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Best Learning Kits for Teens

Updated July 2022
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Best of the Best
Elegoo UNO Project Super Starter Kit
UNO Project Super Starter Kit
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Intended for ages 10 and up, this kit is compatible with Arduino Uno R3 boards and offers dozens of components at an excellent price. May be a better choice for those with coding background than for actual beginners.


Compatible with Arduino Uno R3 boards. Upgraded starter kit with power supply module and 9V battery with DC. Includes 22-lesson PDF tutorial CD. LCD1602 module with pin header, so there's no soldering for you to do. Includes a variety of electronics components.


Tutorials may be too advanced if you don't have coding experience. Some components may have sporadic problems.

Best Bang for the Buck
Thames and Kosmos Chemistry Chem C500
Thames and Kosmos
Chemistry Chem C500
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Old-School Chemistry
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Throwback introductory chemistry set that walks students through the basics.


Kit features 28 simple chemistry experiments. Includes topics like acids and bases and states of matter. Clearly written instruction manual. Comes with beakers, goggles, and more.


Requires some chemicals that are not included.

SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits
SmartLab Toys
Smart Circuits
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Impressive Projects
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Guides teens through the process of building a doorbell, electronic dice, motion sensor alarm, and more.


Comes with microprocessor, light sensor, speaker, jumper wires, and much more to build 50 circuitry projects. Detailed instruction guide. Includes real wiring, unlike some competitors. May be most attractive to younger end of teen spectrum.


Wire components are inconsistent. Some are too tight to easily install without damaging; others are too loose and don't make a secure connection.

Sphero Mini App-Enabled Programmable Robot Ball
Mini App-Enabled Programmable Robot Ball
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Customer Favorite
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Program this pint-sized robotic ball for your own version of fun once you're done with its built-in games and moves.


Ping-pong ball-size version of larger, pricier robot ball. Equipped for simple coding commands, or you can program it using JavaScript once you download the educational app. Pre-programmed for driving through obstacle course and playing basic games.


Verify device compatibility before purchase. Occasional problems connecting and charging.

Thames and Kosmos Bridges & Skyscrapers Science & Engineering Kit
Thames and Kosmos
Bridges & Skyscrapers Science & Engineering Kit
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Real-World Physics
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Abstract physics concepts come to life with this hands-on structural building kit.


Build bridges, skyscrapers, and more. A practical way to learn physics concepts like load, tension, force, and compression. More than 280 pieces. Instructions for 20 projects.


Anchor pins are challenging to remove from assembled projects when it's time to build another.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best learning kits for teens

Whether you'd like your teenage son or daughter to excel in school or they are just searching for a challenging new hobby, a learning kit is a great solution. These affordable products are fun, engaging, and educational, and they can help prepare young adults for success in life beyond high school.

The best learning kits focus on an aspect of science or technology that already interests your teen, whether it's chemistry, biology, coding, or robotics. The kit should be age-appropriate and versatile enough to keep your teen engaged by offering multiple projects.

Discover how a learning kit for your teen can help them have a better chance for a brighter future. You will also find out what features to look for in a quality kit.

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A STEM-based curriculum is rooted in real-life situations that a person may encounter in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. A good learning kit helps develop a practical understanding of these topics.

Key considerations

Age range

When looking for a learning kit for a teen, you have to be careful not to accidentally purchase something that is too young for the intended user. If a teen gets a kit that has "For ages 5 to 12" emblazoned across the box in primary colors, there's a good chance it will never be opened. Even something that is designated "For ages 8 to 13" may be pushing it. You want to purchase something that is clearly manufactured for an individual who is no longer a child and definitely does not want to be considered one.

Subject matter

Learning kits focus on the sciences, from geology to coding. There’s something out there for your teen regardless of which science they’d like to explore. Just make sure to consult with them first and know their interests before buying. If you purchase a climatology learning kit for your son or daughter and they are into robotics, you will most likely be making a return in the near future.

Alternatively, a suitable learning kit might focus on a topic that is giving your child trouble in school. For example, if your student is struggling at school with earth sciences, maybe getting that climatology kit wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.

