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There are so many children's science kits out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
Particularly as 'science' is such a broad term, encompassing many practices and disciplines, among them biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, robotics, engineering, genetics, zoology ... the list goes on.
It's a good idea to instil a love of science in kids not just because they need to study it at school (although of course, that's important), but also because science inspires curiosity, creativity, logic, and problem-solving skills. Getting kids involved and engaged in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) at a young age has been proven beneficial both academically and for their future career trajectories.
Plus, let's be honest, conducting exciting science experiments is super fun - who doesn't love the opportunity to build their own exploding volcano, or learn to code their own computer?
Teaching kids that science is fun is easy with this list of the best science experiment kits for kids - but if you're in need of further inspiration, check out our list of the best STEM toys, or maybe your kids will be more into books that teach them about coding?
Our Top Choice
BOOM! Fun With Science Kids' Science Kit By Learn & Climb
Boasting more than 65 different experiments, this kit includes a sprout-growing garden, slime lab, fun with rocket balloons, crystal-growing and an explosive volcano. Basically, you'd be hard-pressed to find kids who wouldn't find something they love. The instruction manual is clear and easy to follow, the equipment is durable, safe and specifically designed for children, and the product is certified by STEM.org, meaning that it follows and encourages proper STEM guidelines and promotes engaging, interactive learning that elides with STEM philosophy and educational ethos.
- Price: £39.99
- Age: We recommend ages 5+
Best Kit For Families On A Budget
Electro Dough Story Kit By Technology Will Save Us
Many kids' science kits can be on the pricier side, but this kit provides fun, creative experiments without breaking the bank. Kids learn about electricity and circuits through play-led educational practice that encourages them to use stories to cement their learning. Plus, this science kit is aligned with the UK school curriculum for KS1 and KS2 pupils, and it comes with free access to Club Make, the Tech Will Save Us online platform that offers over 500 hours of digital content, experiences, and projects for kids aged 4 - 11 to learn more about science and have fun in the process. What a great budget science set.
- Price: £17.99
- Age: 4 - 6
Best Kit For Under 5s
Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope By Learning Resources
It can be tough to find science kits for younger children, but this microscope has been designed specifically for little learners, enabling them to see a hidden world with up to 8x magnification and an LED light that provides enhanced viewing of smaller details. There are two soft, large eye pieces so that young explorers need not close one eye, making it more comfortable for use, and the child-friendly focussing knob allows for smaller hands to be in control of what they see.
- Price: £18.98
- Age: 3+
Best Science Kit For Kids New To Experiments
Kids Science Experiment Kit By Unglinga
One of the best science sets for children who are newly expressing interest in experiments, this kit contains basic toys that promote and encourage a love of STEM. Plus, it comes with a lab coat, safety glasses, and name badge, so it doubles up well as a fancy dress costume - we love things with multiple uses. All of the tools are washable and reusable, and activity cards guide children through hands-on step-by-step activities that sharpen skills like problem solving, sequential thought and maths concepts.
- Price: £18.99
- Age: 3 - 11
Best National Geographic Science Kit For Kids
Earth Science Kit By National Geographic
Providing hands-on science toys and kits, National Geographic is on a mission to inspire children to care about their planet and the world around them. With science kits this great, kids would be hard-pressed not to get excited about earth sciences. They'll be able to partake in over 15 experiments, including growing crystals, building an exploding volcano, and generating water tornadoes. With clear instructions, young scientists are sure to build their confidence and experience exciting, informative learning.
- Price: £34.99
- Age: 8+
Best Kit For Robot Enthusiasts
12-In-1 Solar Robot Kit By Amazon
12 robots in one set you say? Using 190 pieces, children can build 12 different types of robot all from this one kit, and even better, there are no batteries required, as the robots harness solar energy to crawl, roll, and float on water. This set improves motor skills, hand-eye coordination and proficiency in STEM learning and practice. There are step-by-step instructions, and the different robot models are designed for gradated building abilities, so that younger kids can start with the entry level models and progress to advanced designs as they become more skilled and confident. This set is a great way of promoting a love of science for kids.
- Price: £22
- Age: 8+
Best Kit For Learning About The Body
The Human Body Science Kit By Thames & Kosmos
This kit comes with a 48 page, full colour booklet that provides step-by-step guidance through 26 experiments that all develop children's understanding of the human body. Examine fingerprints, build a stethoscope and listen to your heart beat, test your lung capacity and try a blindfold exercise to develop an understanding of hand-eye coordination - all of the experiments are fun, accessible, and encourage problem-solving skills as well as advancing biological knowledge.
- Price: £29.99
- Age: 5+
Best Kit For Coding And Programming
Botley The Coding Robot By Learning Resources
As well as being super cute, colourful Botley encourages younger children to learn and engage with simple programming, using step coding and logic that stimulates critical thinking. Children program Botley to perform a sequence of steps, avoid obstacles, navigate, manoeuvre, and he can be taught to say hi or become dizzy. The kit comes with 77 pieces, but the play is totally screen-free: Botley comes with a remote control, but otherwise needs neither a phone nor a tablet, which is unusual for coding science kits and very welcome, as little eyes are given time off screens.
- Price: £63.77
- Age: 5+
Best Kit For Budding Botanists
Paint & Plant Flower Growing Kit By Dan & Darci
Zinnia, marigolds, and cosmos, oh my! Learn to grow all three with this nifty kit, which encourages creativity alongside engendering an interest in botany and an understanding of the life cycle of plants. Children get to paint their own planters and plant markers, making them as unique as they please, using the paint strip with which this kit comes. Plus, like our top pick above, this is one of the science kits that has been evaluated by STEM.org and authenticated under their standards of STEM education and philosophy, so you can be sure it's going to kickstart kids learning and get their creative juices flowing.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for the best science kits then why not take a look at our best robot toys, or for something different take a look at our best kids' backpacks for when they go back to learning science at school.
- Price: £19.99
- Age: We recommend ages 5+
Alice grew up in London where she's now based, but she's happiest by the sea, or reading somewhere snuggled up with her 5 dogs. She has two younger sisters who keep her on her toes, and is passionate about all things art, literature, and culture - she's written a short collection of poems and continues to edit scripts for theatre, tv, and film on a freelance basis.