electricity. It’s also designed with young kids in mind with it’s easy-to-follow instructions and extra safety features.
Circuit Cubes Bright Lights: (Ages 8-12) Calling all Lego fans: this kit is the perfect way to motorize and illuminate Lego creations. Circuit Cubes provides its own cubes, building bricks, wheels, and gears plus instructions to build a space rover, a monster truck, and more.
Squishy Circuits Lite Kit: (Ages 8 and up) This kit uses conductive and insulating play dough to teach the basics of electrical circuits. Kids can light up their creations with LEDs, make noises with buzzers, and spin their creations with a motor.
Snap Circuits Pro Electronics Explorations Kit: (Ages 8-10) For any child with a serious interest in electronics, this kit has over five hundred experiments with seventy-six parts. For example, kids can build a digital voice recorder, AM radio, digitally tuned FM radio, an AC generator, a whistle switch and more.
Engineering & physics kits for kids
These kits provide kids with hands-on projects to help them better understand key engineering and physics concepts.
Wooden Ferris Wheel Building Kit: (Ages 7 and up) Kids can build their own mini ferris wheel with this building kit that comes will all the supplies and tools necessary.
Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit: (Ages 8 and up) With the addition of Lego bricks, kids can build ten machines that can be combined to make different chain reactions.
Thames & Kosmos Physics Workshop: (Ages 8-12) This kit provides a comprehensive explanation of mechanical physics. It includes instructions to build thirty-six models and instructions on how to conduct experiments with those models.
Playz V8 Combustion Engine Model Building Kit: (Ages 12 and up) Kids will learn about mechanical engineering by building a mini replica of a classic four-cycle internal combustion gasoline car engine. This kit includes everything needed to build the engine.
Kits that focus on geology, nature, and biology
Help kids explore and better understand the natural world with these kits.
Dancing Bear Fossil Collection Sorting Kit: (Ages 3 and up) This kit includes over 100 authentic fossils (20 different types) that kids can match with included identification sheets and geological time cards.
Moody Goat Outdoor Explorer Kit: (Ages 5 and up) A kit to inspire outdoor adventure. This kit includes nineteen separate accessories and gadgets. For example, it includes a pair of binoculars, a bug catcher, three bug containers, a compass, two different-sized magnifying glasses, and a backpack to store everything.
Creativity for Kids Grow n’ Glow Terrarium: (Ages 6 and up) This terrarium kit includes a mason-style jar, a decorative lid, potting mix, organic chia and wheat grass seeds, garden figurines, decorative sand, river stones, and a plant mister to keep the terrarium watered.
Scientific Explorer Beeology Science Kit: (Ages 6 and up) Help kids better understand bees and their importance in ecosystems with the activities included in this kit.
Back to the Roots Water Garden and Fish Aquaponic Ecosystem: (Age 7 and up) This kit is a micro-ecosystem in action. The plants in this aquaponic water garden grow using fish waste as nutrients and at the same time, keep the water clean for the fish.
National Geographic Mega Gemstone Dig Kit: (Ages 8 and up) This kit simulates what it’s like to mine for gemstones. Kids can dig for the fifteen hidden gemstones including pyrite, amethyst, tiger’s eye, fluorite, and quartz.
Animal Science Kit for Kids: (Ages 8 and up) Kids will learn about animals with the ten activities in this kit. For example, kids can dissect an owl pellet, identify animal bones, conduct an experiment to turn hard bone into rubbery bones, and more.
4M Weather Science Kit: (Ages 8-15) This kit includes a variety of activities to help kids understand how our weather works. Examples of activities include: building a desktop water cycle model, making clouds, watching air currents and studying the greenhouse effect and acid rain.
Build-your-own robot kits for kids
What better way to learn about engineering and other aspects of STEM than to build your own robot?
Giggleway DIT Electric Motor Robot Kits: (ages 8 and up) This kit lets kids build three of their own robots: an electric balance car, a doodling robot, and a reptile robot.
Smarts Toy DIT Wooden Solar Car Kit: (ages 8 and up) Kids can build and paint their own solar-powered robot car with this kit.
ZOOB Builder Bot: (Ages 6-18) Kids can use their creativity and build their own robots with the ZOOB BOT kit. Included in the kit are forty-nine pieces including motorized wheels and light-up eyes. Also included are instructions to build two robots.
4M Kidzrobotix Fridge Robot: (Ages 8 and up) Does your kid have an interest in robots? He or she will have fun building this robot and then watch it climb their refrigerator! Everything is included in this kit except for AAA batteries.
Science subscription boxes for kids
Science subscription boxes differ from kits in that they offer new projects every month and often expose children to a wide variety of sciences. You can choose to subscribe for 3, 6, or 12 months. Click here to see five other science subscription boxes in addition to the ones highlighted here.
Kiwi and Tinker Crates: (Ages 5-16) These boxes provide kids with projects that teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) principles. For example, Kiwi Crate projects (for ages 5-8) include an arcade claw, a study on shadow and light and the science of color. And Tinker Crate projects (for ages 9-16) include a trebuchet and studies in hydraulics and motors.
Spangler Science Club: (Ages 7-14) Brought to you by TV personality Steve Spangler, the Spangler Science Club boxes focus on serious hands-on projects that cover a range of sciences. Recipients of the boxes will receive up to ten experiments and projects in each box.
Green Kid Crafts: (Ages 2-10) Despite the word “crafts” in the title, Green Kid Crafts primarily has a science focus. For example, each box offers kids a wide range of hands-on STEAM projects each month that are focused on a different theme. Examples of themes include rocket science, an introduction to electricity, and backyard science.
Genius Box: (Ages 8-12) This box is essentially a toolkit that allow kids to complete three STEM activities each month. For example, a few of the topics already covered in Genius Boxes include: robotics, forensics, crystals, and rockets.