This is your big list of homeschool science equipment. It includes the essential tools needed to do science at home.
Having the right equipment on hand for curious homeschool kids is a must.
Let me say up front that I am a big fan of giving kids real tools so they can learn to both respect them and have the proper tool for the job.
Real science equipment captures their interest and helps them with their experiements. It also makes their enthusiasm for science soar!
These are real tools. The kind that work well; the kind that last.
This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions are our own and we share things we think would be of interest to boys.
Homeschool Science Equipment
Finding the right homeschool science equipment and supplies is really important. It will help you to have the right tools on had when your kids get excited about a topic!
Let’s start at the very beginning. Listen when I say, just get these things now. Never take chances with your children’s eyesight, hearing or safety. Buy these necessary items. Be done – and be safe.
- You need to use safety glasses. These are nicely made and they come in a variety of colors so everyone can keep track of their own pair. For chemical experiments goggles are a must have.
- If you are doing some loud science experiments such as those found in this book, you need to make sure you have proper hearing protection.
- We use these amazing earplugs (great if you have a husband who snores too – just saying!) but some kids don’t like the feel of those so we also recommend the alternative below.
- Fire extinguishers – I’m sure you already have these in your home (if not get some!)
- Lab coats or a proper shirt to protect the skin. For a real scientist experience spring for the lab coats 🙂
- If something happens you want to be prepared. A wash bottle is a very good and super cheap piece of equipment to have on hand. Make sure you fill it before you start experiements.
- Safety gloves and non-laxex gloves in a variety of sizes and types.
- A first aid kit. If you don’t have one, get one. I went without for a long time because I had bandaids and ointments at home. However, I now feel this is an essential.
12-Pack Clear Lenses, Safety Goggle, Scratch, Impact ResistantSafety Ear Muffs provide the best industrial & shooting ear protection.3M TEKK Protection Chemical Splash/Impact GoggleSafety Wash Bottle, Narrow Mouth, 500 mL Capacity100 Piece First Aid Kit, Exceeds Standards – for 10 People Natural Uniforms – Childrens Lab Coat
Homeschool Science Containers and Nets
- Butterfly nets need to be high quality to last. High quality does not mean expensive though. Check out these reasonably priced nets that will last through many butterfly and insect hunts.
- If you want your child to be able to observe insects and butterflies, the best way to do it is the have a large enough enclosure. This enclosure allows for flight and you can see very well through the fine mesh. Bonus: it can be washed, bleached and it is also collapsible.
- Small nets such as a quality fish net (not pictured) are also very nice as they let kids go after smaller insects and they are able to manuver easier with a smaller handle and entry point.
14″ Ring, 48″ Nylon Bag, Extendable NetInsect and Butterfly Habitat House with Zippered Door12″ Steel Hoop, 28″ Mesh Bag Insect Net
- This bug catching tool is the best thing ever! I use it to catch spiders or other unwanted visitors in the house 🙂 Oh, and it is great for its other purpose of catching insects. It has a built in magnifier so you can get up close and personal. The bottom slides to trap and release the insects. Fantastic tool!
- Keepers are nice for observing frogs and toads, as well as insects of all sizes. This one gets the best reviews. It has a handle for carrying and the lid is ventilated but the slots are very small so things can’t crawl out.
Medium Rectangle Keeper w/LidBug Catching Tool & MagnifierX-Large Rectangle Keeper w/Lid
- Here are three excellent aquarium options. Honestly, these are totally worth getting as you can do so many different things with them.
- I really love the aquaponic tank in the middle, which is a mini closed-loop ecosystem. One little tank packed full of learning opportunities!
Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail LightBack to the Roots Water GardenCube Aquarium Kit with Light
Homeschool Science Equipment for Measuring
- Tape measures, both the standard tool variety and a flexible sewing tape measure.
- Thermometers: See the selection of highly rated digital thermometers below. They work very well.
- You could also get a glass scientific thermometer, but personally I like the digital ones a bit better.
Folding Pocket Digital ThermometerQuick-Read ThermometerWaterproof Pocket Thermometer
- Hand tally, number counter, clicker, whatever you call it this little gem is a super inexpensive must have. Kids love to use it and it is great for keeping track of where you are in a project, how many blocks you have walked, how many times you have fed the fish this week etc. Counting, counting and more counting will happen. Under a couple of bucks too.