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Did you know?
According to the Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at a faster rate and offering a higher income (up to 26% more) than non-STEM occupations.


Number of projects

If you purchase a learning kit for a teen with only one project, it had better be a doozy. If not, the kit may only last a day or two, and your teen probably won't learn much from completing it. In most cases, you want a versatile learning kit that provides the option to build a number of items or perform a number of experiments. The exception is a learning kit with fewer projects that are lengthy in nature. Any kit where something is grown, whether it's crystals or plants, would be an example of this.


Some learning kits are starter kits that have components or more advanced modules that can be added at a later date. The benefit of a kit like this is that it can literally grow with your teen.

Real-life applications

If your teen can build a video game, a drone, or a doorbell camera from scratch, that will definitely make an impact on their learning. The ability to create something with everyday applications day will help them see how science is used in everyday life. What’s more, it will help them develop confidence. If you get the right kit, you won't ever hear, "Yeah, but when am I going to use this in real life?"

Encourages creativity

While it is essential to learn how to follow an extended series of detailed instructions to accomplish a specific task, it’s just as important to have a little flexibility. The best learning kits offer specific experiments and projects that can later be modified by the individual after they understand the basic concepts that are involved.

"Learning kits for teens make great holiday and birthday gifts."

Learning kits for teens: prices

You can find learning kits for teens for less than $10 or more than $200.


It is entirely possible to purchase a learning kit for under $10. However, these kits usually include only one project. The parts may not be durable, and there’s a chance the kit would be too simplistic for your teen.


This is the sweet spot. From $25 to $50, you can find learning kits for teens that offer a larger number of projects or experiments. These are not one-and-done kits. The individual components are often more durable, and depending on the type of kit you purchase, it may be expandable.


You can find some pretty nifty learning kits in the $100 to $200 price range. These are recommended for serious teens who have already found success with projects in the mid-range area. Typically, these learning kits focus on coding, electronics, or robotics.

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Did you know?
If your teenager is interested in electronics, the right kit could teach them how to build a video game or a robot from an assortment of components.


  • Learning kits cover all aspects of science, from biology to technology. If your teen has an interest in any field of science, chances are there's a kit for them. The right learning kit could spark a curiosity that sets your teen off on a bright career path.
  • “Play” isn’t reserved for little kids. Learning while playing with a kit made for teens fosters creative thinking and helps students develop a level of confidence that might otherwise be unobtainable in a traditional classroom setting.
  • These kits are great fun, and fun is important. Individuals who do not engage in enjoyable activities run a greater risk of suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
  • A learning kit allows a teen to progress at their own pace. When a student doesn’t feel rushed, latent talents that may have otherwise gone unrealized could be discovered. Sometimes, you do not know what you truly love until you get a chance to discover it on your own.
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The best learning kits provide direction on how to dive deeper and take the next step if a teen is intrigued beyond what the kit has to offer.


Q. Why would I choose a learning kit when I could purchase a book instead?

A. There has been a great deal of research done on learning, and hands-on activities are shown to be one of the most effective modes of learning. For example, a person who listens to a lecture about electronics might only retain 5% of what they heard. A person who reads a book about the same topic might retain twice that, about 10%. But a person who builds a motion-sensing alarm could retain 75% of what they learned when building the device. Learning by doing is simply a more effective strategy for retaining information.

Q. Aren't learning kits just for little kids?

A. No. A huge misconception about "growing up" is that we require less play time as we mature. It is essential to have hobbies and activities that we enjoy, no matter what age we are. As long as the learning kit engages the teen in a positive or challenging way, it’s beneficial.

Q. Are learning kits dangerous?

A. While there are learning kits that contain potentially hazardous elements such as chemicals, electricity, or sharp objects, as long as the directions are read and followed and the materials are handled properly, they should not be dangerous. However, if a teen misuses kit materials or a younger child wants to be challenged with a kit that is recommended for older users, a responsible adult should supervise.

Q. My teen is not into science and technology. Would a learning kit still be appropriate?

A. Although science is the primary focus of a learning kit, the best kits encourage creativity and innovative thinking. While there will be no knowing for sure until they try it, the right learning kit could be the key that opens a whole new world of wonder for your teen.

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