Are you looking for that special gift for your kid? Do you want something that is not only fun, but original too?
Let me tell you about something that is cool and educative.
I’m talking about developing real life skills that will continue to pay off for years and years.
Skills like problem solving, critical thinking, logic, patience, trial and error searching, and an overall understanding of how things work, will help you accomplish big things in life.
I want to introduce you to the world of science kits.
What are science kits?
These are scientific toys, perfect for sparking creativity and develop the intellect of the young. In fact, many of these kits are great for your 4 or 5 year old toddlers, yet an adult should always help.
These science kits are not only about hands-on learning and joyful experiences, but also develop the skills I previously mentioned.
The time you and your kids take to build, solve, develop, research, troubleshoot, and enjoy the pride of seeing the end result, has no parallel in terms of quality time spent as a family.
I personally own some of these kits and they are a joy to build.
But the benefits of science kits don’t stop there.
Do you want to reduce the screen time of your kid? Either using video games, social networks, or just watching TV, these sets can help.
The parents who get these scientific kits for their children see them less time using electronics, and more time thinking and solving problems.
It is just a matter of finding the right set for getting your kids’ attention.
What are the best kids science kits?
How much are these?
Less than $100 USD in most cases. The investment is low compared to what you get in return for using these wonderful tools.
Why science kits are perfect learning tools?
Let me set this straight, so you don’t create unrealistic expectations.
Science kits do not replace school, in fact, they work as tools for understanding basic concepts that later can be studied in depth.
For instance, one of the kits I’ll present touches on the basics of electronic circuits, and while it won’t explain electricity in detail, it will give your kid a notion of how electricity works.
This notion will be useful later when a deeper study of electronics is needed.
I’m an engineer and a dad, and I can tell you that some of these kits sparked my curiosity and that is why I decided to become and engineer.
The things I saw as a kid when assembling these models, made my engineering classes a lot easier, enjoyable, and very relatable.
Also, the innate resistance or hesitation students have to learn more complex concepts, disappears instantly once this is familiar ground.
Having said this, science kits make the learning experience much more enjoyable and enriching, as they help to demonstrate and experience the concepts on paper.
In a nutshell, you should consider these not just as educational playthings, but also as tools that can be used to increase your kids’ intelligence and creativity.
How can I engage my kids at home and decrease their screen time?
You can always think of something your kids can help at home and have them to that. The challenge, however, is for kids to learn something and have fun.
Let’s face it. If you ask most parents, they’ll come up with things like cleaning rooms, fixing things, or other activities that kids consider boring.
I’m not saying you should never have your kids clean up their room or help you fix something at home.
You want to make sure you have a variety of options in your menu. This will make everything a lot easier and enjoyable.
Also, as kids, the truth is they want to do interesting things. You may not know this, but they are also thirsty for knowledge.
Kids want to learn a lot of things just because they are kids. They think there is an adventure under each new rock they turn.
Thus, we as parents, must give them as much of that in creative and entertaining ways.
If you are one of those people asking: What to buy a kid who has everything?, then I tell you these science kits are awesome gifts for children and adults.
Why are educational toys important?
Video games these days are tough to beat. Also, social platforms like YouTube, where kids can find content to watch for hours.
So again, we have to be clever and present plenty of choices to get their attention and challenge their intellect.
This is why educational gadgets are so important these days.
And the good news is they come in so many forms and shapes that you’ll have an unlimited source of options to choose from.
If you ask me, I tend to go with STEM labeled toy kits. These are by far more than just toys that your kids can use to have fun.
They will bring that extra ingredient to spark the curiosity and challenge the intellect of your children.
What is a STEM toy kit?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. You may see a variation as well with an “A”, which stands for Art.
Whatever is the case, the intent is the same. These kits are essentially toys designed to include the learning experience in the joy and fun a toy can give.
Like I said, there are many options available, so it helps to observe your kid to know what type of kits may have the most impact with him or her.
For instance, I have a nephew who is a lot into dinosaurs and the different forms of life. In this case, I would choose a biology or even chemistry set, rather than an electronics one.
In fact, this last Christmas we gave him a set of dinosaurs that came with the most common ones, and he had fun just looking at the details of the shape and naming each one of the models.
On a different occasion, we gave him a kit about robotics, which he saw for a while and then threw away.
The thing was less than $10 bucks, so it wasn’t a big deal. But we did that intentionally, as we wanted to know what type of kit would like him best.
This is exactly the type of strategy I suggest you to use with your kids.
Even if you think your kid is not a lot into science, I invite you to try with small and affordable science kits to learn what way go with your children.
What is the price of science kit?
