Best Science Kits for Kids of 2020

Help your kids reach their academic potential with one of these top science kits for kids.

Is your child showing a real interest in science and experiments? Are you wondering where to find the best kids’ science kits? Let us help you out.

Many children are born scientists — they love to question and experiment whenever they come across something new. So investing in a science kit is a good move. However, there’s a vast ocean out there of different types for a range of age groups.

But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the process to ensure you get the best science kit for your child’s needs. Let’s get to it!

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Benefits of Science Experiments for Kids

Science for children means a lot of things. It’s not something exclusively meant for children of school age — appreciation for science actually begins from infancy (1).

For children, doing science starts with curiosity, then exploration, and lastly, discovery. All of these traits come naturally, especially to younger kids such as infants and toddlers. These are the months and years where they’re eager to learn cause and effect.

It’s essential for us parents to encourage this (2). Encouraging your child to do science projects, no matter the age, could yield great benefits long term. Science can help develop skills such as resourcefulness, goal-setting, problem-solving, and planning (3).

It nurtures the intellectual side of their curiosity. This, in turn, pushes them to ask questions and learn to understand what’s going on around them.

Features to Look For

When you’re searching for science kits, you may become overwhelmed with all the different options. But the truth is, the best science kits for your little scientist are those that revolve around a subject of interest. Let’s look at a few:

  • Chemistry: This may include color-changing chemicals, invisible ink or perhaps growing crystals.
  • Biology: This is a wide subject and could involve anything from growing plants to learning about DNA.
  • Physics: Again, a broad subject, where perhaps you’ll build a robot, or learn about momentum and energy.

There are, of course, other good-to-have features in a science kit. Here are a few:

  • Fully equipped: Many recommend looking for a kit where all the equipment is already included. You can easily do science projects with items at home, but for younger kids especially, it’s better to have everything ready to use.
  • Step-by-step guidance: Look for a science kit that has a step-by-step approach rather than giving free roam. This simulates that of a classroom learning experience and is more likely to succeed.
  • High quality: This is an important feature, not only for the result of the project but also for your sake. When you’ve purchased something that will work like it’s supposed to, your child is more likely to be enthusiastic — and it’s safer.

The Best Kids Science Kits of 2020

Science Kits For Age 4+

As we all know, younger children often enjoy something hands-on with quick results. Let’s take a look at the best kids science kits for ages four to six.

1. Thames & Kosmos Laboratory Kit

Best Science Kit for Laboratory Work

Thames & Kosmos Kids First Science Laboratory Kit
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This science laboratory kit from Thames & Kosmos comes with all the tools and an age-appropriate approach. The set is suitable for children aged three to six. Your little one will get a few different laboratory tools along with cards full of safe experiments.

There’s also a large manual for parents, so you can guide your child through it all. What you’ll love is that all the tools are reusable, meaning there’s lots of fun to be had.

2. Create With Clay Dinosaurs

Science Kit for Budding Paleontologists

Creativity for Kids Create with Clay Dinosaurs - Build 3 Dinosaur Figures with...
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My kids love dinosaurs, and now that they’re getting older, it’s time to get scientific. This set from Creativity for Kids is perfect for the aspiring paleontologist.

Here, your child gets to explore dinosaur fossils. Of course, they’re made from plastic, but it’s still a good experience for young children.

Then, after studying the fossils, they have to cover them with colorful clay. Don’t worry, all the materials are non-toxic. The set is suitable for children aged five to 95 years — so if you’re 96, I’m sorry.

3. Insect Lore Deluxe Butterfly Garden

Great Kit for Nature Lovers

Insect Lore Deluxe Butterfly Garden with Live Cup of Caterpillars & Feeding...
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For this, some of you will need to put your fear of bugs aside, for the simple reason that this is an excellent learning experience for children.

In this set from Insect Lore, you’ll get everything you need to raise butterflies. They provide you with five baby caterpillars that your little one will have to feed and look after.

It’s appropriate for children aged four and up. It does require some patience, but it’s worth it.

4. Young Scientist Club

Best Nature-Based Science Kit

The Magic School Bus: Explore the Wonders of Nature
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Exploring nature and being outdoors are some of the best parts about childhood. With this set from the Magic School Bus, your child gets to go on a scavenger hunt.

They can build an ant farm, dissolve eggshells, layout animal prints, and much more. It encourages creativity, asking questions, and most of all, discovery — like a true scientist. It’s suitable for children aged five and up, although the littlest ones might need some assistance with this in-depth kit.

5. Lauri Fun With Magnets

Fun-Filled Magnetic Science Kit

Lauri - Fun with Magnets
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If your preschooler is showing interest in the refrigerator magnets, then take a look here. This set, from Play Monster, is excellent for teaching physics.

