Best chemistry sets for children

Best chemistry sets for children
Introduce your child to the world of chemical reactions, crystallisation and chromatography with the right chemistry set for every age and stage. From pre-schooler test tubes and safety goggles to pipettes of luminol and alcohol burners, we've picked great kids' chemistry sets for every budget and every budding chemist.

Primary Science Lab Set

£27.50, Learning Resources

'Real' science tools sized perfectly for little hands and just the thing for younger siblings to play with when big brothers and sisters are getting hands-on with their own chemistry sets. Includes a (plastic) beaker, magnifying glass, funnel, pipette, flask, tweezers, goggles, different-sized test tubes with lids and stands and suggested activity cards. Suitable from age 3.

Kitchen Science

£10.99, 4M Kidz Labs

Six simple science activities to try in the kitchen, from a lemon-powered watch to a mini volcano eruption. Some common household items are required as extra 'ingredients', so make sure you have them in stock before your scientist starts experimenting.

Chemistry Lab

£29.99, Trends UK

A brilliantly-priced first chemistry set. The equipment for 100 safety-tested experiments is in the box, including a spirit burner, test tubes, beakers, a conical flask and adjustable safety goggles. Twenty two chemicals are also included, though you may need further chemicals and household items to complete some of the activities (methylated spirits and citric acid, for example), so check the list before your mini-scientist gets to work!

Glowing Chemistry

£29.99, Thames & Kosmos

Explore chemiluminescence (the chemical reactions that produce light) with this chemistry set with a (very bright) difference. You'll make coins and radishes glow, discover the lumimous natural world, use an ultraviolet light, learn about the electromagnetic spectrum and build a glow-in-the-dark puppet theatre. Step-by-step instructions for 22 light chemistry experiments are included.

Cooking Science

£21.99, Science4you

Investigate the science of baking (and pizza-making, and cheese-making) with this food science kit for children aged 8+. Rennet powder, test tubes, cottage cheese moulds and yeast sachets are included; add the edible ingredients from your cupboards and start finding out about the similarities between scientists and chefs.

Chem C2000

£99.99, Thames & Kosmos

If your child is really interested in chemistry and has outgrown a starter set this investment purchase from science set experts Thames & Kosmos is a great buy. It comes with an alcohol burner (for experiments that require heat) and offers an excellent introduction to the most important topics in chemistry including elements and compounds, electrochemical reactions and combustion. The detailed and informative manual suggests 250 experiments for children aged 11+.
MEL Chemistry

MEL Chemistry

£29.95 for the starter pack and then £9.95 for each of the three monthly sets

A chemistry set for the twenty-first century, MEL Chemistry uses videos as well as text to help children understand what is actually happening inside each experiment and reaction; the accompanying app shows the molecules and crystal structures used in the experiments in 3D and in virtual reality. Most innovative is the delivery: you purchase a subscription to receive a starter set and then 38 experiment sets through the post, ensuring a regular supply of new materials to keep young chemists engaged. Best for ages 11+.