Is your elementary school going online this fall and you’re looking for screen-free activities to supplement the curriculum? Scroll to find out my top picks for science kits for 6 year olds.
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Like many U.S. families, our school closed last March and went completely online. No one was really prepared for virtual learning and my kindergartner’s class got some online worksheets and a 15 minute Zoom call once a week.
We realized this summer that our 6 year old had just been learning reading, writing, and math since March. He hadn’t done any science (which was one of his favorite subjects.)
And while we usually visit local science museums (like the Pacific Science Center or the Museum of Flight) here in Seattle or when we travel, that hasn’t been an option.
I think learning science online can be tricky for kids. Sure, you can watch a lot of incredible videos, but it’s hard to do the hands on part. And that’s where the real learning can take place.
If your school is online this fall, you might still be doing some science lessons, but they probably won’t have any hands-on components. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself.
While there are some days that I wish I was a “Pinterest Mom” and could come up with elaborate and Instaworthy science experiments, I’m just not. I don’t have the patience or bandwidth, especially during this stressful time.
So, I turned to Amazon, Michael’s, and Target to try to find cool science experiment kits for kids heading into 1st grade that we could do at home this summer and fall. And no, none of them involve slime!
A few friends have asked for my recommendations for our favorite science kids for 6 year olds, so I figured I’d put them all in a blog post.
I hope these science kits for 6 year olds help you in one of the strangest school years I’ve ever seen!
13 Awesome Science Kits for 6 Year Olds
1. Ooze Labs: Colorful Crystal Lab
Last summer, we had an awesome nanny who did a bunch of science experiments with our kids. The one that my oldest enjoyed the most was creating crystals. Yes, we still have the ones he made last year!
What we really like about this kids science kit is that there are 11 experiments to do and none of them take much time to actually do. Many require that you wait awhile to see the results, but you can easily do 1-2 experiments each day.
I think my son had just as much fun setting up the little lab as he did doing the experiments. There are cranks and hooks and places for all the test tubes.
This is one of the best science kits for 6 year olds if you have a dedicated space where you can leave the lab set up for several weeks as you conduct experiments.
Note: While my 6 year old needed some assistance with each experiment, older kids can most likely do it all on their own.
Buy Ooze Labs: Colorful Crystal Lab on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
2. Dancing Bear Rock & Mineral Collection Activity Kit
Did you collect rocks as a kid? I had a pretty extensive rock collection and I distinctly remember having this exact Rock and Mineral Identification Guide as well as a collection box from Dancing Bear.
So, when my 6 year old started getting interested in rocks and gems, I went online and bought him this activity kit.
It comes with a large poster that shows all the different rocks, gems, fossils, geodes, sharks teeth, and arrowheads that might be in this kit.
My son likes to go through all the rocks and place them next to the correct section of the poster to see what all he has. He also like to sort them by color, size, weight, etc.
Buy Dancing Bear Rock & Mineral Collection Activity Kit on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
3. Kids First Crystals, Rocks, and Minerals
Since my son is very interested in learning more about rocks and crystals, this kit was a no-brainer. Even though it’s a STEM experiment kit for 8 year olds, we’ve been able to do the experiments together.
What’s awesome about this kids science kit is that there’s an instruction booklet that talks about the geologic rock cycle and fully explains the 3 different rock categories: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
Then, it has step-by-step instructions for running 18 different experiments that are pretty cool.
This is definitely a STEM kit that involves parents and some of the experiments require a lot of patience. We like to do just a few experiments each week so there’s time to track progress.
And sometimes we watch fun science videos while we’re waiting for results.
Buy Kids First Crystals, Rocks, and Minerals on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
4. National Geographic Volcano Science Kit
I found this kids science kit on clearance at Michael’s a few weeks ago and the price was too good to pass up.
It’s the classic volcano science experiment that kids have been doing for generations. However, this one involves creating the volcano out of plaster using a mold they provide.
And instead of using baking soda and vinegar, it has packets with special ingredients to make the lava red. And there are enough supplies to run this experiment several times.
I was honestly surprised at how excited my 6 year old was to do this. He took his time painting the volcano and kept laughing each time it erupted.
Once we ran out of the special ingredients, we just used baking soda and vinegar (with red food coloring) to replicate the lava. And we also added a few drops of dish soap to make it bubble.
Buy National Geographic Volcano Science Kit on Amazon
5. National Geographic Break Open 10 Premium Geodes
My kids love hitting things with hammers. I don’t have to explain the appeal. But, it’s even cooler if there might be “treasure” inside!
At first, we bought the kit that comes with 2 geodes, but that didn’t last very long. So, we quickly bought this geode kit that comes with 10 geodes and a pair of kid protective goggles.
We let our oldest use a heavy duty hammer to work on cracking the geodes.
For the first couple, he tried doing the chisel method to crack the geode in half. But, that got a bit frustrating for him. My husband also tried doing the chisel method and it took a really long time.
So, for the rest of them, we set him up on the patio and he spent hours hammering and cracking them open.
Each one was a bit different and it was fun to predict what the inside would look like and how many pieces it would crack into.
Buy National Geographic Geode Kit on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
6. Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
We’ve actually had this kids coding kit for about 2 years now, but it still gets a lot of use at our house. It says it’s geared for ages 4 and older, but kids ages 6 and older won’t need parental help getting it set up.
Because it’s geared for younger kids, it’s great for kids who haven’t learned to read (or aren’t strong readers yet.) The cards are easy to follow and it’s a simple activity to learn coding for kids.