Appropriate for children aged four and up, it includes different shapes and objects your young scientist will have to use in 14 experiments. There are magnetic wands, balls, wires, rings, horseshoes, and much more.

Science Kits For Age 7+

For this age group, it’s always a good idea to choose a kit that will prepare them for science class at school. Let’s see what best kids science kits we found for ages seven to nine years.

6. Scientific Explorer Science Kit

Science Kit for Beginners

Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kids Science Experiment Kit
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This set has everything to prepare your child for science in school. It’s recommended for children aged six and up.

It includes 20 pieces that your child has to use for different chemical reactions. There’s baking soda, citric acid, red cabbage powder, and more. Here your kiddo can create a color-changing volcano or a sunset in a tube.

That said, there are some items you’ll have to provide from your home. But these are basic things, such as plates and trays, water, and measuring cups.

7. Light-up Terrarium Kit

Great Kit for Budding Botanists

Light-up Terrarium Kit for Kids with LED Light on Lid - Create Your Own...
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With this little kit, from Mini Explorer, your child gets to grow a small garden inside a jar. It’s suitable for junior botanists aged six and up.

This mini terrarium kit simulates a miniature ecosystem. With it, your child gets soil, rocks, seeds, a jar, and stickers. They then have to plant the seeds and observe the growing plants.

Your child will love the rechargeable LED light, which will light up the miniature ecosystem for them to study.

8. Slime Kit Supplies

Slime-Friendly Science Kit

Original Stationery DIY Slime Kit for Girls Boys Ultimate Slime Making Kit with...
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Slime is a favorite science project among most kids, whatever their age. Here you’ll get everything you need to create some custom-made slime with your mini scientist.

This science package includes all the ingredients, plus containers for the finished product. It’s suitable for children aged seven and up. There are coloring activities, glitter, and ideas to create all the oozing slime you want, full instructions included.

9. Learn & Climb Kids Science Set

Best Jumbo Kids Science Kit

Learn & Climb Kids Science Kit - Over 60 Experiments, Fun with Science!
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Experimenting is always the best part about science, and with this set from Learn & Climb, your child receives 65 possible experiments to play with. It’s suitable for any child over five years.

There’s every experiment you can think of. Your child can build a sprout garden, an active volcano, make slime, create crystals, and much more. For easy instructions, there’s a color manual and a DVD included.

10. Playz Lava Lamp & Glitter Tube

Art Meets Science Kit

Playz Lava Lamp & Glitter Tube Arts and Craft Science Activity Set - 34+ Tools...
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Children love being creative and here you can combine art with science. This set from Playz gives your child the tools needed to create colorful lava lamps and tube art, all in the name of science. It’s suitable for children over eight years.

The tools and ingredients included will let your child create a small chemical reaction inside the lava lamp, then watch it glow once finished.

Science Kits For Age 10+

This is the age of independence. Look for something with a more specific theme that your child can do alone. Take a look at our picks for the best kids science kits for the ages of 10 to 12.

11. Mega Fossil Dig Kit

Best Prehistoric-Themed Science Kit

Mega Fossil Dig Kit - Dig Up 15 Real Fossils, Dinosaur Bones, Shark Teeth & More...
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This fossil dig kit, from Dan & Darci, is an excellent learning experience. It’s recommended for any child over eight years.

With this kit, your kiddo gets to step into the shoes of a paleontologist. They will get a magnifying glass, brush, and a small hammer. Then they’ll have to open the brick full of fossils.

Inside they’ll find fossils of dinosaurs, sharks, snails, and other fun stuff. There’s also a manual describing and guiding your child through it all.

12. Bath Bomb Bonanza Science

Bath-Friendly Science Bonanza

Playz Bath Bomb Bonanza Science Activity, Craft, & Experiment Kit - 23+ Tools to...
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Science in the bathtub, why not? Playz gives your child the tools to create their own bath bombs. It’s recommended for children over eight years.

Your child can create the bombs by mixing the included ingredients together and then watch it fizz up in the bath. They get to learn about acid and base reactions, with the help of over 20 tools. Simple instructions are included.

13. Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science

Great Science Kit for Strong Stomachs

Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit
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The subject of gross science is covered in this kit. Your kids will love it! It’s appropriate for children eight years and up.

Scientific Explorer created this kit to educate children on their bodies. We’re talking things like helpful bacterias, and mold. They get to create everything that makes us squirm, such as smelly intestines — just make sure you have a barf bag.

14. MindWare Science Academy Perfume

Girly-Girl Science Magic

MindWare Science Academy Perfume lab - Kit Includes 22pcs to Teach Kids & Teens...
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What do we girls love? Perfume! With this set, your girl gets to create her own perfumes. It’s meant to be appropriate for children aged eight and up, but we reckon the teenagers may like this one more.

