A Mighty Girl's top picks of science kits for summer fun, learning, & discovery!
With summer here, there's no better time for kids to delve deeper into topics that interest them — including a love of science! An intriguing science kit is an excellent choice for a summer activity: kids will love being able to learn hands-on and at their own pace. To help you find one that's just right for a Mighty Girl in your life, we've featured two dozen of our favorites in this blog post, with options for preschoolers through middle schoolers. And, with science kits on everything from geology to forensics to chemistry, there's sure to be one to excite every budding young scientist!
For even more science kits and toys for kids to explore, visit our extensive STEM collection.
Science Kits for Summer Fun
Primary Science Lab Set
Get the youngest scientists hands on with this set of real science tools perfectly sized for little hands! The set includes lab staples like a beaker, a flask, a large test tube with a stand, and a magnifying glass. It even comes with a set of goggles so you can teach lab safety from the beginning! Ten double-sided activity cards complete the set, ensuring that you can spark an interest in science from a young age.
Primary Science Mix and Measure Set
Now preschoolers and young school-aged kids can explore some of the foundations of chemistry with this set, which includes tools sized for smaller hands and experiments that are safe for younger chemists! As kids make puff paint, mystery goo, slime, and more, they'll also be learning about volume, weight, and fractions, as well as practical skills like accurate measurement.
Primary Science Outdoor Discovery Set
Explore the world of plants, bugs, and more with this set from Learning Resource's Primary Science line! These are real scientific tools, sized for kids and made of sturdy materials that can hold up to hard use. The set comes with sprouting jar with two lids, a watering can, three plant pots with markers, a Big View bug jar, and a set of Handy Scoopers. Plus, an included set of ten double-sided activity cards provides plenty of fodder to get your little scientist investigating the outdoors.
My First Mind Blowing Science Kit
Show off some flashy science with this fun and accessible kit! With this set, both adults and kids can learn about solutions, acids and bases, and more — and how you can use them to create truly impressive results. From a color-changing volcano to growing jiggly crystals, these experiments will truly blow your mind. The detailed instructions ensure that you don't need an extensive background in science to make the experiment work or to understand why they do.
Science on a Tracking Expedition
Learn about animal tracks with this fun kit from The Young Scientists Club! Hands-on activities teach kids how to identify tracks, show them interesting facts about the animals that make them, and how to make casts and prints of tracks you find in your own area. A set of 80 animal information cards can be used for an included game or as fact cards to learn more about wildlife. With a variety of activities to try, this set will keep her busy both inside and out.
Live Butterfly Garden
You can watch the amazing phenomenon of metamorphosis up close with this kit from Insect Lore! The habitat is made of fine transparent mesh that makes it easy to observe the inside, and comes with an easy to use feeder. Send off your certificate to receive caterpillars and food. Soon you'll get to watch them form a chrysalis and emerge as painted lady butterflies that you can release into your own garden! The habitat collapses for storage, but you can use it as many times as you want to observe caterpillars, butterflies, and other insects around your home.
The Magic School Bus: Exploring the Wonders of Nature
Join Ms. Frizzle and the gang as they check out all the wonders of the natural world! Build a bug house, cast an animal track, learn about the life cycle, dry flowers, and more with the activities and supplies in this kit from the Young Scientist Club series. Many supplies are included, but some you'll have to collect yourself! Activities like the nature scavenger hunt also encourage kids to get outside and get studying. Seatbelts, everyone!
The Magic School Bus: Chemistry Lab
Jump on The Magic School Bus with Ms. Frizzle and the gang to learn about the basics of chemistry! Kids will use litmus paper to measure pH, make sticky ice, form a bouncy ball, plate copper, and much more. This bus-shaped kit packs a lot of learning into a small package: 51 experiment cards, some supplies, and a data notebook to record your observations. It's great to learn more about chemistry — and to build excitement for the rebooted show!
Rock On! A Geology Game
This innovative combination game and rock collection includes 18 large specimens of different rocks, player cards, 40 polished rocks to use as marker chips, a master rock guide, and 18 cards filled with fun facts on everything from plate tectonics to ecology. The game includes five levels of play for up to six players for pre-readers through elementary school-age and beyond. With its handy carrying case for learning will appeal to a wide range of curious kids and is a great way to jump start a child's rock collection.
Amazing Bacteria Science Kit
Budding bacteriologists will have a ball with this handy kit with pre-prepared agar plates, perfect for growing your own bacteria colonies! Ten pre-poured plates contain tryptic soy nutrients, which saves time and prevents kids from having to pour their own or do their own autoclaving. The medium is perfect for growing bacteria, molds, and other fungi. The set also includes 10 sterile cotton-tipped swabs, tow transfer pipettes, a bottle of non-alcohol based hand sanitizer, and a set of instructions to start growing your own samples.
