Top Chemistry Sets

Best Chemistry Kits for Any Age Group

Whether you're new to chemistry or a serious student or scientist, there's a chemistry set perfect for your needs. The kits featured here range from introductory kits for young investigators to advanced kits with equipment and chemicals for hundreds of experiments.

Thames and Kosmos make several serious chemistry kits that include glassware, chemicals, and detailed workbooks that explain how to perform experiments. These kits are perfect for anyone looking for the full chemistry lab experience, including students seeking to satisfy home school requirements. The Chem C1000 and Chem C2000 kits offer numerous experiments at economical prices. The Chem C3000 kit is an exceptional complete set that essentially sets you up with a home chemistry lab and chemicals to perform hundreds of experiments. Although Thames and Kosmos make high-end advanced sets, the company also makes introductory kits for kids.

I like the "Be Amazing" chemistry kits for younger scientists (pre-school and grade school) because they are visually appealing, feature quick projects, and invite hands-on exploration. The kits come in bubble packs, with one type of experiment (e.g., jelly marbles, slime, fake snow) or bags containing several projects. It's easy to store the materials between experiments, the projects are very safe, and you'll get several hours of entertainment and education from each kit.

The Smithsonian kits are my favorite crystal growing kits because they feature reliable and safe chemicals that grow into beautiful crystals. Many of the kits produce jewel-like crystals. There are kits for glowing crystals and geodes, too. Although the crystals can be grown by any age group, the instruction manuals are best for teens and adults.

 You can make a chemical volcano with home ingredients simply and easily, but the kits are nice because they are convenient. I'm particularly fond of Smithsonian's volcano kit because it features a large pre-made volcano and chemicals to make deeply-colored 'lava'. Once you've used all the materials in the kit, you can refill it with baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring to keep the fun going.

There are two science magic kits I especially like. The Thames & Kosmos "Science or Magic" kit provides the materials and instructions to duplicate 20 magic tricks based on scientific principles. It's a great kit for the pre-teen to teen crowd. The tricks are physical science, not strictly chemistry, and include some neat optical illusions.

The Scientific Explorer Magic Science for Wizards Only Kit is more about potions and color changes. It's an excellent kit, best-suited for the under-10 crowd or anyone looking for a Harry Potter-themed chemistry kit. Some common household chemicals are needed to round out this set.