Your daughter will love that the set teaches her how to extract essential oils. It provides all the equipment needed, including bottles, stirring sticks, base scents, and more.

15. Thames and Kosmos Chemistry

Great Science Kit for Chemistry Basics

Thames & Kosmos Chemistry Chem C500 Science Kit with 28 Guided Experiments 48...
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If your child is starting to take an interest in chemistry, it might be a good idea to prepare them a bit. This will do just that. It’s recommended for children 10 years and up.

The kit will guide your little chemist through some classic experiments. A full manual is included, so don’t worry that you may not know it all!

16. Mega Crystal Growing Lab

Crystal-Growing Science Lab

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Crystal Growing Lab - 8 Vibrant Colored Crystals To...
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Crystals are beautiful and surprisingly easy to grow. National Geographic provides your child with the tools needed to grow eight different crystals. It’s suitable for children over eight years.

In the kit, your child receives five gem specimens that they then have to prepare and leave to grow. They come in eight different colors, including blue, yellow, and green. Your child will love the light stand included, where five of the crystals can be used as a night light when finished.

Science Kits For Age 13+

Children approaching their teens need something a bit more challenging than your basic kits can offer. I’m sure you’ll like our top five of science kits for ages 13 and up.

17. Lights Electronics Exploration Kit

Great Science Kit for Discovery

Elenco SCL-175B Snap Circuits Lights Electronics Discovery Kit
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This set, from Snap Circuits, will introduce your child to electronics and how they work. It’s recommended for children ages eight and up, but there are plenty of challenges for a teenager.

Here, your teen gets to connect different circuits to create light. As they advance, they can even connect their lights to an MP3 player and watch the lights react to music.

18. Thames & Kosmos Nanotechnology Kit

Best Kids Kit for Nanotechnology

Thames & Kosmos Nanotechnology Science Experiment Kit
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Nanotechnology revolves around the smallest structures. And with this set, your teenager gets to create nanoparticles.

It’s suitable for children over 15 years so those a bit younger might need some help. But we just couldn’t leave this super cool option off our list. There’s a 72-page instruction manual included, explaining everything in detail.


All About Robots Kit

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313 Robot Kit with Remote Control for Kids, Educational...
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Enter into the world of robotics. In this set from Lego, your teen can build their own robots. It’s suitable for children ages 10 to 15.

Options include building a tracker, scorpion, and snake among others. Then they can sync the robot with an app, or use the remote control, and get them to move, talk, and think.

Seventeen robotic designs are included.

20. Dual LED Student Microscope

Super Microscope for Curious Minds

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Dual LED Student Microscope – 50+ pc Science Kit Includes...
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Examining particles and other matter through a microscope is usually the highlight of biology class. Now your child gets to do it from home. This dual microscope, from National Geographic, is excellent for this purpose, with 20x or 50x magnification.

It’s suitable for children ages 13 and up. Included is a complete experiment to track a brine shrimp’s life cycle! It also comes with 10 specimen slides, and 10 empty slides, plus LED lights and other accessories.

21. The Big Engineering Makerspace

Best Kit for Engineering Interests

Thames & Kosmos Big Engineering Makerspace | Science Kit | 22 Physics Lessons &...
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If your teenager is into engineering, then listen up. This set, from Thames & Kosmos, provides 22 different building options. They can construct a robotic arm, a hydraulic lift, a selfie stick, and a camera mount.

Every construction is fully functional. While it states it’s suitable for eight years and up, with the detailed and numerous options this item provides, we reckon the teens will get more out of it without your intervention.

How to Find an Age Appropriate Kit

It’s essential to find a science kit that is age appropriate. Those meant for older children often require more technical skills, which might be too difficult or unsafe for younger children.

  • Ages 4 to 6: Children in this age group often enjoy things that are hands-on and will show quick results. Consider activities such as simple, safe experiments or handling miniature dinosaur fossils.
  • For 7 to 9-year-olds: Look for a kit that involves experimenting using basic scientific principles. These typically include more detailed instructions and may prepare your child for science in school.
  • From 10 to 12 years: Look for something they can do without your assistance. A good idea is to build on skills they’re already learning in school.
  • Ages 13 and up: In this group, your child can advance to something more complicated. This is the perfect time to bring in the robot-building kits.

It’s Alive!

Science has many benefits for children, younger as well as older. But since it is such a broad subject, it’s important to find something your child finds interesting.

We hope that you found something interesting on our list of the best kids science kits. Our top pick is the Thames & Kosmos laboratory kit. Your little one can study, experiment, and learn some of the basics of science in a fun, exploratory way. For older children, any one of our choices is bound to be a hit!

What is your kid’s favorite science subject? Do have a funny story about experiments going wrong? Please leave your comments below. And feel free to hit the share button before you leave.

Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.
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