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21 Best Science Kits for Kids of 2024

Little scientists will have a bundle of fun with these science kits.

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

But don’t worry. We applied our own science skills to this task as we reasoned, compared, and experimented to find the best science kits for all interest levels. These kits are fun, educational, and kid-approved. They teach many skills and help children learn about the world around them.

We’ll walk you through the process of choosing the perfect science kit for your child’s needs. And our reviews of these 21 products will make the choice easy and save you time so your child can start experimenting sooner.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Kids First Science Laboratory Kit
Best for Lab Work
Thames & Kosmos Lab
  • Parents' Choice Gold winner
  • 24 large plastic scientific tools
  • 1-year warranty
Product Image of the Alex Scientific Explorer
Best for Beginners
Alex Scientific Explorer
  • Packed with hair-raising experiments
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Filled with fun
Product Image of the Mega Fossil Dig Kit - Educational
Best Prehistoric-Themed
Dan&Darci Fossil Dig
  • Beautifully illustrated
  • Highly educational
  • Very entertaining
Product Image of the Snap Circuits Lights Electronics
Best for Discovery
Snap Circuits Lights Electronics
  • 55 color-coded circuit components
  • 175+ do-it-yourself projects
  • Arranged in order of complexity
Product Image of the Create With Clay
Best for Paleontologists
Create With Clay
  • ASTRA Best Toys for Kids award
  • 5 clay colors
  • Non-toxic and gluten-free
Product Image of the Dino World Terrarium Kit for Kids - LED Light in Lid - Dinosaur Easter Toys for...
Best for Botanists
Dan&Darci Terrarium
  • Fun and educational
  • Built-in innovative LED light
  • Evaluated by STEM.org
Product Image of the Playz Bath Bomb Bonanza
Best DIY Beauty
Playz Bath Bomb Bonanza
  • Fact-filled colorful lab guide
  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • Loads of fun
Product Image of the Thames & Kosmos Nanotechnology Science Experiment Kit
Best for Nanotechnology
Thames & Kosmos Nanotech
  • Parents' Choice Gold award winner
  • 41 science experiments and activities
  • 1-year warranty
Product Image of the Insect Lore Garden
Best for Nature Lovers
Insect Lore Garden
  • Flower-shaped butterfly feeder
  • Deluxe Chrysalis station log
  • STEM.org authenticated educational product
Product Image of the Essenson Slime Kit
Best Slime-Friendly Kit
Essenson Slime Kit
  • Helps improve social skills
  • 12 glitters for slime
  • Non-sticky solution

The Best Kids Science Kits of 2024

Here are 21 awesome science kits for kid engineers, inventors, and scientists.

Science Kits For Age 4+

As we all know, younger children often enjoy hands-on tasks with quick results. Let’s take a look at the best science kits for kids ages 4 to 6.

Thames & Kosmos Laboratory Kit

Best Science Lab

This science laboratory kit from Thames & Kosmos comes with all the tools and an age-appropriate approach. The set is suitable for children aged 3 to 6. Your little one will get a few different laboratory tools and cards full of safe experiments.

There’s also a detailed manual for parents, so you can guide your child through it all. We love that all the tools are reusable, so your child can repeat the experiments many times to see if they get different results.

User Experience

I'm a fan of Thames & Kosmos, but this science kit has some drawbacks. The clear plastic parts, like the test tubes and funnel, are too brittle and broke easily. While the size of the items is perfect for my 3-year-old, the quality of the plastic needs improvement. The experiments themselves can be done with household items and may not be worth the $30 price tag. However, my young scientist did enjoy the hands-on experiences and the oversized tools were easy for little hands to handle.

Create With Clay Dinosaurs

Science Kit for Budding Paleontologists

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.

Your child gets to explore dinosaur fossils with this kit. 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 ages 5 to 95 — so if you’re 96, I’m sorry.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this product has been delightful, as it has not only entertained my unicorn-loving niece, but also managed to engage all my grandchildren, aged 5 to 15. The clay can be a bit challenging to work with at first but becomes easier once kneaded, making the process of covering the dinosaur skeletons more enjoyable. This creative activity has kept my kids occupied for extended periods of time and has even improved their hand strength, making it a fantastic addition to our family's playtime.

Insect Lore Deluxe Butterfly Garden

Great Kit for Nature Lovers

For this, some of you will need to put your fear of bugs aside because this is an excellent learning experience for children.

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

It’s appropriate for children ages 4 to 6. It does require some patience, but it’s worth it.

Community Feedback

I recently purchased this butterfly kit for my 5-year-old, and we've had so much fun raising caterpillars and watching them transform into butterflies! The instructions were easy to follow, and we enjoyed observing their growth every day. However, the cup provided for the caterpillars was quite small, so I might transfer them to a larger one next time. Additionally, the mesh on the cage made it difficult to see the butterflies from the sides, so I'm considering getting a different cage in the future.