In many cases, you are looking at kits that are not beyond the $100 USD mark, in most, you won’t be spending much more than $50. It will all depend on the type of kit your kid enjoys the most.
The big takeaway here, and the big difference with a PS5, for instance, is that you are not getting something that will continue to cost more and more.
With video games, you know the first thing is the console, but then comes the extra accessories and games, and in the long run, nothing of that will give you a return of investment.
In fact, the most probable is that you’ll continue to buy the next generation of Play Station and so on.
This is not the case with science kits.
In terms of money, it makes sense to think of these as investments you make in your child’s bank.
Eventually you’ll reap much more than what you sow, and so will your kid. So I invite you to think of these kits not as expenses, but as investments.
I’m the living proof this is true, as I learned a lot from the electronics set and the 4-cycle engine working model my mom gave me as a kid.
The total investment she made with those two was about $55 USD, but that is all she needed to ensure I wanted to go to college.
This happened when I was 14 years old. Today I’m 35 and I continue to remember those kits as the one responsible for sparking my desire to continue studying.
So this is why I think the price you pay for these kits is really low, compared to the benefits you and your kid will get in return.
What makes a good educational toy?
In my view, if it makes you kid happy, gets his or her attention, and brings a learning experience, is enough.
The best science toys will do exactly this. However, if you want a more detailed guide as to what to look for in these, here are some tips I can offer:
- Make sure the science kit is related to something your kid enjoys. If you don’t know, then start small and go with something very affordable.
- Once you identify something you think your kid would like, read about it and learn exactly what it does. If it is a board game, learn the rules of the game and what is the overall dynamic. This way you’ll know if it is educative or not.
- Read reviews and comments from current customers (Amazon is the tool for this), to see what they have to say. Learn about the flaws or negative comments and make sure you consider these before you buy the set.
- I tend to go with kits that require assembly, as these are good to spend time with your kids. Also, there is an extra bit of satisfaction in seeing the end result of something you built together. The learning experience is enriched by the assembly process, as each part plays a role in understanding how things work.
- Check the recommended age range so you don’t set unrealistic expectations for your kid and the set. The whole point of these science toys is to have fun, and the age range has a big impact on this.
- Be willing to learn, and to spend time assembling, researching, solving, troubleshooting, and finalizing the project with your kid. All of this adds to the learning experience. You may not notice it now, but finding and solving issues will be part of the memories your kid will have about you in his/her adulthood, and these will help in the future to create a process to solve a problem.
- If for some reason the kit is not as good as you expected, it has a been a valuable practice for me to explain that to my kids and let them know the exact problem. This will prevent and remove a lot of the frustration from your kid, for not completing the set.
- And… overall, have fun with these science toys, as these is what they are in the first place, toys meant to have fun. Be sure to always have fun while spending time together.
What types of kids science kits are there?
These science kits are divided by assignment, so you can find anything your kid is interested in.
Let’s dive into the actual categories these science kits are divided, so you know a bit more of your options when wanting to buy one of these.
You’ll be able to find everything related to the human body, its parts and its functions. If your children wants to learn about the human body, the sets under this category will be a perfect fit.
There are some options that go specific on organs, to know better its functions and how they look like.
Human anatomy is not the only choice, as there are some veterinary anatomy scientific sets to know more about the functioning of animal’s body.
These anatomy science toys help kids to understand the human body uses different systems, that each system has organs, where these organs are, and how they work together to do all of its functions.
Most of these science toys allow assembly and disassembly, which makes the experience much more enjoyable, as the functions of each organ are explained.
Archaeology & Paleontology
Do you see your kid excited about excavations, discoveries, or ancient creatures or cultures? Then the science sets of archaeology or paleontology may be a fantastic choice.
Here, your kid will have a chance to dig dinosaur fossils out from real stones. These sets come with all the tools and instructions to make sure the experience is just like in real life.
Imagine how exciting would be to excavate from real stone and discover something? I think that is fantastic.
Scientific sets about Archaeology & Paleontology can help enhance eye-hand coordination, and while simple in nature, kids, especially young ones, love these, as it is easy to relate the kits to what is seen in movies like Jurassic Park.
Nothing unleashes the imagination of your kids as a space exploration kit. Astronomy, not to be confused with astrology, is the branch of science that studies celestial objects, space and the Universe.
Math is heavily involved in this study, and while these kits are not meant to throw a bunch of math equations to your toddler or teenager, it is true that one thing will lead to another.
Here you’ll find solar system models, telescopes, projectors, and other amazing gadgets that will invite your kid to use his or her imagination.
I owned a Solar System model as a kid, and it was fantastic. But what I remember the most, is that accidentally, I splashed out a bit of paint on the walls and ceiling of my room.
