Best Science Toys for Kids in 2017 – Source of Intrigue

Many parents today despair about the rather mindless quality of many children’s toys and games these days. These toys and video games all seem like they’re contributing to the dumbing down of the next generation. That’s why some parents are fighting back by giving their children the best science toys they can get.

The good thing about science is that unlike art, it deals with cold hard facts. The bad thing about science is that its cold hard facts can be rather boring to learn. They can be quite complicated as well.

These are the difficulties that the best science toys are designed to overcome. These are toys, so they should be fun and therefore kids can associate science with fun. These toys can also help illustrate scientific facts and principles in a way that children can comprehend.

Of course, it helps if you do get the proper science toys for your children. Fortunately you do have a wealth of choices to pick from. Here are 14 options you may want to consider.

Best Scientific Toys for Kids - My Favorites

1. Ozobot 2.0 Bit - Teaches STEM and Coding

Age range: From 8 to early teens

This is the winner of the Best Robot Award in 2015, and it operates like a tiny programmable robot vacuum cleaner. This robot is really tiny at just an inch across. It’s rechargeable too.

Very young kids can start with color coding. They draw colored lines on paper and on the kids’ tablets, and the Ozobot can read those lines. Those colored lines can actually control the speed and direction of the robot, as well as the special moves.

After a while, the children can use the app to learn the block-based programming language. It’s like programming except that the children don’t see the results of their code on screen. Instead, their code tells the robot what to do. This toy can then navigate racetracks, mazes, and cityscapes.

What's Great About It: With the app and the website, the Ozobot is a great way for kids to learn the basic principles of programming. Coding doesn’t have to be an overly complicated process at all, and kids can learn that the process and results can be fun.

2. Zak Zych Cartoon Periodic Table Chart Educational Poster

Age range: From 11 years old to high school age (or even for adults who want to review their chemistry knowledge)

There’s no doubt that the periodic table is one of the most informative tools in chemistry, except that for many kids the subject matter is just too tedious and complicated. This poster introduces the periodic table to younger kids, and it can also help older teens to get older kids to understand how to use it.

Basically, it’s a cartoon version of a periodic table, just like there are comic book versions of Shakespeare classics. It’s not too small at all, and it can really help kids remember the periodic table. It’s humorous and makes the periodic table very easy to understand. The words used are quite easy to read, and the pictures match the elements perfectly.

What's Great About It: Lots of parents wish that they had this sort of periodic table when they were in school.

3. Toysmith Euler’s Disk

Age range: From about 8 years old to mid-teens (and many adults too)

When kids are old enough that they don’t swallow coins, sooner or later they become fascinated with how coins can spin. You can take this fascinating display into the next level with Euler’s Disk, which is a truly mesmerizing demonstration of disk spinning.

Here you have a 3-inch disk, along with a 9-inch mirror for its spinning surface. You spin the disk and it turns while showing a rather captivating light display. You’ll then notice that it seems to take a very long time to get on its side. It seems like it won’t stop!

There’s also that sound it makes. As it gets lower and lower to the ground, the sound becomes faster and faster. You get to wonder why, and your curiosity is piqued. Many adults put this on their coffee tables because it can be much more engrossing than magazines or coffee table books.

This comes with 9 pieces of magnetized holographic foil, which creates the special effects. If you’re a parent and your kid asks you how this works, don’t worry about having to do some online research.

What's Great About It: The instructions also include the scientific answers to the children’s FAQs. This even made an appearance on the TV show The Big Bang Theory!

​4. Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit

Age range: At least 7 years old

This is a multi-awarded toy that’s geared towards how children can be fascinated by lights and music. That’s especially true if the lights seem to be dancing with the music. With this toy, they don’t just see light and music interact—they build the system to make the light and music go together. It’s the kids’ version of electrical circuits.

Here you have more than 30 available parts which the kids put together like a Lego set. The connections are secure and easy, and the kids don’t need tools to put them all together. The instructions are for numerous projects that children can build. These include a siren with an adjustable volume, a flashing light, and a photo sensor.

What's Great About It: The instructions are illustrated, so kids can easily understand them. The children can work on more than 100 different projects, so there’s a lot of variety.

​5. Scientific Explorer Magic Science Kit for Wizards Only

Age range: From 6 to 10 years old (before they go to Hogwarts)

Equating science with magic can really pique a child’s curiosity, since so many kids (and their parents) are familiar with the Harry Potter phenomenon. Here’s the kit that your kids may want before they get their letter to Hogwarts. It’s even complete with 2 wizard hats and a wand.

