Science kits let you and your kids bring the lab (or field) into your kitchen or yard. And Live Science has gathered the best Black Friday science kit deals to help you grab the right kit for less.
Whether your child is a budding botanist, a dreamy skywatcher, an up-and-coming paleontologist or a geology fanatic, there is a science kit to fit every interest and need. And perhaps your child isn't a "science geek" just yet but they love cooking or magic or sports. Fortunately, science is everywhere around us, and so your little chef can learn the basics of measurements and chemical reactions while whipping up a recipe with Professor Maxwell's VR Junior Chef; meanwhile, your aspiring David Copperfield will learn physics and chemistry while making snow appear in their hand, bending metal, crafting a square bubble and more with National Geographic's Science Magic Kit. And don't forget the "T" and "E" in STEM: There are lots of technology and engineering kits, including those that let kids create robots, put together a computer with Raspberry Pi and learn how to code.
As the holidays approach, sellers are already marking down these educational gifts. And to help you check items off your list, we have rounded up the best Black Friday science kit deals.
Be sure to check out Live Science's list of the best microscopes for kids and best coding toys for kids in 2021.
Today's best Black Friday science kit deals
How to choose a science kit
There are so many options when looking for the perfect science kit this Black Friday for your child or a friend. Here are some factors to think about when scanning the "shelves" for an entertaining and educational kit.
Interest: Some kids have very particular interests that match perfectly with certain science kits. For your dinosaur enthusiast, you can choose from a slew of paleontology-geared kits that let them dig for bones and learn about the Jurassic along the way. A free-spirited naturalist could dive into a bug-catching set, an ant farm or a build-your-own terrarium. For children who have an array of interests, or even those who might want to expand their minds, you can think about the types of activities and experiences they like. A child who loves physical activity might enjoy a stomp-rocket kit or a virtual reality science kit that lets them interact with the universe as an astronaut. Someone with an interest in mixing ingredients for cooking might also love a magic potions kit or one that guides them in making candy while learning about food chemistry.
Materials: Some of these kits come with just enough materials to perform certain experiments one or two times. For instance, an erupting volcano kit can include the plastic basics and the chemicals to perform a few of the illustrated experiments. So you'll need to provide extra household supplies to finish them all. Other kits, like those for growing crystals, tend to include just enough supplies to do one experiment. (If you are looking for items you can recycle or throw away when done, these might be the perfect choice.) Also, check to see whether any of the chemicals or tools involved require parental oversight.
Level of difficulty: Most science kits state the recommended age levels, though if the kit is for a kindergartener who doesn't know how to read yet, you still might need to be involved. For instance, this STEM solar robot kit is rated for ages 8 and up; if your child is 6 and is interested in robot-building, just remember they may need extra guidance along the way.
Mess: When making your science-kit buying choices, clean-up is another factor to consider. Chemistry-based sets tend to make the most mess, with erupting fizz and "smoking" magical concoctions. Dinosaur digging as well as crystal-growing can also be messy. Sometimes, of course, the messier the activity, the more fun and engaging it is for kids. But for a tidier science experience, look no further than robots, electric circuits, coding games and even some of the VR options.
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