chemistry set for kids

The Best Chemistry Sets for Kids Who Love Science

February 21, 2023 - Lou Farrell

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Gone are the days of science kits that contain uranium, sodium ferrocyanide and even blowtorches. Thankfully, tight safety regulations have put a damper on dangerous homemade explosions and experiments working with lead. But there’s still plenty of excitement to be had with modern chemistry sets for kids interested in hands-on learning. Here are a few top-notch science kits that make education fun, plus a brief foray into their history.

1. WILD! Science Test Tube Chemistry Lab 

Best suited for eight- to 12-year-olds, this kit features over 50 experiments. It comes with a set of full-color, easy-to-read instructions, and teaches kids about density, emulsion, pH testing, diffusion and more. The kit includes several chemicals and tools, but also requires a few common household items like salt and ice cubes. 

2. Einstein Box Ultimate Science Kit 

Kids can enjoy making color-changing liquids, bath bombs, underwater volcanoes and more with this chemistry set. It features lessons including how reactions release gases, the science behind phosphorescence and how polymers work. 

This kit is labeled as being for six- to 14-year-olds. However, teenagers are likely already doing more advanced science in the lab at school, so it’s probably best for younger children.

3. Thames & Kosmos Chem C2000 (V 2.0) Experiment Kit 

This enormous chemistry set contains 250 experiments for kids aged 11 and up. It’s pricey, but it comes with a 128-page lab manual, safety glasses and professional-grade equipment, including an alcohol burner.

This kit is best suited for children who already have an active interest in chemistry, and requires some household items like ethanol and steel wool. It’s sure to occupy kids for hours. 

4. Discovery Extreme Chemistry STEM Science Kit

For children aged eight and up, this kit comes with 30 experiments, plus a blacklight and poster. It’s less expensive compared to other chemistry sets of similar quality. The kit includes test tubes, pipettes and more to get started, and teaches subjects like acid and base chemistry, polymers and color science. Kids will have fun making stringy worms and growing their own crystals. 

5. Yellow Scope Beakers and Bubbles Foundation Chemistry Kit

Eight to 12-year-olds will enjoy doing experiments like separating DNA from a strawberry, doing pH tests and mixing chemicals together. The kit comes with real lab equipment, including beakers, a digital timer, a thermometer, goggles and more. It also includes a lab notebook with quizzes and fun facts about chemistry, plus places for kids to doodle their own experimental designs. 

6. Thames & Kosmos Ooze Labs Chemistry Station

For any kid who loves slime — which is most of them — this chemistry set is sure to delight. It’s all about making squishy, oozy messes, adding a fun tactile twist on traditional science lessons. This chemistry set is best for kids ages six and up. It comes with 20 experiments and instruction cards, plus a manual that explains the science behind the slime. 

7. Playz Kaboom! Explosive Combustion Science Lab Kit

Setting off explosions is sure to pique the interest of any young mad scientist. Kids aged eight to 12 can build fizzy bombs, rockets and more with this noisy, educational STEM kit. As entertaining as these combustive experiments are, they’re also safe for children, although parents will probably have to help the younger kids out. 

Like most other science kits, it requires the addition of a few common household items. This chemistry set also comes with a lab manual that includes pictures and step-by-step instructions. 

8. National Geographic Science Magic Kit 

For kids who are really into magic tricks, this chemistry set presents science through the lens of mystique and awe. It features twenty experiments that are sure to amaze, like bending metal with water, making a coin float and making a test tube disappear. All of them are set up like magic tricks. 

This science kit also has a guide with 30 bonus experiments that kids can do with household items. And, of course, it comes with white gloves and a magic wand so aspiring magicians can put on a show for the whole family.

9. National Geographic Mega Science Lab 

With 75 experiments packed in, this is the ultimate science kit. It features chemistry projects like launching a rocket using gas, popping fireworks and creating fizzy, bubbling chemical reactions. Plus, it includes earth science experiments such as making glow-in-the-dark crystals and digging for fossils. 

It’s made for ages eight and up. The high price tag might give some parents sticker shock, but with the hours of entertainment and education this kit can provide, it’s worth it. 

Improving STEM Education and Toys

Chemistry sets for kids have a problematic history. Marketed exclusively to boys until 1958, the first kit developed for girls featured bubblegum-pink lettering and was advertised as a lab technician set — being a chemist, after all, was a man’s job. While boys’ chemistry sets featured glassblowing equipment and hot plates, girls’ chemistry sets taught them how to make perfume or become better cooks. 

The gendered advertising of children’s toys has come a long way, but toymakers still have work to do. A quick Google search for “science toys for boys” pops up ads for robotics, science-based chemistry sets and hands-on kits for building a marble maze. These toys present learning as futuristic and cool. 

For girls, the top results for the same Google search are a model house, a terrarium with pink plants and fairies, mystical potions, and — once again — a chemistry set based around cooking. One almost has to squint to see the science, buried as it is in a deep layer of glitter and fantasy. 

Girls internalize this marketing. Creating science toys for girls while avoiding stereotypes, such as promoting aesthetics over function, will encourage more women to choose STEM careers. Toy companies should strive for more inclusive advertising. 

Chemistry Sets for Kids

The chemistry sets in this list are for any child who wants to know more about the world around them. They teach kids that learning can be hands-on, fun, and, most importantly, open to anyone with a curious nature and love for science. 

Revolutionized is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn more here.


Lou Farrell

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