From exploding volcanoes and microscopes to crystal growing and terrariums, these science kits are full of fun activities that'll keep kids entertained and learning at home all summer.

By Kat de Naoum
June 22, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Sure, Legos and Play-Doh are cool, but have they ever helped make a volcano explosion, grow butterflies, or create crystals? We think not. STEM kits that include experiments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics not only provide hours of at-home entertainment, but your kids will actually learn about stuff like chemistry, paleontology, electrical currents, crystals and geodes, and even climate change — all while having fun. Have a look at our 16 top picks for the best science kits for youngsters of all ages.

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Note: Some of these activities contain chemical substances and require adult supervision.

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When it comes to science, the younger they start learning, the better! The Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab table is suitable for toddlers and comes with 20 fun experiments for them to try.  The interactive toy lab also features over 40 sounds and phrases and 20 toy lab accessories, including test tubes, stirring spoons, a Bunsen burner, an eyedropper, and lab goggles. Ages: 2 and up

Buy it! $89 (originally $119.99); amazon.com

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If your kids can't stop reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, they will love the Insect Lore butterfly growing kit which allows them to witness a wondrous caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation firsthand. The kit comes with a reusable pop-up mesh habitat for your baby caterpillars to be observed and fed for approximately three weeks till they undergo their metamorphosis and grow into beautiful butterflies. (The caterpillars are ordered separately with an included voucher and shipped for an additional $7.99.) Ages: 4 and up

Buy it! $24.70; amazon.com 

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From a lava lamp to an iconic exploding volcano, this box of 21 lab activities will keep your kids occupied for hours on end creating all kinds of cool things. The kit comes with everything children need to get started: petri dishes, a measuring spoon, a funnel, citric acid, glow powder, a foaming agent—you name it. All you have to provide is water, eggs, and oil! Ages: 5 and up

Buy it! $35.99 (originally $39.99); amazon.com 

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When all else fails to entertain, slime and putty will win. With this Magical Mixing sensory science kit, your children can make their own bouncing slime, oobleck, squishy crystals, fantastic fizz, and seven more gooey experiments they will absolutely adore. Ages: 6 and up

Buy it! $19.99; amazon.com

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These 12 “dinosaur eggs” will delight all aspiring archeologists and dino-lovers. Once kids chip away at the eggs with the included chisel brushes, a different dinosaur will be revealed that they can add to their collection. Color-coded learning cards are included with information on each dinosaur, and the set comes with its own display box. Ages: 6 and up.

Buy it! $24.99; amazon.com 

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With everything included to make their own little eco system—including a mason jar, potting mix, seeds, garden figurines, sand, and stones—the Grow N’ Glow Terrarium by Creativity for Kids is a great way to introduce children to the wonderful world of botany and plant growing. They’ll see the fruits of their labor in just a few days, and what’s more, the kit comes with glow-in-the-dark stickers that make the terrarium come alive at night! Ages: 6 and up

Buy it! $25.94; michaels.com

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This Wizards Only spells kit for kids mixes science with magic. (Well, it’s all science, but the audience doesn’t need to know that!) There are nine activities that harness chemical reactions to create “magic” color-changing potions, and crazy fizzy foams will bring out your child's inner Harry Potter or Hermione Granger stat. Ages: 6 and up

Buy it! $19.99 (originally $23.99); amazon.com

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Not many of us knew about electrical currents and circuit boards at the tender age of 8, but thanks to this ThinkFun Circuit Maze logic game, our kids can gain an understanding of how these engineering components work in a fun way. Spoiler: Parents who play along may even learn a thing or two. Ages: 8 and up

Buy it! $29.94; amazon.com

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With over 5,100 reviews on Amazon, the National Geographic geode kit is a well-loved geology learning activity for children and adults alike. In the pack, your kid will find 10 natural rocks with beautiful crystals waiting inside to be discovered. Safety goggles, display stands, and a full-color geode learning guide are included. Ages: 8 and up

Buy it! $24.99; amazon.com

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A list of the best science kits for kids wouldn’t be complete without a volcanic eruption experiment, and this option from Playz does not disappoint. With enough tools and ingredients to make 15 eruptions and another 15 lava bombs, this STEM kit uses acid-based chemistry to teach kids about volcanoes, minerals, and natural gases. Ages: 8 and up

Buy it! $29.95 (originally $44.99); amazon.com

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Is there a doctor in the house? This 29-piece squishy human model will teach kids about the ins and outs of the human body, including bones, muscles, and vital organs. The kit comes complete with removable internal body parts, forceps, tweezers, and an in-depth illustrated anatomy and biology book. Ages: 8 and up

Buy It! $17.99 (originally $29.99); amazon.com

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With two built-in microscopes—one for viewing solid objects like plants and insects and a high-powered option for looking at cells and bacteria—the JuinorScope 2-in 1 Microscope for Kids will make them feel like real-life scientists. The kit comes with an array of extras and accessories, like prepared slides, forceps, a test tube, a petri dish, adventure experiment cards, and more. Ages: 8 and up

Buy It! $89 (originally $129.99); amazon.com 

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The Green Science Weather Kit by 4M is about as much fun a kid can have learning about global warming and climate change. They can make mini clouds, experiment with static electricity, observe air currents, and build a water cycle model—all while gaining essential knowledge about different weather types and the greenhouse effect. Ages: 8 and up

Buy it! $12.99; amazon.com

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The Ridiculous Inventions experiments set will have inventors-in-the-making jumping for joy as they make rainbows, windmills, and robots. These 26 creative experiments teach children all about electricity, circuits, switches, magnetic force fields, and more. Ages: 8 and up

Buy it! $44.95 (originally $69.95); amazon.com

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One of the most popular at-home science projects in recent years is crystal growing, and the 4M crystal science kit has everything your kid needs to grow seven different types. Once the crystals are complete, they can be displayed in the included cases so your kids can admire their handywork. Ages: 10 and up

Buy it! $19.99; amazon.com

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If you think your children would like to try a bit of everything science-wise, the Smithsonian Mega Science Lab is the way to go. With experiments pertaining to volcanic eruptions, weather stations, crystal growing, eco dome insect habitats, and dinosaur bone discovery, this comprehensive kit has it all. Ages: 10 and up

Buy it! $54.95; amazon.com

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