Young Scientist Club

Best Nature-Based Science Kit

Exploring nature and being outdoors are some of the best parts of being a kid. With this set, based on “The Magic School Bus: Rides Again” show, your child gets to go on a scavenger hunt.

They can build an ant farm, dissolve eggshells, lay out 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 5 and up, although the littlest ones might need some assistance with this in-depth kit.

First-Hand Impression

For those interested in volcanoes, this Magic School Bus kit offers a fun and educational experience for kids aged 5-12. My 6-year-old enjoyed experimenting with different formulas for the volcano, and we both learned a lot while supplementing the kit with additional activities and resources. However, be prepared for some minor discrepancies between the product's marketing and its actual contents, as well as the potential need for extra materials to complete all experiments.

Lauri Fun With Magnets

Fun-Filled Magnetic Science Kit

If your preschooler is showing interest in the refrigerator magnets, this magnetic science kit might be a great option for them. This set from Play Monster is excellent for teaching physics.

Appropriate for children aged 4 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.

User Experience

My kids absolutely love this magnet set, and it has become a favorite activity in our household. The variety of pieces and experiment cards provide endless fun and learning opportunities. Despite the magnets being a bit weak, this set sparks curiosity in my children and encourages them to explore and experiment, making it a great value.

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. These are the best kids science kits we found for ages 7 to 9.

Scientific Explorer Science Kit

Science Kit for Beginners

This set has everything to prepare your child for science in school. It’s recommended for children aged 6 and up.

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

However, 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.

Personal Perspective

For a fun and educational experience, this science experiment kit is perfect for young kids who enjoy hands-on learning. The kit includes various materials and easy-to-follow instructions for a wide range of engaging experiments, which sometimes require common household items. However, adult supervision is necessary, particularly when handling citric acid. Though some experiments may seem repetitive, they reinforce learning for early childhood.

Dan&Darci Light-up Dino Terrarium Kit

Great Kit for Budding Botanists

With this little kit from Dan&Darci, your child grows a small garden inside a jar and learns about dinosaurs in the process. It’s suitable for junior botanists or paleontologists over the age of 5.

This mini terrarium simulates a miniature ecosystem. With it, your child gets soil, rocks, seeds, a jar, toy dinosaurs, a spray bottle, a USB charger, and stickers. They then have to plant the seeds, place their dinos, and observe the growing plants.

Your child will love the rechargeable LED light that lights up the miniature ecosystem for them to study, and it doubles as a night light.

Community Feedback

Best gift for kids who love dinosaurs and gardening, this dinosaur garden kit was easy to assemble and provided a fun bonding experience. My child was excited to watch the plants grow and observe the roots developing underground. However, we were disappointed that the light-up feature on the lid was broken and couldn't be charged, but overall, it still brought joy and satisfaction.

Slime Kit Supplies

Slime-Friendly Science Kit

Slime is a favorite science project among most kids, whatever their age. In this kit, you’ll get everything you need to create custom-made slime with your mini-scientist.

This science package includes all the ingredients and containers for the finished product. It’s suitable for children aged 3 and up. The kit includes coloring activities, glitter, sequins, buttons, beads, and the ingredients to create all the oozing slime you want. It also comes with a handy instruction book, so you’re not left to figure things out on your own.

First-Hand Impression

Love how this slime kit offers a wide variety of mix-ins and creative options for older kids. My 11-year-old found it very engaging and has made several batches of slime without running out of supplies. The tiny bottles and numerous components may not be suitable for younger children, but the end result is a stretchy, non-sticky slime that holds charms well.

Learn & Climb Kids Science Set

Best Jumbo Kids Science Kit

Experimenting is always the best part of science. With this set from Learn & Climb, your child will receive 65 possible experiments to try. It’s suitable for any child over five years.

The kit includes all the best kids science experiments. Your child can build a sprout garden or an active volcano, make slime, create crystals, and much more. For easy instructions, a color manual and DVD are included.

User Experience

This science kit has been a great addition to our household, providing my 6-year-old with engaging and hands-on experiments he loves. Everything needed for most experiments is included in the kit, with only a few common household items occasionally required. My younger children have also enjoyed partaking in the simple yet stimulating activities, and it's proven to be a valuable learning tool for our homeschooling routine. Although, I do wish the bags were resealable, we've easily managed by taping them shut each time.

Playz Lava Lamp & Glitter Tube

Art Meets Science Kit

If you have a crafty, creative kid, they’re sure to love this Lava Lamp set from Playz. Your child can combine art with science to create a fun and practical lamp for their bedroom.

It’s suitable for children over 8 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.