- Stopwatch – If you don’t have one already, we think you will like this one. The buttons are big and easy to use and the display is easy to read. Plus, it is water resistant which is a nice bonus.
Tally Counter with Finger RingWater Resistant Digital Stopwatch
Learning Resources Primary Bucket Balance
The bucket balance is a must if you are working with younger kids. This was one of my favorite homeschool science tools when my son was young.
Kids of all ages like it but I consider it an essential for the younger kids. They learn so much from using it. It holds liquid in addition to other items.
It doesn’t weigh items, it is a simple bucket balance for seeing which is heavier.
Totally worth purchasing. It will get used a lot.
Triple Pro Mechanical Triple Beam Balance
On the other end of the scale (couldn’t resist slipping that in) is the triple beam balance.
For families that are very into science, and use scales a lot, this is a good investment.
I am a firm believer in providing necessary tools to children who are enthusiastic about specific topics. If science is your kid’s thing this is a very good scale.
It is money well spent and will take your homeschooler through high school.
- Spring scales and hanging scales have gotten a lot of use in homeschools. Kids go around weighing and comparing everything in sight! Here are a few good choices.
Scientific Plastic Spring ScaleLCD Display Scale Hanging Scale1 X 110 lb. Hanging Spring Dial Scale
I know some of you likely have a digital scale and measuring cups in your kitchen. I use many of the tools we already have around the house for our homeschooling projects.
However, when it comes to kitchen items, I buy an extra to use for homeschooling. I like my kitchen items to stay sanitary!
- It is not often a product gets over 10,000 reviews! The red digital scale below did and if you need a scale this one is a no brainer.
- If you have not seen the Esma Perfect Beaker you need to get one. This thing has every measurement you could ever need. Actually, you need to get two! One for the kitchen and one for homeschooling. No kidding!
- Oh, and having a pocket scale that you can take with you on nature hikes or outside is great and this one is perfect for that.
Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, RedEmsa Perfect Beaker. You Will Want 1 for HS and 1 for the Kitchen!Digital Personal Scale, Pocket Size, Black
Homeschool Science Equipment for Viewing
Keeping a bunch of different types of magnifiying glasses and loupes available will be helpful for your science projects. My favorite ones are below. It would be hard to pick just one as they serve different purposes.
Eye Loupe 30x 60x Magnifier for super close-up viewsHelping Hand Magnifying Glass is great for projectsBug Loupe 4.5x Magnifier (not just for bugs 🙂 )
Celestron PowerSeeker Telescope
Picking a telescope is difficult. We bought one and it was not very good at all and ended up being frustrating to use.
After doing some research, this is the telescope I wish we had started with.
Keep in mind that telescopes get expensive fast and if you want outstanding quality you have to pay for it. For most families the telescope shown will suffice.
So for a homeschool that wants the experience of owning a telescope this is a wonderful choice. It is a quality starter scope.
Many homeschoolers have found that binoculars are wonderful for viewing the night sky as well. In fact, some kids really do better with a quality pair of binoculars instead of a telescope so keep that in mind.
Plus, you can use them for so many other things.
- The pair we have is no longer being made but these are similar in style. I love them because they are lightweight, which is great for kids and great for moms!
- The monocular is nice as well and comes with a small tripod.
Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binocular12X50 Monocular WaterproofWide view 8X42 HD Professional
Ok, now we get into a biggie. Microscopes. This is a top homeschool science tool on most successful homeschooler’s lists. For setting up a homeschool science lab at home this really is a must have item.
Some families go without buying one. I wouldn’t do that personally, but of course it is your choice. Though I will gently suggest that you at least buy a digital one.
Microscopes are like telescopes, you get what you pay for. This article on the selection of homeschool science equipment doesn’t allow for time to go into the details and nuances of purchasing a microscope, though perhaps I will write about that some day.
For now, I did the research and found that these are the top two microscope choices for homeschooling.
All-Metal Optical Glass Lenses Cordless LED Student Biological Compound Microscope
This is the model I would buy if I currently needed a microscope. The reviews are great, and I believe it is the best microscope for homeschooling. It is a compound biological microscope.
This is not a professional microscope as they cost way too much for most families. This is a student version. It is designed to take a child from elementary school through high school science.
It includes illumination, has glass lenses and is made of metal. You can also buy a camera so you can view slides on a computer.
I believe this is currently the best choice for most homeschooling families.
