Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear.

The Best Science Kits for Kids of All Ages

Scientific inquiry and fun are baked into these science kits that cover STEM, physics, and the natural world.

best science kits
Staff, Courtesy of 10Leccion

Instilling a love and appreciation of science in kids is something we should all be doing in our own way, especially through play. Science kits are one great way to introduce a child to various forms of experimentation and scientific inquiry. After all, these kits have the power to captivate, teach, and entertain all at once. But the truth is, for every great one, there are countless others that end up being duds. So how do we find the best science kits for the kiddos in our own lives—ones that they’ll enjoy and engage with and won’t end up forgotten under their beds?

What To Consider

You might wonder whether your child is old enough to be gifted a science kit, but according to Shelsea Ochoa, an educator performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, kids can enjoy science kits at any age—though some might need assistance. “For younger kids, adults will need to be present and attentive throughout the experiment,” she says.

Consider how much time you’ll have to spend with the child and their kit. You know the child best, and whereas some older kids can complete activities on their own, others might need some guidance—especially when using certain materials. Slime and volcano experiments are fun but not when the contents end up getting all over your couch or rug.

You’ll also want to factor in a child’s attention span. “Science kits are a space where kids are meant to develop a love for learning about science, so it is a great opportunity to not force a child to sit through the process but allow them to go at a pace that feels enjoyable,” says Ochoa, who recommends taking breaks between steps for longer experiments. “Even if it takes multiple days, if the child walks away with a positive feeling about science, then the kit was successful.”

How We Evaluated

Many of the science kits on this list feature the authenticated trustmark of, a privately held, multinational STEM research and credentialing organization, meaning it’s been evaluated by one of the leaders in STEM education. We also scoured the web for products that received high, verified reviews across various retailers. As a parent myself to a science-loving child, I also took into consideration some of the products I’ve tested in my own home and reached out to other parents and educators for their recommendations on science kits that stood the test of time (and boredom). We also made sure to keep in mind varying budgets, different age groups, and a variety of fields of science to ensure there was something for everyone on our list.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Best All-Around Kit
Mega Science Lab Kit
$24.43 (26% off)

Key Specs

  • Ages: 10 and older
  • Number of Experiments: 6

For a great all-around science kit for older kids, this lab-in-a-box can’t be beat. There’s plenty of room for scientific inquiry here whether it’s creating a working volcano, building a model of the Earth and moon, digging for T-rex fossils, growing crystals, and more. The kit comes with a variety of tools and materials, including a wood mallet, eco dome pod, bug collecting tool, and a weather station with a thermometer.

  • Teaches kids about multiple fields of science

  • Crystal growing project is a multi-day activity
Best For Junior Scientists
STEM Jr. Wonder Lab
Little Tikes
$119.99 (15% off)

Key Specs

  • Ages: 2–5
  • Number of Experiments: 20

Young kiddos always love a good life-size play set, and they will be over the moon for this Little Tykes Wonder Lab, featuring 20 hands-on experiment ideas you can do with common household ingredients. To keep their attention, the lab is brightly colored, makes lots of fun sounds, and has additional accessories like maze pieces, test tubes, stirring spoons, lab goggles, and more for kids to play scientist and actually conduct real experiments.

  • Offers hours and hours of fun

  • Expensive
Best For Science Playdates
On-the-Go Lab
Ada Twist, Scientist Walmart

Key Specs

  • Ages: 3 and older
  • Number of Experiments: 6

For the youngest kiddos, it’s hard to beat this wonderful, portable lab from the folks who brought you the Ada Twist, Scientist book and Netflix program. With bright colors and easy-to-use lab tools, including an eye dropper, funnel, test tubes, goggles, and a working scale, littles will surely get excited about experimenting. It comes in a rolling case they can personalize with stickers and take on their next play date or sleepover.

