The 10 Best Science Toys of 2020

Kids will have a blast and learn STEM principles with these toys

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"The set comes with 30 color-coded circuit components that kids can easily snap together to create real electrical systems."
"Children will have a blast seeing how high they can send their rockets and learning about concepts like gravity and trajectory."
"The LEGO kit helps kids build a series of moving machines that can be set off in complex chain reactions."
"Kids will love seeing how jagged rocks transform into beautiful gems."
"Young dino lovers or aspiring paleontologists will love this kit, which is sure to get them excited about science and history."
"Youngsters will have a blast donning their safety goggles and conducting their very own scientific experiments."
"There’s no better way to learn about nature than with this hands-on kit that includes all the necessary tools."
"This cool astronomy gadget is easy to use and will be a hit with science and nature lovers."
"The telescope is an engaging, hands-on way to boost STEM skills and the kit comes with an activity guide."
"This hands-on kit will get kids excited about science, and they’ll love putting their colorful crystals on display with the included light-up stand."

Science is a subject that doesn't have to feel intimidating, but it can actually be interesting and fun for kids of all ages. This is especially true when you find a toy that lets kids explore astronomy, gems, electronics, and more.

Below are the best science toys for kids.

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Snap Circuits Junior 100 Electronics Projects

This award-winning toy is designed to teach kids eight and older about electrical circuits as they complete more than 100 different projects. The Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Discovery Kit will keep young inventors entertained for hours.

The kit comes with 30 color-coded circuit components that kids can easily snap together to create real electrical systems. There’s no soldering or tools required—just snap the pieces onto the plastic base and they’re good to go. Also, upgrade packs are available for even more electric exploration!

"The Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit is an affordable and fun way to teach children about electrical engineering. Encourage problem solving and keep kids busy for hours with this STEM toy."—Sarah Wassner Flynn, Product Tester

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Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow

The Original Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow is so much fun that kids won’t even realize they’re learning. With this toy, children ages three and up will explore STEM concepts like physics as they launch glow-in-the-dark rockets high in the air.

The Stomp Rocket Jr. is easy to assemble and even easier for kids to master. All they have to do is run, jump, and stomp on the launch pad to send the glowing foam rockets flying into the sky—up to 100 feet!

"The foam rockets are very soft, so they won’t do much damage if they hit anyone below the neck. Although the manufacturer notes that the toy is good for indoor and outdoor play, we really only recommend the latter, as we had a few close calls with our TV and other objects."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester

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Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit

This kit is perfect for kids who love LEGOs. The Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit lets kids eight and up build moving machines, teaching them all about physics.

The Chain Reactions Craft kit includes directions and materials to build 10 different “machines,” including a seesaw and ramp, a falling hammer, and elevator ramps. Kids will learn about physics as they assemble the various machines, then arrange them to complete a desired action, such as tossing a wrapper in the trash, ringing a bell, and more.

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Some toys are simply classics, and rock tumblers definitely qualify. The National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler is just like the one you used when you were young, as it turns rough stones into smooth, shiny gems using grit.

This kit is ideal for children eight and up, and it includes everything they’ll need to transform ugly rocks into beautiful treasures. The tumbler itself has an automatic shut-off timer and a noise-reducing barrel, and the kit includes rough gemstones to get kids started, four polishing grits, jewelry fastenings, and instructions.

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No need to travel across the world to excavate dinosaur fossils. With the National Geographic Dinosaur Dig Kit, children over six can dig for real dinosaur remains while they learn all about archaeology.

The kit comes with a “digging brick,” as well as digging tools, a magnifying glass, and a learning guide. Kids will feel like real paleontologists as they carefully excavate objects from their brick, each of which includes three real fossils. Once they’ve separated out the fossils, children will be able to identify their discoveries using the learning guide.

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Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Activity Set

Kids will feel like mad scientists with this gift. The Primary Science Lab Activity Set has everything children four and up need to conduct exciting at-home experiments and learn all about chemistry.

This 12-piece set includes essential science tools like a beaker, magnifying glass, funnel, tweezers, and test tubes. Every piece is designed for little hands and durable enough for playtime. The kit also includes 10 activity cards with beginner experiments like mixing colors and examining insects.

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Nature Bound Bug Catcher with Habitat Bucket and 7 Piece Nature Exploration Set

This Nature Set will surely be a hit with children who are fascinated by bugs and other creepy-crawly critters. Kids ages three and up can use the Nature Bound Bug Bucket Habitat Nature Set to explore their backyard, catching and examining bugs up close.

The 7-piece set includes a bug bucket, tweezers, tongs, a net, and a magnifying glass. With these tools at their disposal, children can catch all sorts of bugs without touching them and safely store them for observation. Use the magnifying glass to take a closer look at insects or learn about different kinds of bugs from the included activity booklet.

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Gskyer AZ60350 Travel Refractor Astronomy Telescope with Wireless Remote Control

There’s a huge universe out there, and with the Gskyer Travel Refractor Telescope, children can get a closer look at what’s going on in the sky. This entry-level telescope lets young scientists stargaze or bird watch, and we bet their parents won’t mind playing with it, either!

The telescope is specially designed for students, and it’s easy to put together. It comes with multiple eyepieces, a tripod, and a carrying case, so you can easily take it camping or to different locations.

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Educational Insights GeoSafari Micropro 48-Piece Microscope Set

As kids start learning about biology and chemistry, chances are they’ll become curious about what different objects are made of. There’s no better way to help them learn than with their very own microscope, which is why the GeoSafari MicroPro Microscope Kit makes a wonderful gift.

This 48-piece set is best for children eight and up, as it lets them get a closer look at, well, anything! In addition to a kid-friendly microscope with up to 600x magnification, the kit includes tweezers, petri dishes, empty slides, and vials. Plus, there are even a few prepared slides with cool specimens to get kids started!

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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Crystal Growing Lab

The only thing cooler than growing crystals is growing multi-colored crystals! The Mega Crystal Growing Lab, for kids six and up, teaches about chemistry and crystal formation through hands-on experiments.

The lab has everything kids need to grow beautiful crystals in fun colors like blue, green, purple, and orange. They’ll get eight different colors of growing powder and eight rock seeds, as well as four growing chambers and a light-up crystal display stand. The STEM learning guide walks children through the crystal-growing process, and while they wait for their own rocks to form, they can examine the five real crystals—quartz, rose quartz, fluorite, calcite, and amethyst—that come with the lab.

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