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Amazon STEM Toy Club Review, Ages 3 to 4 – June 2017

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Box Exterior

Amazon has launched a new STEM Club Toy subscription box! This monthly subscription delivers “handpicked, high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math toys” to your door for $19.99/month.

We signed up for Amazon’s STEM Toy Club subscription as soon as it launched, and this is our fourth delivery, which arrived in early May. Unlike the Amazon Prime Surprise Sweets box, this is packaged very simply – it looks like any other shipment from Amazon.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - First Peek and Unboxing

There are 3 age range options:

  • 3-4-year-olds (counting, building, and cause and effect)
  • 5-7 year-olds (hands-on experiments and explorations of electricity, earth science, and simple math)
  • 8-13-year-olds (more complex projects and experiments based on principals of physics, chemistry, and engineering)

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

This is a review of the 3-4-year-old age range Amazon STEM Club, $19.99/month.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Codeapillar Unboxes

The Subscription Box: Amazon STEM Toy Club

The Cost: $19.99 per month

The Products: Each month you will receive a different, age-appropriate STEM toy.

Ships to: U.S. (free shipping)

Check out all of our Amazon STEM Toy Club reviews, more educational and STEM subscriptions for kids, and all Amazon subscription boxes in our subscription box directory!

Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wish list!

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Box Front

Think & Learn Code-a-pillar – Value $36.49 on Amazon

This month’s selection is a motorized caterpillar toy that teaches kids the basics of coding through simple cause and effect! Coding is high up on the list of things I want to introduce my son to while he’s young, so I was instantly intrigued.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Box Reverse

We’re getting a little overwhelmed with building and construction toys, so this is a nice change of pace, too. We don’t have anything else like it in our toy box!

(The box notes that they also have an iOS and Android app; it doesn’t connect to the toy though. Instead, it features mazes and other puzzles starring Code-a-pillar.)

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Codeapillar and Targets

Code-a-pillar works by letting your child rearrange the segments, which tell the toy to go forward, turn, make a noise, etc.

There are 11 total pieces – 8 ‘code’ segments, plus the head, and two start/stop targets.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Targets Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Targets

These little targets are meant to sit on the floor and guide your Code-a-pillar where to begin and end his sequence. Update: I re-read the instructions, and these are actually don’t “do” anything – you just use them to see if you can change the directions to guide the Code-a-pillar closer to the end target!

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Expansions

Expansion packs are available if you want to make the toy do even more type of movements and sounds.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Instructions Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Instructions

The instructions are really straightforward, too. I love that they suggest guiding the toy through an obstacle course – that sound like a great rainy day activity.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Codeapillar Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Codeapillar

Seriously – this thing is adorable, too. Love those antennae!

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Assembly via USBAmazon STEM June 2017 Review - Assembly

The segments are connected by USB. They’re pretty easy to pull apart, but my 2-year-old did have a little trouble getting them back together himself. I’m not sure if USB connectors are the longest lasting thing for a toy like this, but they are at stabilized by plastic so they seem made to last.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Detail of Start

When you press the start button, Code-a-pillar lights up and indicates the sequence of instructions from head to tail. When he starts moving, each step blinks as it is being performed. This was a lot of fun; we got to talk about right and left, before and after, and generally just had a blast.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Battery and Power

This toy does take batteries – my only wish is that it came with a charger.

Amazon STEM June 2017 Review - Toy In Action

My two year old LOVED this month’s toy. This one was a bit easier for him to play with than the toys we’ve received in the past few months from Amazon STEM Toy Club, and he seemed to grasp the basic concepts too– although he was more than happy to just press the button and chase it around the living room.

We didn’t get a chance to play with the targets too much (I think that concept is still a little advanced for him) but we still had a blast playing with this. It’s also interesting to note that you can shorten the instructions (you don’t need to use all 8 segments), which I think can help teach kids how it works by starting with fewer steps and slowly adding more on.

Verdict: Toy subscriptions, in general, are definitely a convenient way to keep mixing up your child’s playtime routine, and I am super happy with Amazon’s STEM Toy Club this month! This box was the best value we’ve seen so far, with the toy retailing for $17 more than the price of the subscription. The coding concept is also different from the ones explored in past boxes, and my 2-year-old really, really loves this one so far. (Plus, while it does have pieces, there aren’t a lot of tiny ones that would be easy to lose.)

What do you think of this month’s toy from the Amazon STEM Club Toy subscription box

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Written by Lacey Volk

Lacey Volk

Lacey’s introduction to the world of subscription boxes was Julep Maven, but she quickly moved on once she discovered there were subscriptions for cooking, coffee, and art supplies. Current favorites include Crate Chef and Ecocentric Mom, and she’s looking forward to trying more.

Posted in Amazon STEM Club Toy Subscription Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: Amazon STEM Club Toy Subscription | 10 comments

Comments (10)

  1. We got this one earlier this month as well. My 3-year old loves it! He has so much fun building it to do different things. Amazon has stepped up with their stem toys. The first couple months were ROUGH. They were complete disasters. But their new direction is going really great! We have a subscription to each age category.

    • Agree, I really think it’s getting better. This toy is a HUGE hit!

  2. My husband is a computer programmer and when I learned about the Code-a-piller, he was like: “Buy it!”.

    Well, it wasn’t available yet (it had won some toy fair award). When it became available months later I bought it the day it became available. For $50.

    We have had it for a year now so my boys were 4 1/2 and 1 1/2 when we first got it. They still play with it. We never use the targets we just put it in a spot in the room and try go figure out the best way to get from point A to point B without hitting furniture.

    My kids are rough so it has been dropped a bazillion times. I think it uses batteries well (can’t recall having to change them often unlike some times – man, I might not have changed these batteries ever…).

    The only flaw is no volume control. It’s loud… So, hearing it at the dawn is no fun. So, now I keep it in the loud toys closet that kids can not get into so they don’t pull it out before everyone gets up but aside from that they love it and it’s a pretty cool toy and I don’t regret paying $50 for it. My kids have definitely enjoyed the heck out if it.

    • I am so glad to hear it holds up! When I saw the USB connections, I thought for sure those would break really quickly. My husband already wants to buy an expansion pack, haha

  3. This looks really cute! Any idea if I would get this same toy if I signed up today for the same age range?

    • I’m not 100% sure – hopefully another subscriber can chime in? Everyone receives their boxes at different times depending on when they order, and it seems like people get the same toys each month, but I’m not sure when they cut off and switch to a new toy.

      • I signed up and they sent me the build a car set from a previous box 🙁 I’m not sure I can stay subscribed to this if they’re going to be sending random past boxes.

    • I just signed up, and immediately in my orders it showed me what was coming! It’s March’s box which is an Automobile Engineer kit. I really wanted this month’s box, but this one seems cool too. I wonder if they are starting new subscribers with March’s box (which was the first of the decent boxes) and going in order? I think it’s cool though that you can see what they are sending you and if you’re fast enough, cancel if you don’t want it.

      • Yup, looks like that’s what they’re doing. My box this month is the drill set. I tried contacting customer service to see if I could get up to date on the subscription and not receive previous boxes, but no one knew what I was talking about and transferred me at least five times. I think I’ll try to cancel next month’s order since I don’t need the gear set, and then hopefully the next month will be this caterpillar toy.

  4. Crap. Just signed up for this and got a great building toy, but already have one of these so may cancel before it bills again. (Doesn’t help that it’s not my kid’s thing, at all.)

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