USB 2.0 Digital Microscope with Flexible Arm 10x-250x Magnification
This small digital microscope is perfect for families who are not sure a full-sized microscope is what they need yet.
The microscope comes with a base, 10X – 250X magnification, a built in camera that operates from your device or with light tap of a finger.
The light includes brightness control which helps reduce glare. One feature I love is that you can set up time-lapse and the camera will take pictures over time without you having to do it! Very cool!
Misc. Science Equipment
- A compass
- A variety of calculators come in handy. I’m sure you have some at home you can use.
Science Wiz – DC Motors – Working Voltage Range .5 to 3.0V (Pack of 4)Pair DC 3.7V 40000RPM 100mA 7 x 16mm Motors w Helicopter PropellersAjax Scientific Miniature Light Bulb, 2.5V, 0.50 Amp (Pack of 10)
- This real stethoscope is a nice one. Providing hands-on experiences is always a win.
- Magnets in a variety of sizes and strengths – I like the bar magnet with N & S printed on it.
- A Prism!
Inexpensive But Very Good StethoscopeAjax Scientific Optical Glass Equilateral Prism, 25mm Length x 100mm HeightDelta Education N/S Painted Bar Magnet, 3
Homeschool Science Lab Equipment
Petri dishes, test tubes and beakers are wonderful to own and really get kids feeling like a scientist! And since that is what they are, getting them tools helps them to realize this. It is important to have these science lab supplies on hand for when they get inspired to try an experiment!
Plastic Petri Dishes, 60 mm x 15 mm, 3 Vents, Sterile 10 PackWood Test Tube Rack
12 Tube Capacity, 7/816 X 125mm Plastic Test Tubes
with Caps, 25 PackBorosilicate Glass Beaker Set, 50/100/250 mL, 3 Sizes, 3 PackPlastic Beaker Set – 5 Sizes
50 100 250 500 and 1000ml5 Piece Erlenmeyer, Borosilicate
50ml, 150ml, 250ml, 500ml, & 1L
- A selection of eye droppers, pipettes and small bottles with or without droppers are useful and get used ALL the time!
G2PLUS 100PCS 3ml Disposable Plastic Graduated Transfer PipettesPremium Vials B37-12CL Boston Round Glass Bottle with Dropper, 2 oz Capacity, Clear (Pack of 12)Learning Resources Eye Droppers – 12 ct
Homeschool Science Equipment for Recording
When covering science make sure you take the time to record and log your results. Try to have a variety of different ways of recording to meet your child’s learning style.
- Most everyone has a digital camera or smart phone around. If your kids don’t have their own camera I highly suggest you get them one. Get a real one, not a kid camera. This model is the perfect science companion because it takes video, does a great job on photos, and it is waterproof as well. Overall a super camera.
- The field notes notebooks are waterproof and tearproof. Perfect for using outdoors or when doing messy science experiments. You will like that they are also bright orange/red as it makes them easy to find.
- Some kids don’t like to write because the mechanics of it slows them down or their hand-eye coordination is not developed enough yet. If you have a child like this, don’t force them to write when doing science. Just focus on science. Let them use a digital recorder instead. Then help them to type up their notes when they are done. They will learn much better this way.
Nikon COOLPIX Waterproof Digital Camera Field Notes Expedition 3Pk Waterproof and TearproofSONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder
That is our list of essential homeschool science equipment that you should have if you want to do science at home.
You do not need to purchase every single item right away. Build your collection over time.
Just remember that real tools make a real difference to kids and makes it much easier to do science experiments at home.
For other ideas you could try:
Thursday 16th of January 2020
Thank you for taking the time to compose this list. It's amazing. II. have a lot of this stuff already at home but never put it together as science equipment. Now I have lots more ideas.
Thursday 16th of January 2020
You are most welcome, Lynn. I'm so happy you got some ideas from it. Thanks for you comment! This one took a long time so I am very happy it is useful.
Thursday 2nd of February 2017
This is a great list, and not just for homeschooling! Those like me who supplement a public school education for their child need to see lists like this more often. So comprehensive and thorough! Exactly why I subscribe to your email!
Saturday 4th of February 2017
Kelly - Thank you so much for your kind comment. I totally agree that it isn't just for homeschooling and tried to convey that with the image and the wording. I am so glad to hear you like the list and found it helpful. You made my day! Thanks as well for subscribing :) So glad to have you involved.