Personal Perspective

This lava lamp and glitter tube factory set provided a fun and educational experience for my children. The kit included almost everything needed for the experiments, with clear and concise instructions that kept my kids engaged throughout the process. The colorful LED light was a favorite feature, adding a magical touch to the creations. However, the LED light lasted only a short time and the plastic components were somewhat flimsy. Additionally, it's important to note that this is a one-time experiment kit, and the lava lamp isn't designed for long-term use or display.

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. Check out our picks for the best kids science kits for 10-year-olds to 12-year-olds.

Dan&Darci Mega Fossil Dig Kit

Best Prehistoric-Themed Science Kit

This fossil dig kit from Dan & Darci is an excellent learning experience. It’s recommended for any child over 6.

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.

Community Feedback

Great educational and entertaining gift, the Mega Fossil Dig Kit kept my niece and nephew captivated for hours as they excavated 15 real fossils from the sediment block. The provided tools were easy for them to use and the magnifying glass allowed them to examine their findings closely. Both their excitement and curiosity grew as they identified and learned about the prehistoric creatures behind each fossil. Although the excavation process can be a bit messy, it's well worth it for the hands-on learning experience. This kit not only promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills but also offers a fun way for kids to explore paleontology and science in general.

Playz Bath Bomb Bonanza Science

Best DIY Beauty Products

Science in the bathtub, why not? Playz gives your child the tools to create their own bath bombs. This set is recommended for children over 8 years.

Your child can create the bombs by mixing the included ingredients together. Then watch it fizz up in the bath! With the help of over 20 tools, they’ll learn about acid and base reactions. The kit includes easy-to-follow instructions.

First-Hand Impression

After spending quality time with my kids using this bath bomb kit, I can confidently say it's a fun and engaging activity for the whole family. We enjoyed making the 2-inch water bombs and even tried out the elephant toothpaste experiment, which my daughter loved. The kit includes simple, direct instructions, one scent, and two color dyes, making it easy for anyone to use. However, the smaller size of the bath bombs may require multiple bombs for a more enjoyable bath experience.

Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit

Great Science Kit for Strong Stomachs

The subject of gross science is covered in this kit. Your kids will love it! It’s appropriate for children 8 years and up.

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

User Experience

Best science kit I've purchased for my 5-year-old daughter, who loves hands-on learning. As a former biology teacher, I appreciated the variety of experiments included, though some were more successful than others. Creating the gelatin for the Petri dishes was a bit tricky, as it remained watery after following directions. However, once we doubled the gelatin and let it set longer, we successfully grew fascinating cultures from household items.

MindWare Science Academy Perfume Lab

Girly-Girl Science Magic

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 8 and up, but our preteens enjoyed 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.

Personal Perspective

I recently purchased this perfume lab for my 11-year-old daughter and she was instantly captivated by the hands-on experience of creating her own scents. The informative booklet provided great tips and useful information, allowing her to explore her scientific and creative side while still appealing to her girly interests. Although the supplies were somewhat limited, it served as a fun and engaging activity that even my son enjoyed, leaving our home smelling delightful after their playtime.

Thames and Kosmos Chemistry

Great Science Kit for Chemistry Basics

If your child is starting to take an interest in chemistry, it might be a good idea to prepare them a bit. This chem lab will do just that. It’s recommended for children 10 years and up.

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

Community Feedback

This chemistry set is a fun way to engage kids in science projects, but it's not perfect. The materials provided are somewhat cheap, and I found myself having to buy additional equipment and ingredients for my kids to enjoy the set fully. It's important to note that parents should read the instruction manual and gather the necessary household items before letting their kids dive in. The set does come with clear directions for multiple projects and safety goggles, but it could use more vials for continuous experiments.

Mega Crystal Growing Lab

Crystal-Growing Science Lab

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 8 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. Your child will love the included light stand, where five of the crystals can be used as a night light when finished.

First-Hand Impression

I'm delighted with how educational and entertaining this crystal growing kit has been for my young grandson. We've been able to grow beautiful crystals together, although it can be a bit finicky to remove them without causing damage, and we can only grow two at a time. Despite these minor drawbacks, my grandson is eager to continue growing more crystals, making this a fun and engaging activity that combines learning and enjoyment.

Science Kits For Age 13+

Children approaching their teens need something a bit more challenging than most basic kids science kits can offer. These kits were a hit with our teens, and we’re sure yours will enjoy them as well.

Snap Circuits Lights Electronics Exploration Kit

Great Science Kit for Discovery

This set from Snap Circuits will introduce your child to electronics and how they work. It’s recommended for children ages 8 and up, but there are plenty of challenges for a teenager.

Your teen can connect different circuits to create light. They can connect their lights to an MP3 player as they advance and watch the lights react to music.