And it encourages open-ended play. My boys set it up in new and different ways each time just to see what happens. I like that we don’t need any other supplies (other than batteries) and the kids have hours of fun.
Sometimes the kids switch up the item the mouse is hunting for and sometimes they put new barriers in just to see what happens.
Buy the Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
7. Solar System Planetarium
This summer, my 6-year-old did online tutoring and they focused a lot on the solar system. He saw awesome videos and read cool facts about the solar system. But, there wasn’t a lot of hands-on activities to go with the lessons.
That’s why I picked up this Solar System Planetarium at the store. It’s not really a science kit, but it’s a glow in the dark model of the solar system.
It’s geared for kids ages 8 and older, but I just have him do it next to me and I can help him.
When learning about the solar system, my son had a really hard time comprehending how the earth orbits and where the other planets are located. And he couldn’t gauge how big the planets are in comparison to each other.
For kids who are crazy about outer space, this is a neat way to help them understand where all the planets are in comparison to the sun and how they orbit.
It’s a cool STEM kit that can be used as a display for quite awhile.
Buy this Solar System Planetarium on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
8. Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids
This isn’t really a full science experiment kit, but the materials are all things you probably already have in your kitchen. That’s the reason I put this on the list.
It’s kind of like a kids cookbook, but they explain the cool science-y stuff that happens along the way (in a way that kids understand.)
My kids are all doing activities where they get to eat along the way. And these kids science projects offer delicious results!
So far, they’ve enjoyed building things out of candy the most. We’ve been using Sour Patch Kids, Tootsie Rolls, and basically a ton of leftover candy. (I’m sure we’ll be building tons more after Halloween, too!)
Buy Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
9. Bubble Science
Bubbles are always a good idea. They are a total blast and entertaining for people of all ages (from babies to old people!)
Every summer, I get my kids a bunch of bubbles so they have something to do while I soak up some sunshine outside. This year, I figured there probably was something more science-y we could be doing with bubbles.
So, I got this bubble kit that outlines how to run experiments like making huge bubbles and an unbreakable bubble. And it comes with some cool plastic things that are great for testing out a DIY bubble mixture.
It’s a fun jumping off point, and we were able to create our own bubble wands using wire hangars with the bubble mixture recipe.
Buy your Bubble Science Kit on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
10. Magnet Science Kit
Raise your hand if you played with magnets most of your childhood! These fascinating items are mesmerizing to kids of all ages and you can learn a lot from them.
This magnet science kit has detailed instructions on how to make a Super Power Horseshoe Magnet, a Yacht Compass, a Super Magnet Racer, a Magnet Wand, and more.
There are also some cool hands-on activities where kids can run their own science experiments and learn the effects of magnetism.
Because the pieces are small, it’s geared for kids ages 8 and older, but use your judgement if you think your 6-year-old can handle it.
Buy this Magnet Science Kit on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
11. ThinkFun Gravity Maze
We haven’t purchased this one yet, but it’s high on my list right now. The reviews are pretty great and it even won Toy of the Year in 2017!
This STEM game is geared for kids ages 8 and older, but I think it would be fun to do with 6 year olds.
Basically, you look at the instruction manual to find 60 challenges (some are easy and some are difficult) and then you build it and test it out.
It’s like a cooler version of a traditional marble run, but kids are learning spatial reasoning, planning skills, and practicing logical reasoning.
What’s awesome is that you can start building as soon as you take it out of the box. There isn’t a huge learning curve or needing to read a full instruction book before the fun starts.
And, kids don’t realize they are learning because they are having so much fun!
Buy the ThinkFun Gravity Maze on AmazonBUY ON AMAZON
12. Kiwi Crate
We’ve actually received a few Kiwi Crates as birthday and holiday gifts over the past couple of years. They have tons of different boxes for an array of age groups and they’ve always been a hit with my boys.
They have a line of monthly science kits for kids ages 5-8 that focus on science, math, and engineering.
Each kit has a theme (like the solar system or the human body) and it has all the materials to run some cool experiments or build something awesome.
Six-year-olds can build the projects on their own, but they might ask for parental help every once in awhile.
If they have grandparents looking for gifts for 6 year olds, have them order a Kiwi Crate gift box or encourage them to sign up your kids for a monthly subscription.
Sign up for Kiwi CrateSIGN UP FOR KIWI CRATE
13. Little Passports Science Junior Box
Little Passports is a super awesome company that makes kids subscription boxes that focus on world travel, geography, and exploring cultures.
But, they also have a bunch of science subscription boxes for kids of all ages. Their Little Passports Science Junior box is geared for kids ages 5-8.
They also have a cool Science Expeditions box for kids ages 9 and older that might be fun if you plan on doing the activities with your child.
Each science box focuses on a certain country and includes science experiments, trading cards with science facts, games, comic books, and more.
The first Science Junior box comes with their signature green backpack. This is important because each science box comes with a patch that kids can put on their backpack to show all the cool places they have “traveled.”
Sign up for a Little Passports Science Junior KitLITTLE PASSPORTS SIGN UP
Loving these science kits for 6 year olds and looking for more awesome things to do with kids? Check out my posts about amazing indoor kids activities, LEGO crafts and activities, Little Global Citizens subscription box review, and travel-inspired children’s books!
I received the Ooze Labs: Colorful Crystal Lab, Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set, and Kids First Crystals, Rocks, and Minerals for review purposed. All opinions are my own and I only recommend products we truly think are awesome.