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- Chemistry sets teach language and math skills as well as logical thinking and problem-solving.
- They help children understand basic scientific principles while building their confidence in all natural sciences and math.
- We’ve narrowed down some of the best chemistry sets on the market for kids interested in exploring this field.
Advantages of a Chemistry Set for Kids
Early education in the principles of science, technology, engineering, and math holds the potential to not just start them on a stable, in-demand career later in life, but teaches them valuable thinking and reasoning skills.
Chemistry sets help children learn critical thinking, logic, and problem-solving skills from a young age, while also promoting language and reading skills, hand-eye and fine motor coordination, and even social skills. Even better, these experiments are fun and exciting, so kids don’t feel like they are learning at all.
How to Choose a Chemistry Set for Kids
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are shopping for a chemistry set for children:
While chemistry sets for children are designed to be safe, it’s still important to make sure that the set is safe and age-appropriate. Be aware of small parts, particularly if your child is likely to put toys in their mouth. Look for soft, rounded edges on surfaces that are easy for small hands to hold without hurting themselves.
We love chemistry sets that include eye protection and other safety equipment, because, even though they are probably not necessary for the types of experiments in the kits, they help instill safe habits in children that will benefit them later.
Durability and Ease of Cleaning.
The best chemistry sets for kids are not only designed to be physically durable, unlikely to break when dropped, heated, or cooled, but are also designed to last when used. For example, plastics that easily warp or stain, rubber tubing that quickly dries and splits, or pieces that are difficult to clean without leaving a residue, can all make the chemistry set much less fun, and reduce the use and enjoyment of the toy.
Chemistry experiments can be a lot of cleanup afterward, so think about how easy it will be to clean, and how you can encourage your kids to reduce messes while playing with a chemistry set.
Remember that most chemistry sets will call for experiments using items that are not in the set itself. Experiments may call for cornstarch, food coloring, vinegar, dish soap, and other common household ingredients. If you intend to give a chemistry set to a child as a gift, they may want to start playing with it immediately, so it’s a good idea to do a quick check and make sure that your pantry already has these ingredients available.
We love these chemistry sets because they are fun, safe, and educational at the same time. Most of the items on our list are suitable for younger children, but there are a few here that are great for teens as well.
The Learning Resources Primary Science Deluxe Lab Set has tons of way to learn, play, and experiment. It helps develop STEM skills like math, logical reasoning, and sequential thinking. It’s a great way for kids 3 and older to begin exploring the world of science and experimentation.
- The set includes 2 large test tubes with a stand, 2 funnels, a tall stand with adjustable holder clips, 2 connector tubes, 3 stoppers, a ViewScope with viewing case, sensory tube with solid and vented lids, and adjustable safety glasses to start good safety habits early.
- It also has 20 double-sided activity cards to guide learning and discovery.
The Learning Resources Mix and Measure Activity Set is a great way to explore math and measurement concepts that relate to scientific exploration, and also to build fundamental skills for cooking.
- The set includes a working scale, 3 self-standing spoons, and 6 measuring cups, all safe and contoured for small hands.
- Included activity cards teach children how to make fun sensory experiences like mystery goo, puffy paint, slime, and more.
- This set works well with other toys and creative, sensory experiences.
- Ruggedly constructed and durable
- Bright and attractive colors to attract kids ages 3 and up
- Doubles as great bath toys.
- The scale isn’t very accurate or responsive
- Not strictly a chemistry lab set, it’s more focused on scales and measurements.
While it may be called the “Glow in The Dark Slime Lab,” this kit from Playz is a fantastic way to get kids interested in a wide range of STEM skills and activities.
- Includes more than 72 activities and recipes.
- Allowing kids to make fluffy slime, glowing dough, sticky fish, and even luminescent blood.
- Teaches kids about polymers, the transformation of matter, viscous substances, atoms, and molecules, in a hands-on, interactive, and fun way.
- The set includes over 31 tools and ingredients for over 19 experiments, and gloves to protect small hands
- The resulting slimes, goo’s, and doughs will be fun, sensory play in themselves.