Magic Science for Wizards Only
The way that science works, it can sometimes seem like magic! In this kit, kids will test 11 different experiments with results that seem magical, but are actually based in the principles of chemistry. From color-changing spells to smoke from your fingers, these experiments are sure to delight kids. Plus, they get to customize their own "magic wand"! This kit is a great way to show kids that science is often stranger — and more magical — than fantasy.
Mega Gemstone Mine Kit
She can dig her own gemstones from around the world with this kit from National Geographic! This massive digging brick conceals fifteen different gemstones; use the archeological tools to dig them out, then examine them with the magnifying glass to identify each stone. The included learning guide provides interesting facts about how each stone is formed and where in the world it appears. It's the perfect choice to start or add to your favorite rock hound's collection!
Diggin' Up Dinos: T. Rex
What dinosaur-loving kid hasn't dreamed of discovering their very own dinosaur bones? In this kit, a model tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is buried deep within a sandy block, waiting to be discovered. Put on your safety goggles and use your excavation tools to safely remove the bones, then assemble them into a display model. The set includes a color poster with fascinating facts about paleontology.
Big Bag of Science
Start digging into the foundations of science with this kit from Be Amazing Toys. The kit lays out the three areas of science, physical, earth, and life, so in addition to teaching chemistry and physics, kids will also touch on concepts in biology, geology, and more. More than 70 unique and fun hands-on science activities will give kids a good sense of what the different ares of science explain and which sciences they find the most fascinating.
DNA Experiment Kit
You can dive into the world of DNA with this set from ScienceWiz! 18 activities teach kids all the key basics about DNA and genetics: everything from assembling a DNA puzzle to extracting DNA from fruit! You'll even get to sample your own DNA and use it to make forgery-proof DNA ink. To take the lesson further, check out the ScienceWiz website for animations and additional explanations.
Ultimate Secret Formula Lab
She'll feel like a real scientist with this great lab set from SmartLabs! Their unique valve and plunger system allows kids to measure, mix, and transport liquids, exploring chemistry, fluid dynamics, and pressure along the way. An included lab book provides over 40 experiments to try, including a CO2 Detector, Crystal Splinters, and the Amazing Breathing Marshmallow!
Nancy B.'s Discovery Lab Pens and Field Journal
Take science outdoors with the ideas in this fun field kit! The kit includes a field journal with 14 different ideas for scientific activitiest, as well as space or your own observations and ideas. You'll also get two unique lab pens — the land pen features a collection vial, built-in tweezers, and a ruler for specimen observation, while the water pen features a liquid specimen vial with volume markings, built-in dropper, and thermometer. Fans of this set may also want to check out Nancy B.'s Nature Keeper and Tree Diary.
Green Science: Clean Water Science
Learn how we keep our water clean with this kit from Green Science! This line of science kits from 4M encourages kids to see how environmental conservation can be a part of everyday life. In this kit, kids will learn about water filtration, desalinization, basic distillation, and solar pasteurization. Almost everything you need is included in the kit; you just provide a few basic household items, and she'll be on her way to learning about how we can keep our water supply healthy.
Crime Catchers Spy Science Kit
Crack the case with this kit from Scientific Explorer that teaches you to analyze clues, decode secrets, and solve mysteries! From matching fingerprints to testing powders and liquids to decrypting a secret message, there are lots of detective skills to learn in this set. Two exciting mysteries use eight different skills to find the solutions. It's the perfect choice for the budding detective in your life!
Water Rocket Kit
Discover the power of pressure with this kit that lets you build your own water bottle rocket! Everything you need to build is included: a plastic bottle, 4 fins (1 as a spare), 1 fin support, 1 bung, 1 bung connector, 1 extension plastic pipe, and an instruction manual which explains both the construction and the science behind your rocket. Pump in some air with a bicycle bump and watch your rocket soar!
Crystal Growing Kit
Chemistry is a beautiful thing with this kit from Thames and Kosmos. Kids will learn how they can use dyes to make colored crystals, and why different compounds create crystals of different shapes. They'll also mold plaster into different shapes to see what happens when the crystals grow on different surfaces. With 15 experiments to conduct, as well as a clear locking treasure chest to display their crystal creation, kids will be intrigued by this set.
littleBits Rule Your Room Set
You can create touch-activated inventions that control your stuff with this fun and inspiring set from littleBits Electronics! Step-by-step instructions for 8 projects are included — including a Burgler Buzzler, a Top-Secret Safe, and more — but once you've tried those, you can experiment with your own ideas without having to solder or glue. Plus, all littleBits components are compatible with one another, so you can build just about anything you imagine.
Explore the world of nanotechnology, with structures only a few atoms across, with this amazing kit from Thames & Kosmos! You'll start out by conducting experiments that explain size, scale, and order of magnitude, then learn about how laser light, electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy can make these tiny machines visible. There are 41 experiments included in this kit to get you exploring the big world of little technology!
Additional Recommended Resources
- For fun toys to get kids exploring outdoors, visit our blog Exploring Her World: 25 Science Toys and Kits for Outdoor Discovery.
- For more science kits to keep her learning, visit our full collection of Hands On Science Kits.