In fact, you can equate this science kit with the Potions subject in Hogwarts, though for us Muggles we know it better as chemistry. Here, powders and potions can change colors and the potions can even glow in the dark. All the necessary potions ingredients are here, including the test tubes and scoops. There are even colorful study and activity guides that help associate chemistry with fun.

What's Great About It: The wand is cool. It may be a small thing, but anything that helps young kids regard chemistry as a fun magical process is always going to be cool.

​6. Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set

Age range: First graders (though even 4-year old children can have fun with this too)

This is another science lab set, and it’s for kids who have seen lots of movies with science labs and scientists doing cool stuff on the screen. The various components have been sized for little hands, and of course they’re all colorful.

Here you have all the paraphernalia that you need so you can mix lots of stuff together. These include test tubes and stands as well as funnels, beakers, an eyedropper, tweezers, goggles, and even a magnifying glass. They’re all made of durable plastic, and you get an activity guide so you’ll know to go about mixing stuff.

What's Great About It: Basically the best thing about this is that it’s easy to use, and kids can think of lots experiments to perform that can capture their attention for hours. It helps that it seems like an “official” lab set or a potions kit. The goggles also help sell the entire kit as legit.

7. The Magic School Bus – Chemistry Lab

Age range: From 4 to about 7 years old

There’s been some discussion as to whether the various science lab ingredients included in lab kits are really safe, but here you can just get the ordinary supplies your kids need from your own kitchen. With this you have the lab components that kids need to do experiments and stuff, including the “mandatory” goggles and funnels for the test tubes.

Here even the concept of acids and bases is explored, and for that you also have pH paper. You can also teach them about the concept safety, especially when you mix stuff up together. The goggles help emphasize this point.

What's Great About It: You get 50 activity cards that explain the various lab kit components and the experiments you can do. These cards are easy to understand for both kids and parents alike. Also, they even emphasize the importance of preparation as the experiments are useful only when you have your materials and supplies all ready to be used.

​8. Be Amazing Toys Big Bag of Science +70 Activities

Ager range: 8 to 14 years old

Exactly which part of science does your kid want to focus on? Their interest in science may be like their interest in video games—they like different types. If that’s the case with your kids, then this big bag of science toys is ideal. It covers a lot of science topics, from magnets, geology, biology, chemistry, and physics.

The experiment book is very helpful, since the experiments can help answer question that many kids (and not a few adults) have wondered about. These questions include how a compass uses a magnet, what causes burping, and why baby diapers are absorbent. They can see how a sunscreen really works and discover what makes up water.

The lab kit includes lots of equipment pieces that you don’t always find in other lab kits, such as beads, plastic ring and hex nut, iron filling and a magnet, and a color wheel.

What's Great About It: Some of the experiments are meant to be done outdoors. They can get messy, but that’s a good thing for learning. They can realize that science learning isn’t always done indoors, and it’s not always neat!

​9. Thames & Kosmos Physics Workshop

Age range: From 8 to 12 years old

Some lab kits can be replicated by using various household items, but that’s not the case here. This physics workshop includes more than 300 individual pieces, and that’s not a collection you can gather easily with makeshift substitutes.

This kit is quite unique, since it revolves around physics instead of chemistry. With this, a child can build up to 36 models and with the various experiments they can begin to understand the basic concepts of mechanical physics.

It starts with pulleys and levers and then continuous on with pendulum clocks and centripetal force. Other concepts even include equilibrium and how sail cars can be stable.

What's Great About It: With the manual, kids are able to build models and conduct experiments using the models in motion. It’s like a Lego set except that they build stuff that they can use for more experiments. Even a single model with the experiments can engross them for hours.

​10. Creativity for Kids Grow ‘n Glow Terrarium

Some parents would like their kids to understand the concept of nature and the environment. However, some children (especially boys) aren’t exactly enamored of doing anything that resembles gardening. This should help entice them since it’s a garden in a jar and they can use it as decoration for their room.

Here they plant seeds, and they can see for themselves how these seeds turn into growing plats. It also teaches responsibility, since they have to remember that they need to water the plants (which you can cite when you remind them to drink enough water each day).

This includes the Mason jar and everything you need to put in it. You have soil, sand, small pebbles, and even small animal figures and garden image stickers.

What's Great About It: What kids will find really cool is that it has 45 stickers that glow in the dark. Also, plenty of video games involve building worlds, and now your kid has a real world example.

​11. ROCK ON! Geology Game with Rock & Mineral Collection

Age range: At least 5 years old (or just old enough that they don’t tend to put things in their mouth)

At some point in their young lives, children will wonder about the many different types of stones. They’ll also admire gemstones and be curious about why they can be so precious and expensive.

