Chemistry Sets

Top 5 Chemistry Sets for Kids and Adults

Finding the right chemistry set that will keep your child entertained as well as help them along in their science education can be difficult. The classic chemistry set that was iconic of youth for so long has faded into a rarity. Instead of focusing on education and science, most modern chemistry kits are intended to be mere toys. However, there are still a handful of legitimate, science-based sets being produced.

These are the top 5 chemistry sets that we could find anywhere. They include everything you will need to encourage your children in this area of science and keep them, and you, entertained too. The sets we’ve included are best for children ages ten and older, with the larger ones even being at an adult level and appropriate for anyone wanting to learn more about chemistry.

We have listed our favorites in order of age range, from least to most advanced chemistry sets.

Kids First Chemistry Set

Ages: 8+

Kids First Chemistry Set

This set is designed specifically for teaching the fundamentals of chemistry to younger kids. There are detailed full-color illustrations for each of the 27 experiments recommended. At this age, so many kits dumb down the real science, but this kit does a good job of keeping it entertaining while not losing focus on understanding the science that is at work.

An example of this is an experiment with plaster for making test tube racks, which they will use in further experiments.

Through hands-on experiments, this set helps establish an understanding of crystallization, reactions, thermal flow, and evaporation. In the process, the child will also become familiar with the basic equipment used in chemistry.

Thames and Kosmos Chem C500

Ages: 10+

Thames Kosmos C500 Chemistry Set

The Thames and Kosmos Chem C500 chemistry set focuses on the reactions and differences between solids, liquids, and gases. It also introduces electrochemistry with metals and salts.

That sounds like a big step for a 10 year old, but the experiments are all hands on fun and not textbook serious. Yet, it gets the child acquainted with slightly more advanced concepts.

Experiments include making a litmus solution as well as an invisible ink.

As with most chemistry sets, you will need to buy some of the chemicals locally since the kit only includes chemicals that are safe to be dropped by the postman.

Thames & Kosmos Chem C1000 v2

Ages: 10+
Thames and Kosmos C1000 Chemistry Set

Labeled as being for 10+ years, it is significantly more advanced than the one above. Quite frankly, it depends on your 10 year old. If they are a total geek, get this. If they have their mind on other things and you just want to introduce the subject of chemistry and spark an interest, then the chemistry set above is a good choice.

125 experiments are laid out with detailed instructions in an 80 full-color manual. This set delves into the physical properties of fluids and experiments with surface tension as well as air pressure.

There is some duplication in the subjects covered with the previous set, but the C1000 also continues exploring electrochemical reactions by dissolving metals.

Our personal favorite is the simple experiment of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Through simple electrolysis, a child can suddenly understand how chemistry can literally change everything, and how the components of a molecule can have very different properties than the molecule itself.

Thames & Kosmos Chem C2000 v2

Ages: 11+

Thames Kosmos C2000 Chemistry Set

This is a 50 piece intermediate chemistry set. With the addition of an alcohol burner, this kit has 250 guided experiments. It continues the exploration of electrochemistry and introduces experiments involving combustion and heat.

The additional of the alcohol burner greatly increases what can be done with this kit. Because you can involve high heat, you can catalyze reactions and explore the separation of mixtures with heat.

Stronger acids and bases are used to explore metals like aluminum, iron, and copper.

Thames & Kosmos Chem C3000 v2

Ages: 12+

Thames & Kosmos C3000 Chemistry Set

This is the ultimate chemistry set for any young scientist and an excellent starter set for adults. It includes everything in the C2000 above, as well as dozens of additional chemicals and tools.

The following is a list of just some of the highlights of the C3000 chemistry set.

  • Erlenmeyer Flask
  • Large Graduated Beakers (2)
  • Small Graduated Beakers (4)
  • Pointed Glass Tube
  • Straight Glass Tube
  • Angled Tube
  • Acute-Angle Glass Tube
  • Glass Balls (2)
    Used For Mixing Safely
  • Test Tubes (5)
  • Immersion Heater
  • Alcohol Burner
  • Tripod Stand
  • Carbon Electrode
  • Magnesium Strip
  • Copper Sheet
  • Copper Wire
  • Zinc Sheet
  • Aluminum Disk
  • Sodium Thiosulfate
  • Sodium Hydrogen Sulfate
  • Calcium Hydroxide
  • Potassium Hexacyanoferrate(II)
  • Ammonium Chloride
  • Potassium Permanganate Mixture
    (Potassium Permanganate and Sodium Sulfate Mixture 1:2)
  • Sulfur
  • Copper (II) Sulfate
  • Sodium Carbonate
  • Potassium Iodide
  • Potassium Bromide
  • Ammonium Iron (III) Sulfate
  • Litmus Powder
  • Three 100 ml Bottles
    for Caustic Soda, Hydrochloric Acid, and Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iron Filings
  • Silicone Hose Coupler
  • Activated Charcoal

These are just the highlights of this set. It contains a lot more supplies than it makes sense to list here and all of the hardware that you will need to carry out over 300 experiments. You can find the full list of what is included at the link below.

The experiment manual is written at a higher level than the other kits, but it is still full of illustrations and explanations. Through performing experiments, the guide helps the child learn about the periodic table, chemical equations, and atomic structures.

The experiments cover general chemistry, but also include an introduction to organic chemistry. Examples of experiments from this chemistry set are “Metal ions as oxidizing agents”, and “Redox reactions of the halogens”. You will be working with Chlorine, Bromine, Potassium Permanganate, and Hydrochloric Acid, among other chemicals, so parental supervision is a must for safety.

This is a great chemistry set for anyone that already has a basic foundation in chemistry and wants to take their knowledge and abilities to a higher level. It also the most complex, complete and high-quality kit that we’ve found.

The Thames & Kosmos Chem C3000 will serve your child well through the high school level and will be fascinating for most adults as well.

2 Comments

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  • Enjoyed the graded levels of these sets. Couldn’t help but notice a single-brand focus, though.
    Wondering, where would you recommend an older adult with no chemistry experience start? I have no qualms about beginning with the little kids set, if that’s what you recommend.


    • That bothered us too, and we looked for variety but what we found was that Thames & Kosmos had the best sets and we just couldn’t get around that. Once you get passed the level of the C3000, you really need to be assembling your own kit piece by piece.

      If you have no chemistry experience but want to start learning and doing your own research, I would get the C3000 to get started. It gives you a running start and the experiment manual should be a great learning experience as it’s not exactly starter level.

      Once I went through all the experiments and was comfortable with terminology, etc., I would source additional supplies and chemicals individually from EBay. It’s amazing what they have. If my budget allowed, I might buy my lab ware new but in reality glassware is glass so you should be able to wash most of it well enough and save a lot of money.

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