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March 04, 2024

Montessori Elementary Play: Science Kits and Tools

There are so many cool ways to explore our world as an kid. Free play and exploration are so important, and so is giving our children time to make discoveries on their own. But, as kids move into the elementary years, I've found it's really fun to make space and time for some more directed exploration. And, we are so fortunate to live in a time where science kits are common and handy.  

And, first, I know a lot of these can be recreated with things you have at home. If you have the time and energy to pull together science experiments with what you have, I think that's awesome. As a mom to 5, I just don't have that in me a lot of the time. So I appreciate that these kits exist and allow my lower elementary kids to explore scientific concepts without needing a ton of adult direction or a ton of prep on my part. 

Montessori Friendly Science Kits For Lower Elementary

There are so many options on the market when it comes to science kits for kids. I've chosen to stick with brands and choices that we have first-hand personal experience with. Gus (7-years-old) is my science kit kid, and has really enjoyed all of these choices for a variety of reasons. I'll share some of the pros and cons to think about as you consider adding a science kit to your home. 

Hand2Mind Sets: Graduated Cylinders | Flasks | Test Tubes We own the flasks and will be adding another set for his next gift-giving occasion. The pros on these is that they are well made, clean easily and are super open ended. They can be used for so many ideas and in so many settings. With my older son, we had real (glass) science things and found them too be way to delicate for children. These wont shatter like those. The major con here is that these don't come with specific experiments, so sometimes it can be hard for kids to think of how they want to use these without adult direction.

KiwiCo: Oil and Water | Colorful Chemistry | Bottle Rocket We have used several Kiwi Co kits over the years and they are always well loved by my kids. I love the quality of the materials, and that everything needed is included in the kit. The directions are also super clear and even emergent readers can often figure out what to do. One con for me is that the experiments often can't be repeated as much as they like since materials run out. 

JapaceJapace 4 in 1 We have this kit and while my children have enjoyed it, it is my least favorite of the choices. My kids really enjoyed that there is a wide variety of experiments that are included. There are some really fun ones in there that really aren't available in some of the other kits. My con is that it is very hard to keep organized and some of the materials are a bit cheap. I also think many of the experiments have confusing directions that require an adult to help the children. 

National Geographic: Crystal Growing Kits | Volcano | Sensory Science We've also tried several of these over the years. They are easy for kids to use and really produce a fun result. We've always had these work and they include everything you need. They also have several that are focused more on sensory fun which my kids really enjoy. I think one of the cons of these is that they are pretty single use and the materials that come with are definitely not meant to last a long time. 

I'm sure there are lots of other great science kit choices on the market but these have been very popular in our Montessori home. I love being able to offer these fun choices to my elementary aged kids. 

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