Finding the right chemistry set to help your child along in their education, as well as keep them entertained, can be difficult. The kit that was iconic of youth for so long has faded into a rarity. Instead of
focusing on science, almost all modern products are intended to be mere toys. However, there are still a handful of legitimate, science-based ones produced.
Each kit includes everything you will need to encourage your children in this area of science and keep them, and you, entertained too. The chemistry sets we’ve included are the best kits for parents with kids
ten and older, with the larger ones even being at an adult level and a perfect gift for anyone wanting to set up their own lab.
6 Best Chemistry Sets
The top chemistry sets on our list are more complete and provide more options. Kids will also find that some of the simpler items are a lot of fun, but they are more appropriate if they are just being introduced to the science of chemistry.
1. MELScience Chemistry Kits
The best chemistry set of 2021 may not be what you would expect. Why? Because MELChemistry doesn’t make a single chemistry set, but an evolving set of experiments.
For children, the problem with a chemistry set is that after the experiments from the instruction book are carried out, the child has no idea what to do.
As a kid, I was fortunate to have an old and well-supplied chemistry kit. I think my mom found it at a garage sale. It was GREAT! I had glassware, a bunsen burner, and dozens of chemicals! The kit even had a thick manual that had extensive instructions. Unfortunately, it was written for high school kids and I was 10 years old.
I had no earthly idea what to do with it!
This is where kits from MELChemistry come in. Every month, they send a new, and generally amazing, chemistry kit.
The kit includes everything you need to conduct 2-3 experiments, safely and with detailed, but fun and interesting, explanations of what’s happening chemically in the experiment.
Check out their website for videos. They had me after the second demo video.
In an ideal world, a child would have MELChemistry science kits and the Chem3000 chemistry set below, so they could conduct their own self-guided experiments to build on what has been learned. Having the two would would give them an exciting foundation for learning.
If that combination is out of your budget, these science kits alone offer the most bang for your buck.
Note: “Bang” is used as a figure of speech. Wildly unstable reactions should always be avoided with a home lab. Did I mention that these kits are safe?
2. Thames & Kosmos Chem C3000 v2
This is the ultimate kit for kids and the box includes the tools, ingredients, equipment, and materials from the other science kits below, with a lot of additional chemicals.
Includes: Erlenmeyer Flask, Large Graduated Beakers (2), Small Graduated Beakers (4), Pointed, Straight, Angled, and Acute-Angle Glass Tubing, Glass Balls (2) for mixing safely, Test Tubes (5), Immersion Heater, Alcohol Burner, Tripod Stand, Carbon Electrode, Magnesium Strip, Copper Sheet and Wire, Zinc Sheet, Aluminum Disk, Sodium Thiosulfate, Sodium Hydrogen Sulfate, Calcium Hydroxide, Potassium Hexacyanoferrate(II), Ammonium Chloride, Potassium Permanganate and Sodium Sulfate Chemical Mixture, Sulfur, Copper (II) Sulfate, Sodium Carbonate, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Bromide, Ammonium Iron (III) Sulfate, Litmus Powder, Iron Filings, Silicone Hose Coupler, Activated Charcoal, and Three 100 ml Bottles for Caustic Soda, HydrochloricAcid, and Hydrogen Peroxide.
These are just some of the highlights. It includes more supplies than it makes sense to discuss here and a complete selection of hardware that you will need to carry out over 300 experiments. You can find everything that is included at the link below.
These sets are at a higher level than the ones below, but it is still full of fun information and explanations that will make sense to a kid. Through performing a range of fun exercises, the guide helps kids learn about the periodic table, chemical equations, and atomic structures through experience.
Kids will cover general and organic chemistry, with topics ranging from “Metal ions as oxidizing agents” to “Redox of the halogens”. They will be learning about acids and doing potentially dangerous experiments, so parental supervision is a must for safety.
This is a great set for anyone who already has basic foundational knowledge and wants to take their knowledge and abilities to a higher level or set up a lab and do their own research. It is also one of the most complex, complete, and high-quality products we’ve found at any price.
This will come with enough items to serve your young scientist through high school and will be fascinating for most adults.
3. Thames & Kosmos Chem C2000 v2
Young scientists and students will experience 250 science experiments with the addition of an alcohol burner in these fairly complete 50 piece intermediate kits. Thames & Kosmos continues the exploration of electro-chemistry and includes materials to perform an activity to introduce the basics of combustion and heat.
Kids can use these science kits to do experiments that involve high heat, so they can catalyze reactions and explore the separation of mixtures.
Metals like aluminum, iron, and copper are explored by using stronger acids and bases, while still being fairly safe for a home setting, though parents should supervise everything.
- One of the more scientific kits to have in your chemistry lab.
- Kids make slime, crystals, and volcanos at home.
- Activities for kids up to 12 years old.
4. Chem C1000 v2
These science kits are significantly more advanced and are recommended for ages 10+. The science kit is definitely not for very young children, but parents need to consider if theirs are ready for learning about science rather than the recommended age of the sets or science experiments. Quite frankly, it depends on your 10-year-old. If your kids are total scientists, get this. If their mind is on other things and you just want to introduce the concepts and spark an interest in science, then the product below is a good choice.
Everything you need for 125 experiments is laid out with detailed instructions in an 80-page full-color manual. Kids get to learn learn about the physical properties of fluids, experience the physics of air pressure, and the surface tension of water.
There is some duplication in the subjects covered with the lower model of this item, but the C1000 also continues exploring electro-chemical reactions by dissolving metals.
My personal favorite is the simple experiment of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Through simple electrolysis, there is a clear demonstration how science and chemistry can literally change everything, and how the components of molecules can have very different properties than the molecule itself.
5. Chem C500
Kids will learn about the world through fun experiments at home with this chemistry set. The activities illustrate the differences between solids, liquids, and gases . It also introduces electro-chemistry with metals and salts.
This may sound like a big step for a 10-year-old, but it is all easy hands-on fun and not textbook serious. This results in the student getting acquainted with slightly more advanced information, without feeling like they are playing with a toy instead of a science kit.
Crystals are fun and fascinating for a kid of any age. Growing crystals, color-changing litmus solution, and making invisible ink are just some of the lab projects included.
As should be expected, you will need to buy some things locally since it only has things that can be dropped by the postman.
- Educational and fun, but still teaches real chemistry.
- Greater safety for young kids.
- Introduces STEM in the kitchen.
6. Kids First Chemistry Set
Kids will have hands-on fun with these sets, and they will help in the understanding of things like crystallization, color, thermal flow, and evaporation. In the process, kids will also gain experience with the basic supplies used in much of science.
An example of this is making plaster racks for test tubes, which will then be used in a future project.
Designed specifically for teaching fundamental concepts of science, the accompanying book has detailed full-color illustrations for each of its 27 science experiments. At this stage, so many science kits dumb down the real science, but this kit keeps things entertaining for kids while not losing focus on understanding what is at work.
How to Choose the Right Chemistry Set
When buying a science kit, it is important to consider how your kids will learn from the experiments. It seems obvious, but it is so easy to just look at the “recommended age”, without actually considering where they are in their development.
If you just want to pique a child’s interest, you’ll probably want to try something simpler or focused on the magic of science. But if your kids are already drawn toward science or engineering, don’t be afraid to buy science kits slightly above their level.
Chemistry is great for encouraging imagination and expanding your understanding of the world of science. Exposing your children to material that just beyond their current comfort level can keep your kids hungry to discover the next amazing thing in life.