- It may be difficult to clean up after some of these experiments
This junior chemistry lab kit introduces kids to chemical reactions, acids and bases and measurements through scientific discovery. It features 32 creative experiments suitable for kids ages 8 and above.
- Entertaining experiments that younger kids will enjoy.
- Easy to follow instructions.
- Great as a side project for kids.
The interactive Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab Toy is a child-sized science lab with everything they need to learn, explore, and discover more about the world of science. It has different enough, fun activities that 2 kids can play at once, making a ball maze, completing a circuit, or brewing up a formula. It’s a great way to teach the principles of STEM to young children.
- The lab comes with a removable lab tray along with 8 maze pieces, 3 maze balls, 3 test tubes, 3 stirring spoons, a stirring stick, an eyedropper, and lab goggles.
- It also has interactive sounds and phrases
- It comes with 20 fun science experiments to stimulate a love of learning.
- It’s durably made and easy to clean
- 2 kids can play at the same time
- Requires assembly
- Not strictly a chemistry set.
With the Playz DIY Make Your Own Soap Activity Set and a little luck, you may be able to turn a love of science and discovery into a love of cleaning. With this kit, kids can make their own colorful, scented soaps that change, grow, and evolve in fascinating ways. It’s a fun kit to teach basic science skills to kids, and they can take their own handmade soaps and bubbles with them at bath time.
- The kit has a 36-page experiment and lab guide, activities, and 14 tools and ingredients.
- This kit teaches kids about scientific principles, math and measurements, chemistry, and even personal hygiene.
- Some experiments require additional ingredients to purchase
With this set, Ms. Frizzle takes her students on a magical exploration of the world of chemistry. It’s a fun way to conduct all kinds of experiments and learn about the world around you while building STEM and language skills.
- With the 51 experiment cards and included data notebook, kids conduct experiments using litmus paper to record pH, explore density, and perform chromatography.
- The experiments guide them through fun science projects like making bubble sculptures, creating slime, making a bouncy ball, producing a milk rainbow, exploding a volcano, and more.
- All the components store neatly in the bus-shaped chemistry lab.
With the Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit, kids can have a great time making and growing their own crystal gardens, learning about science and developing STEM skills along the way. Many crystal kits are disappointing and don’t actually grow crystals, but this one has a money-back guarantee and is a great way to explore and learn.
- Kids can customize the color and shape of their crystals, for fascinating and unique results.
- The kit is safe and simple
- It also comes with a book about the science of crystals and easy-to-follow video instructions.
- Real crystals are unlikely to be as large and spectacular as shown on the packaging
- Not strictly a chemistry set despite teaching kids basic ideas of chemistry.
This Molecular Model Kit from University Chemistry Company is a great way to learn and explore molecular geometry. This kit is good for everyone from kids to college students to get a hands-on understanding of how atoms and molecules work together, combining the fun and skills learned from building and construction toys, with a deeper understanding of the building blocks of matter. It’s a great way to stimulate an interest in organic and inorganic chemistry.
- Set contains 50 atoms across 10 different elements, 90 bonds in 3 different types, a bond remover tool, and a slim and durable storage box.
- The atoms are color-coded consistently with international standards.
- Great for teens or kids who have more advanced chemistry knowledge.
- May not have enough guidance or variation for small children.
This set is a great introduction to chemistry for kids aged 10-15. It covers 125 experiments that kids can do with materials in this set in combination with household items.
- Teaches essential lab skills.
- Well documented.
- Great for older kids.
- Some components aren’t very durable.
- Requires guidance for kids at the lower end of the recommended age range of 10-15.
- Requires many household items and/or items that are commonly found in grocery stores.
The science lab kit introduces kids to chemical reactions, tools and other scientific concepts through an all-encompassing set.
- Great option for younger children ages 6-8.
- Contains most of the items needed for the experiments.
- Too simplistic for older kids.
- Requires some household items.
Kids are naturally curious and want to learn more about the world around them. Chemistry sets are a great way to get your child off to a good start, building their confidence around the sciences and developing critical reasoning skills that they will need no matter where life takes them.
For More Ideas:
- See our buying guide for the best STEM Kits for Kids
- See our buying guide for the best STEM toys for toddlers