STEM learning has exploded in recent years, and with it the number of manufacturers making science kits for youngsters.
So which are best?
And which should you avoid in favor of some baking soda from the kitchen cupboard?
We’ll tell you. After a nerdy 32-hours combing through science and educational sites, product reviews, customer ratings, and parent feedback, we’ve rounded up the very best science kits for kids. Read on to see our VERY picky list, sorted by age groups.
Let’s do this!
|Best Science Kits for Kids||Award||Our Rating|
|1||Wow & Wonder Stem||Best for toddlers|
|2||Scientific Explorer Kit||Best for 4 to 8 years|
|3||Kaboom! Explosive Combustion||Best for tweens|
|4||Thames & Kosmos CHEM C3000||Best for teens|
|5||Yellow Scope Chemistry Set||Best for girls|
|6||Elenco's Snap Circuits||Best electronic kit|
|7||Experimental Greenhouse Kit||Best botany kit|
|8||AMSCOPE Beginner Microscope||Best microscopy kit|
|9||Toysmith Mineral Science Kit||Best geology kit|
|10||4M Water Rocket Kit||Best astronautical kit|
The Best Science Kits for Toddlers
Best for 3 to 4 Years
Finding a science set for toddlers and young kids is not easy. As parents, we all want to give our kids a headstart in life, but in reality, most science kits are way ahead of very young children. The Wow & Wonder Stem Science Set is an exception. It manages to simplify the beginnings of genuine science into a fun activity kit that is perfect for 3 and 4-year-olds.
Through play, your kiddo will discover the wonders of bubbles, magnets, colors and more. And while it will all feel like fun, they will be introduced to the basics of the scientific method: following a step-by-step method, using tools, and seeing the results.
- Recommended age: 3+
- 10 easy-to-follow activity cards which make conducting experiments easy
- Glasses with different colored lenses to show first-hand the effects of mixing colors;
- 2 test tubes and a fun twisty dropper
- DIY bubble mix and bubble blowers
- Magnet exploration activities
The Best Science Kits for Younger Kids
Best for 4 to 8 Years
We feel this innovative kit is as ‘mind-blowing’ as the title suggests, as it teaches young scientists all about chemistry and scientific principles whilst being incredibly fun and captivating.
Rated for kids aged 4 and up (younger kids need parental supervision), the kit comes with 20 different components, including (safe) chemicals, dyes, test tubes, pipettes, and a comprehensive activity guide.
If you know a budding young scientist burning with curiosity about how the world works, this is the closest thing to a full science lab that you can buy.
- Recommended age: 6+
- Kit lets kids learn about volcanoes, grow crystals, and chemical reactions amongst many other things
- The kit comes with everything to get started but you’ll need a few common household items to do all the experiments listed in the book
- The instruction book is simple enough that parents with a non-science background can easily use it
- Perfect for family bonding
- Stimulates logic and critical thinking skills
Best Toddler Microscope
The GeoSafari Jr. Explorer Scope is a telescope and microscope in one! It features two handles and a neck strap which make it easy for young children to cart around with them as they go on fearless explorations of savannah (ie, the backyard) or deepest jungle (ie, the local woods) to better learn about the natural world.
- Recommended age: 3-6
- Microscope with x8 magnification and telescope with x15
- All optics designed to be comfortable with preschool level of vision
- Comfortable and soft eye pieces
- Great for STEM learning and discovering the natural world on the go
Best for Teens
What 8-year-old doesn’t love the idea of blowing things up! Okay, if they still want to do this in 10-years you might begin to worry, but for now, why not indulge them. Kids love explosions, bangs, fizzes, and whizzes, and this STEM science kit gives them all of this along with some seriously fun lessons in chemistry.
The Kaboom! kit harnesses what would otherwise be “naughty” behaviour and turns it into an educational experience that may just get them hooked on science. Boys and girls will love the hands-on experiments where they get to build rockets, fizz bombs, and colorful explosions.
- Recommended age: 8+
- Chemistry experiments that all end with highly dynamic and exciting chemical reactions – kaboom!
- Tweens will be able to follow the 36 page colorful lab guide book and boss 25 different experiments
- Manufacturers, Playz, are consistently best-sellers and highest rated products on Amazon
Best for Tweens
The CHEM C300 is the flagship chemistry set by STEM giants, Thomes & Kosmos. It provides the closest thing to real lab equipment that older kids can affordably get their hands on and use at home.
