Amazon STEM Toy Club Review, Ages 3 to 4 – June 2017
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.
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.
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)
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wish list!
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.
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.)
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.
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!
Expansion packs are available if you want to make the toy do even more type of movements and sounds.
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.
Seriously – this thing is adorable, too. Love those antennae!
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.
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.
This toy does take batteries – my only wish is that it came with a charger.
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?