  • Comes with a portable case

  • Relatively few experiments
Best for Future Paleontologists
Dinosaur Fossil Digging Kit

Key Specs

  • Ages: 3 and older
  • Number of Experiments: 3

Having bought a dinosaur egg dig kit once myself, I know how much fun kids can have chiseling out a T-rex. However, this kit features multiple activities that makes it an even better choice—especially if it’s for an only child. Not only do kids get to dig dinos out of six eggs, they also get to play paleontologist and dig out a set of dinosaur bones and five fossils from two dig sites.

  • Multiple digging activities

  • Gets rather messy
Best For Top Notch Physics Lessons
Discovering STEM Physics Laws Set
$21.69 (38% off)

Key Specs

  • Ages: 8 and older
  • Number of Experiments: 4 pages of activities to use with 6 assemblies

Teach kids 8 and up about the laws of physics with this comprehensive science kit featuring six different projects, including a rubber band car, sharpening wheel, and rocket launcher. Once your child builds these machines, they’ll continue to be captivated while conducting numerous experiments. The manual includes theories, facts, and quizzes to supplement learning. It’s a great investment for kids who have expressed an interest in physics and machines.

  • Unique, functional projects

  • Younger kids might need more help
Best For Life Cycle Lessons
Butterfly Pavilion
Insect Lore
$26.30 (34% off)

Key Specs

  • Ages: 4–15
  • Number of Experiments: 1

Who wouldn’t want to watch a caterpillar turn into a butterfly? I still have fond memories of using a set just like this one in elementary school, and no doubt your kids will, too. The Butterfly Pavilion features a 24-inch tall mesh habitat specially made for youngsters to watch as caterpillars—not included in the kit, but free with the included voucher—undergo metamorphosis right before their eyes.

  • Unbeatable wow factor

  • Butterfly larvae not included
Best For Life-Size Engineering
Fort Building Kit

Key Specs

  • Ages: 3 and older
  • Number of Experiments: Countless (to be made with 120 pieces)

Pass on the joy of building forts out of pillows, blankets, and the like with this handy 120-piece fort building kit that extends the fun and adds some additional engineering lessons to it. It’s best suited for children ages 3 and up, though younger kids will also love it, provided they have help in the building process.

  • Good project for collaboration

  • Younger kids might struggle to snap pieces in place
  • Older kids might be too tall to fit inside
Best Intro to Chemistry Set
Ooze Labs Chemistry Station
Thames & Kosmos

Key Specs

  • Ages: 6 and older
  • Number of Experiments: 20

This fun and engaging set includes pipettes, test tubes and racks, an Erlenmeyer flask, and other equipment that will spark a love of chemistry in younger and slightly older kiddos. I’ve used this one with my own son during home learning days due to the pandemic, and it’s always been a hit. The Chemistry Station is a great alternative to DIY experiments if you’re short on time and patience and want to give kids more freedom (though be mindful of the messier ones—you know your child best!)

  • More convenient than DIY experiments
  • Includes many activities

  • Can be messy
Best For Introductions to Electronics
Beginner Electronics Exploration Kit
Snap Circuits
$21.49 (14% off)

Key Specs

  • Ages: 5–9
  • Number of Experiments: Over 20

This intro to electronic exploration packs a ton of fun and intrigue into a small package. Made for elementary-aged engineers, your littles will love figuring out how to build projects with the 14 included parts. The kit includes an easy-to-follow manual and plenty of lights, sound, and motion to keep any child engaged the whole way through.

  • Very engaging

  • Noisy
Best For Nature Lovers
Exploring the Wonders of Nature
The Magic School Bus
$15.99 (20% off)

Key Specs

  • Ages: 5–12
  • Number of Experiments: 16

This affordable nature science kit offers a number of atypical activities, such as an animal tracks memory game, a nature scavenger hunt challenge, and leaf pressing. It includes some of the familiar favorites, too, like a magnifying glass and butterfly net. Instructions for the activities are all easy to follow and great for elementary-age kiddos.

  • Variety of activities, including some unusual ones

  • No compass or binoculars
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below