Here you have 15 nice quality stones that are quite shine, large, and really cool-looking. Then there’s a picture guide that tells then about other types of rocks, and kids can be encouraged to collect them as well. There’s also a game board with playing cards to add to the fun.

What's Great About It: The urge to collect stuff can get pretty powerful in people, and for many it can start at a young age. This time this urge can help them learn about rocks and geology, and they end up with a worthy collection that they will treasure even when they’re older.

12. Educational Insights Nancy B’s Science Club Microscope and Activity Journal

Ager range: At least 8 years old

Microscopes are arguably one of the most fascinating scientific tools for children. But aren’t these things just for “real” adult scientists because they’re very pricey and easy to break? That’s not true at all, as you can see with this kid’s microscope.

This isn’t just some hyped-up magnifying glass either. It’s a microscope that can show tiny objects 30 times to even 400 times larger. All the accessories are also included, from petri dish, tweezers, and even a small (and safe) scalpel.

It’s made of plastic, and that actually makes it more durable. It’ll still work even if your kid bumps or drops it. All in all, it’s not surprising that when this first came out in 2013 it won various “Best Toys” award.

What's Great About It: Kids (and even many adults) can be easily fascinated by just how different tiny objects are when they’re magnified. This is especially true for very small animals, but even feathers and human skin cells can look very different from what you imagined then to look. You can even take a smartphone picture through the eyepiece.

​13. TEDCO 50ft Solar Balloon Teaches Buoyancy, Convection, Thermodynamics & More

Age range: Middle school (though some younger kids will appreciate it too)

This isn’t just a balloon. It’s a 50-ft balloon—and it’s solar-powered too. It’s a nice toy with its size. It comes with a 400-ft string as well a guide.

This is simple enough to use as well. Remember how ordinary balloons rise in the air, but as time goes by the balloons shrink and droop? This time you can just inflate the balloon with any gas, and after a while under the sunlight it will start to rise in the air.

What's Great About It: While it’s a toy, it also works great for classroom experiments and science projects, With this, a student can demonstrate solar power, thermodynamics, convection, buoyancy, and Pascal’s and Bernoulli’s principles.

​14. Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit

Kids can have a rather warped sense of grossness, and that’s especially true for boys. This time, you have a science kit that helps them explore all the yucky body parts and byproducts.

With this, children can finally discover the truth for themselves regarding their disgusting questions about farts, stinky feet, and various microorganisms in the human body.

What's Great About It: Kids can even grow their own mold and bacteria. Don’t be alarmed, as these are the friendly variety.

Science Toys for Kids - Our Buying Guide

So how exactly do you pick the right science toy to buy? You can’t just go to the educational toy section of the toy store and pick any random toy on the shelf with a price that’s within your budget. While the price is of course an important consideration, here are some factors you need to think about:

Branch of Science

“Science” is a rather broad topic. It’s like sports—your kid may have a particular preference for a specific sport like basketball or football. It’s the same in science, as they may have an interest in chemistry or astronomy.

Of course, you should also make sure that the toy is actually grounded on real scientific principles. You don’t really want a toy that says that the earth is flat or that the world is only a few thousand years old.

Age Suitability

Most toys have a recommended age range, and you may as well heed the suggestions. Toys for older kids may be too complicated for toddlers, while teens may be bored with the toys geared towards preschool tots.

You may also want to consider gender suitability. While this may no longer be considered politically correct, it may still hold true. However, gender bias (as in believing that these toys are only for boys) may not be helpful at all. Girls can also be interested in science as well.

Ease of Use

These toys are supposed to make science more understandable, so the toy should be easy to use. You may want to read customer reviews to see if kids are able to play with a toy easily.

Fun Factor

They’re also supposed to make science more enjoyable instead of dry and boring. Again, you may want to read parents’ reports regarding how long a game has held the interest of their children.

Durability

Children, as many parents have noted through the years, can be destructive little tykes. You need a toy that can stand the strain. What you don’t want is a flimsy toy that will no longer work when the kid drops it.

Conclusion

Ask many scientists and workers in engineering and technology today, and many of them will admit to playing with these types of toys early in their childhood. The same thing can happen for your kids. Even if they do get a career in outside of science when they grow older, an interest in science always helps. It makes children curious, teaches them scientific principles, and helps them think logically. All these traits make the world a better place.

So try to include a science toy for your kids during birthdays and holiday seasons. They’re not all that expensive, unlike real scientific tools such as telescopes and microscopes. Your kids can have fun and they can learn, and as a parent you can always take pride that your kid is smart in science!

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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