Ask any kid what their favorite part of science is, and they’ll probably tell you that it blows things up. Unfortunately, for most younger students, such experiences happen only occasionally at school. Thus, a chemistry set is a great gift for a youngster’s curiosity and love of science.
Of course, some kids are less interested in chemistry and more enthusiastic about space, engineering, or the natural world, and there are plenty of science kits for them too.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite chemistry kits and science kits for curious kids, whatever their interests.
More science gifts for kids:
Best Science Kits and Chemistry Sets for Kids
Galt Toys Science Lab (ages 6 and up)
This chemistry set is a great starter kit for young science enthusiasts aged 6 and up. A 32-page lab book explains how to perform 20 different experiments, from making their own bouncy ball to creating a test tube kaleidoscope.
Inside the box you will find all the equipment you need, from goggles and test tubes to slime, food coloring and a magnifying glass. There is also a lab notebook to write down the results of your experiments. To quote Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage: ‘The only difference between messing around and doing science is writing it.’
Kids First: Plant Science Kit (Ages 5-7)
All children are curious about nature from an early age. Unfortunately, more and more children have very little contact with the natural world and end up losing this curiosity. You can help them keep it with this plant science kit from Thames & Kosmos.
The 20-page guide contains step-by-step illustrated instructions for 11 different experiments, all plant-themed. In addition to planting seeds and watching them grow, kids can experiment with changing the colors of flowers, watching a plant grow in a maze, and more.
NASA Motorized Solar System Building Kit (Ages 8+)
After blowing things up, space is one of the science topics that catches the attention of most kids. With this NASA science kit, budding astronomers can build and paint their own model of the solar system. They can learn about each of the planets as they paint them, and once the model is built, the sun will light up and you can rev the motor to watch the entire solar system spin.
It comes with paint and a brush, but you will need a small Phillips screwdriver, two AAA batteries, scissors and a paint tray.
Thames & Kosmos Electricity and Magnetism Kit (Ages 8+)
Your more technical kids might enjoy experimenting with electricity and magnetism with this science kit from Thames & Kosmos. Young engineers can conduct 62 different experiments and build 30 circuits, all described with diagrams in a 64-page manual.
Kids can start building circuits that include simple components like switches, light bulbs, and motors. Then they can start experimenting with magnetism, learning how a compass works, creating a magnetic pendulum, and even building an electromagnet.
John Adams Kitchen Chemistry Set (Ages 8+)
Although they may not realize it, the kitchen is the first place many children will encounter chemistry. Every time you add baking powder to cake batter, lemon juice to a marinade for meat, or sugar and yeast to bread, you create a chemical reaction that results in delicious dishes. Thus, the kitchen is a great place to introduce children to basic science ideas.
The John Adams Kitchen Chemistry Set provides all the equipment you’ll need to perform 40 experiments, including test tubes, pH strips, a pipette and a measuring cup. For added safety, it also comes with goggles and a “Spot the Hazards” sign.
Throughout these experiments, young scientists can learn about acids and alkalis, enzymes and chemical reactions in a way designed to support the national curriculum.