Science seems to hold an almost never-ending fascination for children. One way to capitalize on this early learning interest is to provide opportunities for them to experiment. Many introductory science kits provide instructions and instruments to combine basic materials and observe reactions, or otherwise craft things using scientific principles.
Kits vary a good deal according to their intended age range. Basic kits for younger children might contain only a few materials and will rely on parents to come up with a number of common household ingredients and tools (measuring cups, vinegar and baking soda are some of the more popular ones). More complicated kits for older children will be packed with more materials and experiment ideas. Below are a handful of popular kits to suit different age ranges as well as scientific interests.
1. Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit
Preschoolers and elementary aged children, ages 4-8, will enjoy the fun science activities in the Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit. It’s a 20 piece kit focused on chemical reactions. Kids will like the exciting activities like the color changing volcano, while parents will appreciate the educational value in the safe experiments and the way the kit provides kids the chance to use scientific instruments like test tubes. The activities are based on home science kits originally created at UC Berkeley.
2. Be Amazing Toys Big Bag Of Science
Young students often find science experiments amazing, and now they can enjoy the Be Amazing Toys Big Bag Of Science. A lot is packed into this compact plastic bag with a carrying handle, including over 70 activities on a range of scientific subjects suitable for children 8 and older. Re-sealable baggies are provided for some of the messier experiment ingredients such as beads and powders.
3. The Magic School Bus – Chemistry Lab
Any child who has ever enjoyed learning from Ms. Frizzle will likely enjoy the The Magic School Bus – Chemistry Lab. It’s hard to resist a science kit that comes packaged in a school bus, which includes plastic trays to store the experiment pieces and activity cards. Kids 5-12 will enjoy the many chemistry activities presented on the colorful cards. Some of the lab items include test tubs, litmus paper and a balloon, though parents will need to provide some household items like vinegar and baking soda to complete some of these activities.
4. Creativity For Kids Grow ‘n Glow Terrarium
If you’re interested in a kit that teaches children about plants and their habitats, you may want to try the Creativity For Kids Grow ‘n Glow Terrarium. The budget friendly kit comes with a plastic jar, decorated lid and a mix of potting materials, along with wheat grass and chia seeds (both organic). Kids can plant the seeds and decorate the inside of the terrarium with the sand and tiny figures. The “glow” comes from the glow-in-the-dark stickers included in the kit. Perhaps more craft kit than challenging science, but nevertheless fun and an activity parents can draw learning from.
5. AmScope Beginner Microscope Kit, LED and Mirror Illumination
Young scientists are interested in all kinds of science, and those who are interested in learning about the world of tiny things might like the AmScope M30-ABS-KT2-W Beginner Microscope Kit, LED and Mirror Illumination. This microscope kit will help beginning scientists learn the ins and outs of using a real microscope, one that magnifies at 300x, 600x and 1200x. A monocular head, coarse focus knob and a stage with clips to secure specimens are some of its other features. It comes with an LED light and 2 AA batteries.
6. The Scientific Explorer Magic Science Kit for Wizards Only
Sometimes science can almost seem like magic, especially when you’re young. The Scientific Explorer 0SA247 Magic Science Kit for Wizards Only provides fun activities that will help kids understand the science behind 9 activities that might otherwise seem like magic. Recommended for kids 6 and up with some adult help, this kit comes with materials and instructions to make plenty of interesting things, including a wizard wand and bubbly glow-in-the-dark potion.
7. 4M Kitchen Science Kit
If your family is into kitchen science, then you’ll probably enjoy the 4M Kitchen Science Kit. This economical science kit for children 8 and up provides six activities that you can do just using simple things you’ll find around the house. A tabletop volcano and a vinegar rocket are just some of the fun ideas you’ll find in this kit, which comes with instructions as well as some materials you might not have on hand.
8. Be Amazing Lab-in-a-Bag Test Tube Wonders
If growing crystals and making fake snow sound like activities your children would be keen to try, check out the Be Amazing Lab-in-a-Bag Test Tube Wonders. The safe and non-toxic materials provided in the kit come in a zippered plastic bag along with extra-large test tubes and lids and a test-tube holder. You’ll find an experiments list and instructions but the test-tubes are also reusable.
9. SmartLab Toys Extreme Secret Formula
The makers of the SmartLab Toys Extreme Secret Formula claim they want to make science an adventure. Included in this kit for children 8 and up are materials and experiment ideas for things that ooze, fizz and smell. A number of household materials will be needed to make some of these things, so you might want to stock up on their suggested ingredients list before introducing the kit to your kids.
10. Thames and Kosmos Kids First Chemistry Set Science Kit
If you’re looking for a quality introductory chemistry set, try the Thames and Kosmos Kids First Chemistry Set Science Kit. Designed especially for children 8 and up, this kit presents real chemistry instruments and materials and instructions for about 25 experiments. Children can explore chemical reactions, chromatography and the properties of water, learn about acids and bases and more.