This ultimate chemistry set will allow teens to perform over 333 experiments guided by a 192-page full-color science manual. It is sophisticated and advanced while keeping things engaging and fun to follow.
- Recommended age: 12+
- This is a serious set that is perfect for high-schoolers with an interest in chemistry
- It will push them ahead in this subject while instilling true scientific method in their blood as they prepare for an exciting career in science.
Best for Girls
This award-winning Yellow Scope chemistry set (check price on Amazon) was created by a pair of scientist mothers. Determined to open this typically male-dominated field to girls, they set about designing experiments that were relevant and appealing to younger females. They then went further to ensure that the look and feel of this kit was attractive to young girls. After all, while the science is the important part, first you need to get youngsters interested, and we all know kids go for things that look cool.
- Recommended age: 8-12
- It is packed with authentic science and lab gear – serious stuff that will impart the feeling that she is actually being a scientist, not just playing at one.
- Over 19 chemistry experiments that are colorful, surprising, and engaging
- It won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and a Dr. Toy Best Educational Toys Award
Best Electronic Kit
Elenco’s award-winning snap circuit kits enable little tinkerers to work their magic. These colorful, durable circuits have been adopted by educators around the world. The full-color guide offers a long list of kid-approved electronic experiments, none of which require special tools or advanced expertise. Young children can build everything from a burglar alarm to an AM radio. Unlike electronic kits of the past, Snap Circuits are fun, safe, and frustration-free.
With over 305 projects, there’s no shortage of rainy day activities in this pack.
- Recommended age: 8 and up
- Enjoy over 305 electronic projects in one 60-piece kit
- Enjoy hands-on electronic development without tools or live wires
- Comes with a full-color manual
- Build functional creations or play electronic games with friends
- Fosters STEM skills
Best Botany Kit
Perfect for kids as young as 5, this Botany Experimental Greenhouse Kit is perfect for teaching children about how plants grow. The kit comes with instructions for building an automatic watering system, and the innovative viewing domes are guaranteed to fire the imagination of budding biologists.
Simple enough for even little ones to enjoy, the botany greenhouse kit is also sophisticated enough that older children can use it to learn more about capillary action and the different parts of plants.
- Recommended age: 5 to 7
- Getting their hands “dirty” is super fun for all kids
- Constructing the domes and watering system is a great learning experience
- Included instruction book has 30 experiments
- Comes complete with seeds, dirt, and everything you need to get started
The Best Science Kits for Tweens
Best Microscopy Kit
This award-winning microscope has everything tween scientists need to learn more about the hidden world all around them.
With a powerful lens providing up to 1200x magnification, fully adjustable focus, and 52-piece accessory kit, this microscope pack is a truly powerful instrument. The hard-sided carrying case is perfect for field investigations, and the built-in color filter wheel, LED lights, and illumination mirrors mean this is a real microscope, not a simple toy.
- Recommended age: 8-12
- The LED light uses 2 AA batteries (not included) making it easy to conduct mobile experiments
- Kit comes with shrimp eggs and a hatchery for learning about biology
- Accessories include tweezers, petri dish, slides, vials, and everything else you’ll need for a home science lab
- Uses real glass lenses and slides
- Powerful enough to see individual cells and nuclei
Best Geology Kit
With 15 included mineral specimens, this kit is perfect for any young science enthusiast who wants to learn more about geology and mineralogy. Safe for kids aged 8 and up, this kit is no toy but a true science kit that teaches young people how to classify, identify, and test different kinds of minerals.
- Recommended age: 8 to 15+
- Comes with a magnifier, streak plate, and nail for identifying and testing minerals
- Kit comes with igneus, sedimentary, and metamorphic minerals
- Comes with a sorting tray
- Ideal for homeschool learning and self-study
- Included guidebook explains how minerals are formed along with other insightful information
Best Astronautical Kit
There’s a reason why “rocket science” is a synonym for difficult science, but this amazing kit is perfect for young adults curious about space flight and advanced physics.
Safe enough for kids 13 and up to use without parental supervision, this rocket kit uses water pressure to launch rockets that kids build themselves up to 90 feet in the air. The instruction book details how to convert a two-liter plastic bottle into a fully functioning water-powered rocket.