I did not know at that moment, but that night, when I turned the lights off, the little drops of paint were shining everywhere, because this was glowing paint.
The droplets got light all day long, and at night I had a beautiful view on the ceiling of my room.
Like I said, this was unintentional, but the view was literally, out of this world.
These biology sets are great to learn about DNA, genetics, bacteria, and microscopic experiments. By all means your kids will be safe, as none of the substances they analyze will be harmful.
In fact, your kid will observe the cellular structure of an onion slice under a microscope, or learn about how cells are structured using a model.
There is something big about realizing how things are composed at a microscopic scale. You may be used to see those images in TV, but for a kid seeing this live for the first time is something quite impactful.
So biology toys will definitely help your kid understand everything about the science of living things.
The study of the plants and seeds is in charge of botanists. Does your kid have a school science project about photosynthesis? Then a botany science toy is the perfect gift choice for that project.
Make no mistake here. Most of these science toys will get your kids’ hand dirty. Why? well, because you can’t grow plants without dirt.
Also, your kid will get to conduct some cool experiments with plants and seeds. Learning all about how plants grow and the type of care each needs.
Some of the most basic school experiments involve using seeds to grow plants, and see how these evolve with time, heat, water, light, and care. This science experiment kit will definitely help on that.
This is one of the best known sciences. Chemistry is the scientific discipline that studies elements and compounds, composed by atoms, molecules, and ions.
If there is a discipline that makes you think about a science lab, chemistry is the one.
Most STEM chemistry sets will have your child mixing substances and experimenting with them.
While having fun making cool science experiments, they’ll learn about using lab equipment to measure precise amounts of substances and accomplish specific results.
The options are many, but one thing is for sure: chemistry kits are among the most enjoyable and interesting of all sets you can find in the world of science toys for kids.
Computers & Electronics
If I may, I want to say these are among my personal favorite ones. Like I said, my mom gave me an electronics kit when I was a teenager.
These help kids understand how electronic circuits work, since the logic behind the current flow and how and why circuits are connected the way they are, becomes obvious.
Electricity is not that intuitive, and it is when you start studying it that many things about our modern world make sense.
When I say electricity is not intuitive, I mean that you can’t imagine how it works until you see how it works.
If you put together a bunch of wood planks, you’ll eventually build a wall. You can imagine that.
But who could say there is a special property of metals, that makes them the perfect medium to conduct electricity? And in fact, what is electricity? How would you know it is there?
You are aware of electricity today because our world can’t work without it, but imagine the ancient times. How would they know about it?
That is what I mean when I say, electricity and electronic circuits for that matter, are not that intuitive. And this is why, in my opinion, science toys that deal with electronics are very educative.
The same is true for computers and coding kits. Because now, not only electricity flows through metal, but you can build circuits for electricity to flow through specific portions of the circuit at different times.
This is the foundation of coding, and it is useful to activate different parts of a machine when they are needed.
Inside a smartphone, there are thousands of ways for the electricity to move.
To put it simple, every time you turn on the lamp of your phone, by touching that button, you give an instruction to make electricity pass through the circuit that turns on the lamp.
While smartphones are complex circuits with lots of coding, the principles governing the circuits on these mobile devices, are the same you can learn using computers & electronics sets.
These are definitely pretty cool science gifts for kids, as they are wonderful educational toys.
Geology & Earth Sciences
Volcanos, rocks, marbles, crystals and gems. These are the materials you’ll find in some of these geology kits.
The study of rocks is something important to understand the world we live in. Rocks can tell us the age of places, if they were under water at some point, or exposed to extreme heat.
Volcanoes as well have a deep impact in the weather of a planet. They transform the atmosphere so that a planet can sustain life.
Every great archaeologist knows about rocks and volcanoes, as these are the foundation to understand all great discoveries. Definitely a great way to keep your child busy at home.
Magnets are interesting objects. Over the years, people have assigned them magical properties or healing powers. But as science evolves, we learned that magnets are stones that attract metal.
And why magnets are important in today’s world? Because they are everywhere. In fact, magnetism is the foundation of electric motors. These rotate thanks to magnets.
Electricity and magnetism are closely related, and when combined, they give birth to technology of every kind. Like I said, electric motors as well use magnets and electromagnets.
And just like with the electronics and computers kits, these magnetism kits will help your child understand the basic principles of magnets, magnetic fields and electromagnetism.
What I like about magnets is that even small children can have fun with them, as these are particularly interesting objects.
There is a reason why this site is called Toys and Physics, and that is because I enjoy toys related to physics.