User Experience

I'm impressed with the educational and entertainment value of this product, as it has kept both my 10-year-old and 7-year-old engaged for hours. As a mechanical engineer, I found some of the circuits to be challenging, but it's perfect for kids who are eager to learn and experiment. The visual diagrams and instructions are excellent, and the fiber-optic communication demonstration is particularly fascinating. While the packaging issues were a minor inconvenience, the overall experience and variety of projects make up for it. This product is a great hands-on learning tool for children, especially those interested in electronics and circuit-building.

Thames & Kosmos Nanotechnology Kit

Best Kids Kit for Nanotechnology

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 younger children 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.

Personal Perspective

As a parent, I found this nanotechnology experiment kit to be an engaging and educational experience for my kids. Although the age recommendation is 15+, my 10 and 12-year-olds enjoyed the variety of experiments and learned from the well-defined project manual. It's important to note that adult supervision and additional household items are required for some experiments, so be prepared to get involved. While the kit may seem a bit pricey, the hands-on learning and fun it provides make it a worthwhile investment for curious young minds.

LEGO Mindstorms Robot Kit

All About Robots Kit

Enter 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 to get their creation to move, talk, and think.

Seventeen robotic designs are included.

Community Feedback

My experience with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set has been nothing short of amazing. As an RC vehicle enthusiast, I was drawn to its potential for robotics and programming. The building process was smooth and enjoyable, with clear instructions and a great variety of parts. The programming software was user-friendly and gradually taught me programming concepts through fun and engaging missions.

Dual LED Student Microscope

Super Microscope for Curious Minds

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.

Your child can study all kinds of interesting things up close and personal with the microscope’s 20x or 50x magnification.

This microscope is suitable for children ages 13 and up. The kit includes instructions and supplies for a complete experiment to track a brine shrimp’s life cycle. It also comes with 10 specimen slides, 10 empty slides, LED lights, and other accessories.

First-Hand Impression

I'm really impressed with this National Geographic Dual Microscope. My kids and I had so much fun exploring the slides that came with it, and they've even been finding things outside to take a closer look at. The microscope is durable and well-lit, making it perfect for my 7-year-old son. Although the magnification isn't the strongest, the lenses are clear and easy to swap out. This microscope has been a great learning tool for the whole family, sparking curiosity and excitement in the unseen world around us.

Thames and Cosmos Big Engineering Makerspace

Best Kit for Engineering Interests

If your teenager is into engineering, you’ll want to check out this unique product. The Thames & Kosmos Big Engineering Makerspace provides 22 different building options. Your teen can construct a robotic arm, hydraulic lift, selfie stick, and camera mount.

Every construction is fully functional. While the packaging states this science kit is best for kids 8 years and up, with the detailed and numerous options the set provides, teens will get more out of it.

User Experience

My experience with this engineering kit has been quite a mix of excitement and frustration. The builds are fascinating and functional, allowing for hands-on learning of basic physics concepts such as levers, pulleys, and gears. However, the instructions can be confusing at times, and the build quality of the components isn't as durable as I would have liked. While this kit is great for a few afternoons of fun and learning, it may not withstand long-term use like other building toys on the market.

Benefits of Science Experiments for Kids

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

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

It’s essential for us parents to foster a love of learning and exploration (2). Encouraging your child to do science projects, regardless of age, could yield incredible long-term benefits. Science can help develop necessary life 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 happening around them.

How to Choose a Science Kit for Kids

When you’re searching for science kits, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by 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, slime-making, baking, or growing crystals.
  • Biology: This broad subject could involve anything from growing plants to learning about DNA.
  • Physics: Another broad subject that includes activities such as building a robot or learning about momentum and energy.

There are, of course, other good-to-have features in a science kit. Here are a few of the ones we look for:

  • Fully equipped: We recommend looking for a kit where all the equipment is already included, as it makes the process much easier. You can easily do science projects with items at home, but for younger kids, it’s better to have everything ready for use.
  • Step-by-step guidance: For younger children, we look for science kits that have a step-by-step approach rather than giving free roam. This simulates that of a classroom learning experience and is more likely to succeed. Open-ended experimenting is suitable for older children who already grasp cause and effect and can make their own predictions and observations as they go.
  • High-quality materials: This is one of the top criteria we look for in the best science kits, not only for the project result, 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.

It’s essential to find an age-appropriate science kit. 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 hands-on tasks that show quick results. Consider activities such as simple, safe experiments or handling miniature dinosaur fossils.
  • Ages 7 to 9: 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.
  • Ages 10 to 12: Look for something your child can do without your assistance. It’s a good idea to build on skills they’re already learning in school.
  • Ages 13 and up: In this group, your child can advance to more complicated tasks and instructions. This is the perfect time to bring in the robot-building kits.

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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.