- Recommended age: 5 to 18+
- Kit includes bottle, fins, and instructions
- You’ll need a bicycle pump (not included) to launch your creation
- Excellent for learning about flight dynamics and the principles of physics
- Perfect for a group fun and learning
- Great for getting kids outdoors
Best Outdoor Stem Kit
This kit has it all for both indoor and outdoor play. It comes with 12 animal figures that are not only great for pretend play, but also for expanding the vocabulary and learning to identify animals and colors.
Our favorite part, however, is the exploration kit that includes a working compass, hand-crank flashlight, magnifying glass, and more. The set also includes a dapper Boonie hat that is as breathable as it is fun to wear.
This STEM set will keep your kiddo moving, educate them on how to literally navigate the world, and teach them the beauty of curiosity.
- Recommended age: 3 years and up
- Includes working binoculars that magnify up to 5x and have rubber ringed eyepieces
- Easy to take on trips as everything fits into a carrying case
- Encourages both pretend play and practical learning
- Offers many group play opportunities and helps foster bonding between a child and parent
Best Coding Kit
The Piper Minecraft Raspberry Pi Kit (check price on Amazon) is a multi award-winning STEM toy that represents all that is positive about technology. It is incredibly fun, engaging, and interactive, blurring the boundary between learning and play – just the way it should be!
The Piper kit is housed in a gorgeous wooden box with an inbuilt LCD screen. Children will follow a well thought-through “storybook” which takes kids step-by-step through the assembly of various components until they have created a genuine working computer.
And that’s just the start! Next the awesome coding lessons begin and soon they’ll be programming their own games and even using their computer to connect to the internet.
- Recommended age: 7-18+
- Build your own computer from start to finish
- No technical experience is required
- It is very hands on and includes games, puzzles, and DIY apps
- Leaves kids confident with technology
Best Biology Kit
The principles of DNA were only discovered half a century ago, but this DNA kit is perfect for kids aged 8 and up to learn about genetics and biology. The kit comes with a comprehensive 40-page book with 18 projects, including how to extract DNA from plants and a chromosome puzzle.
- Recommended age: 8 to 15+
- 3D illustrations in the instruction book make the kit easy to use
- Perfect for any budding biologist or forensic analyst
- Included chromosome cards help children learn to identify genetic material
- Parents can learn along with their children
- Everything you need is included in the kit except for denatured alcohol and a coffee filter
Best Spy Kit
Foster your tween’s inner crime-solving skills with the Crime Catcher Spy Science Kit. Watch as your youngin’ matches fingerprints, examines the evidence, decodes secret messages, and identifies DNA. There are over eight hands-on activities in this mini crime lab. It also comes with a slew of child-friendly forensic supplies, including PH strips, decoders glasses, test tubes, and more.
Don’t sweat parents. This kit comes with 12 prefabricated suspects. Let your child hone in on the real criminal and hand them the book. There’s nothing like a little science-backed justice to bring the whole family together!
Trench coat and fake mustache not included
- Recommended age: 8-15
- Solve two mysteries using real forensic science
- Decode secret messages
- Over eight hands-on activities
- Includes suspect cards, decoders, and forensic supplies
Best Paleontology Kit
Light the fire inside your budding paleontologist with this impressive National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit. Your tween will use authentic tools, including a chisel, brush, and magnifying glass, to reveal 15 authentic fossils hidden inside an earthen brick.
There are hours of adventure buried in this dig kit. A full-color learning guide offers in-depth details for curious young minds. Introduce your tween to the magic of this 126-year-old organization. They’ll walk away with a pocket of archeological wonders, including a dino bone, shark tooth, and sliced ammonite.
- Recommend age: 8+
- Includes 15 authentic fossils
- Comes with a full-color 16-page learning guide
- Children can take part in their own archeological dig
- Hands on activity fosters first-hand exploration
- Made by a revered research organization and backed by a 100% guarantee
The Best Science Kits for Teens
Best for Teens
Winnie the Pooh once said, “Sometimes the small things take up the most room in your heart.” When you break the world into nanoparticles, this couldn’t be truer. Let your teen explore the growing field of nanotechnology by indulging in 41 hands-on activities.
Nanoscale science is one of the most promising fields of research, offering everything from medical to transportation innovations. This kit comes with 60 accessories, including a colloidal gold and a laser.
The Thames & Koskmos earned a Parents’ Choice Gold award.
- Recommended age: 15+
- Reveal about the microscopic world of nanoparticles
- Use charcoal to understand nano sponges
- 41 hands-on experiments for older children
- A full-color manual
- Learn about “The Secret of the Gecko”
- Includes a nanotechnology boardgame