Everything about machines has to do with physics, since the principles that make things work, find its origins in physics.
I really enjoy learning and doing physics, and some sections of this site are dedicated entirely to discuss physics topics, like my page on motion along a straight line, which is a deep study of the rectilinear motion and the equations that describe such motion.
Physics studies the Universe and its nature. Why things work how they do, and how this can benefit the human kind.
Probably we can say that about all sciences, and that is why these scientific sets are such fantastic present ideas for the young minds.
The sets you’ll find under the category of physics explain some of the most common and useful laws and principles we now know the Universe uses to work the way it does.
Why the stars move the way they do? What is speed and velocity? How forces act over objects?
The physics science kits explain all this and more.
Engineering & Mechanics
Do you see your child has a talent to disassemble things? Well… we engineers are not much different.
The only difference is that we, engineers, take pictures before, in case we need to assemble things back 😉.
The truth is there is a way to go about building things. We call it structure, and structure means not only foundation, but also logic and order when building something.
Engineers make great efforts not only to build great things, but to also establish a process that can be followed over and over if needed, to continue building more and more.
What do we build? You name it. It could be machines, entire cities, power plants, tree houses.
Anyone can build a tree house, but an engineer will do more than just add wood and cloves. We’ll take care of the structure to make sure it is strong.
The safety will be included so that everyone feels safe playing up there, and we’ll also consider adding protection for the rainy days.
Like I said, an engineer is a thinking person in charge of making sure all the details are there.
And the engineering and mechanics science kits you can find in the market are exactly for that: teaching your kid to follow a process to build things.
This is the last stop in categories of these science kits, and I left the best for the end.
You may think robotics is a pretty advanced discipline that only the super smart can understand.
And while it is true that it is quite advanced, it is also true that robotics is for everyone, and everyone can enjoy robotics.
You may also think robotics kits are expensive, and yes! some of them are expensive, but not all. In fact, you can get some of the best robotics kits for less than $100 USD, and in some cases, you can get them for less than $50 USD.
Some of these kits are Lego type, meaning that you assemble something and then turn the switch on and it does its thing.
But I like those that involve coding, as you can customize the functions of these robots and explore coding as well.
And please don’t feel intimidated by the word “coding”. You may be surprised by how many people find it not only easy to do, but develop a passion for it.
This is because once you learn the potential of coding, the sky is the limit. And the other important thing is that these kits also help your child to understand the basics of coding in very friendly ways.
In fact, I recommend you to visit code.org to learn more about how many and fantastic ways your young can start coding with super user-friendly and intuitive tools.
But going back to robotics, one thing is to create some code and see it working on a screen, and a very different one is to put it into something and see that something act the way you coded it to act.
This has a huge impact in everyone’s way to see and understand things. This is why I’m also going to recommend some robotics kits that will bring hours of joy and learning.
What ages are these learning kits designed for?
In terms of ages, there is a kit for every step of the way, meaning, all ages can enjoy these kids science kits.
Every child is different, and some will be more skilled than others, which is why it is always advised to have an adult present to supervise and help as needed.
After this you can decide if an adult helps or not, in the learning experience, as some kids take these very seriously and decide to take the challenge and do all themselves. In other cases, some kids require a bit more help.
Continuing with the ages topic, you want to think how the manufacturer decides the age ranges for products.
This process is focused on the safety of the child above all, so things like the size of the pieces or if any material could be hazardous, are part of the age range designation.
And you as a parent should do the same.
Also, I would encourage to go a bit farther and think about the skills of your child to find the best STEM science kit. There is something for most ages, toddlers and teenagers will have fun with the experiments of these science toys.
For 3 Year Olds
For 4 Year Olds
For 5 Year Olds
For 6 Year Olds
For 8 Year Olds
For 9 Year Olds
For 10 Year Olds
For 11 Year Olds
For 12 Year Olds
For teens of 13 Years Old
For a 14 Year Old boy or girl
Closing thoughts on the Best Science Kits for Kids
There are many advantages of spending time assembling these kits. To say they are just for fun, is an understatement, when in reality, kids, teens, and adults not only have a blast of joy but also learn something in the way.
If you ask me, the biggest benefit of these is having quality time with the family. The costs as well are super low when compared with video games and other gadgets parents use to entertain their kids.
Last but not least, I have said that some of these kits helped me to consider college as a serious option in my life, as these kits made me think that even when it could be challenging, the process itself could be rewarding and formative. I know my life would be a very different one if I had not went to college.
Now I turn it onto you. Is there a science kit you want to try or do you have any experience with these you can share? Let us know in the comments below, and share this post on your social channels so that other people know more about these fantastic kits.