Amazon STEM Toy Club Review, Ages 5 to 7 – August 2018
This subscription looks like any other shipment from Amazon, with no exterior branding on the box or special insert.
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 5 to 7-year-old age range Amazon STEM Club, $19.99/month.
About This Educational Subscription Box for Kids
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)
August’s Toy: Think Fun Roller Coaster Challenge Building Game
Think Fun Roller Coaster Challenge Building Game – Retail Value $29.49
I saw this game while doing research for last month’s Amazon STEM toy and thought it looked fun, so I was happy to open up our box to find this! The game is recommended for ages 6 and up, and is designed to be single player, although I think you could definitely make this into more of a teamwork activity.
All of the pieces were neatly packaged inside the box.
Inside this box were our challenge cards and this little instruction booklet.
The instruction booklet opened up with a little welcome letter and a table of contents. I liked that they had detailed, color pictures of each part. The geometry section was a little difficult to wrap my head around at first and it took a while to really get into the groove of putting everything together since there were so many specific details. For example, the orange tracks drop down 3 post pieces, which is helpful to know, but also made it difficult to just have some freedom in our creation. I’ll elaborate on this in a bit!
I like this little Engineering Alert which informs us that if a piece of track doesn’t easily fit between the curves, then it doesn’t belong there. I think that my approach to this was to be more free and creative, but really, this game is very much based on engineering which means you really have to think with a different hat and this alert was a great reminder of that.
These are the steps to play and the building rules. There really were so many specific rules and engineering regulations that it was a lot to remember and follow along with at first.
I did appreciate this little note in the back of the booklet about the inventor!
These are the challenge cards for the game. They have four levels of difficulty: easy, medium, hard or super hard. The object of each card is to get your car from the start track to the end track using the pieces and designs marked on the card. This will become clearer soon!
To get started, we laid out all of the pieces from our box.
This is our little roller coaster car. It has a weighted ball in it that helps it roll smoothly through the track.
These are our start and end pieces for our roller coaster.
We began with this Easy challenge card. The black circles are where we should put our posts and the numbers are the height (number of posts on top of each other). Yes, my daughter was doing it incorrectly in the picture- it was hard to take pictures and micromanage our roller coaster building at the same time!
This is where those specific instructions are helpful. The little dots in the center indicate over how many circles on the board the track will stretch across.
There are blue and red curve pieces which go in different directions, red pieces go clockwise, while blue go counterclockwise. They snap into the little grooves on the post pieces. Each post has four grooves on it so that you can add pieces to any side.
Once we had our posts in the correct spot from our challenge card, we added our start piece and then tried to figure out how we could get it from that post to the other post.
While we could have looked at the solution which is on the flip side of the card, but I decided to just wing it and see if we could get a mini track going to test out our car.
This is basically the only way to assemble your track. Only the curved pieces attach to the posts and the straight track pieces can only connect to corner pieces, which really limited the flexibility of our designs. While this was a bit frustrating to me, I think it’s probably a great lesson for little engineers in showing them that there is a right way to do something and a wrong way when it comes to construction! That really puts this game on a different level other than your average board game!
Success! With a little bit of trial and error, we had our first successful rollercoaster run!
We also received yellow pieces that made a nice loop de loop for our roller coaster. I decided to be ambitious and dive right into that. Our instruction booklet provided some tips on assembly.
We consulted our directions a lot and had to move pieces around quite a bit. We also had to lower it because we ran out of post pieces since I started it too tall, but eventually, we did it! Our loop worked!
They also included two of these little cardboard arches that look like tunnels which added a little bit more fun to our design.
Verdict: This month’s Amazon’s STEM Toy Club toy was a unique experience that was very heavy on the engineering aspect of STEM. It was difficult for me to get through all of the specific directions at first, but everything really was laid out in such great detail. I think this is definitely a toy for the older end of our 5-7 target age range, but the younger ones will probably enjoy it with some parental assistance. My kids are much too young for this, but they had a lot of fun watching it go and “helping” me! The game originally retails for $29.49, but we only paid $19.99 which is great for such a challenging game. I think that if you have a child who is really interested in engineering or you are doing a lesson on engineering, that this is a great toy to teach them some basic principles and will be just challenging enough with a little bit of fun thrown in!
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: The cost of the subscription was $19.99 and we received a toy valued at $29.49. That’s a savings of $9.50 on this toy!
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