Amazon STEM Toy Club Review, Ages 5 to 7 – ThinkFun Laser Maze Jr
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)
This is a review of the 5 to 7-year-old age range Amazon STEM Club, $19.99/month.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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)
November’s Toy: ThinkFun Laser Maze Jr.
ThinkFun Laser Maze Jr. – Retail Value $27.99
This is a very unique toy to us this month – a science logic maze involving lasers! This toy is recommended for ages 6 and up and is made for 1 or more players. This toy teaches angles, optics, and problem-solving skills.
We received two different informational sheets. The first has instructions in several different languages and explains the rules and goals of the game in addition to explanations for what each of our token pieces does.
The second booklet provided solutions for all 40 of the included challenges.
These are the challenge cards we received with a separate challenge on each side. They range from easy, medium, hard and super hard and are also numbered so that we can keep them in order.
This is our gameboard which has a built-in laser that you operate with a small knob. It required 2 AAA batteries that we had to provide.
These are all of the different tokens we needed for the game.
These red rocket targets are our final targets. Our goal is to get the laser to hit the target side of the red rocket (that’s the larger red window you can see in the previous photo).
To help us get the laser light to our target, we have purple satellite mirrors to reflect the beam or a green beam splitter which splits the laser into two separate directions.
These are black space rock blockers which block the path of the light to provide a bit of a challenge.
There was a slot on the side where we could slide our challenge cards underneath so we knew how to set up our tokens on the board.
Since the board is clear we can see exactly where everything goes and which direction they should be facing.
The little side tab tells you which pieces you are adding to the board to try to direct your laser light. These are the only pieces that can move.
We took some time to see what happened to each of the tokens when the light hit them so we would know how to use each piece. When the light hits the target on the rocket, the pointed center lights up, giving you a visual cue that you reached it.
We played around with an easy challenge first and had some discussions about what would happen, what we thought would happen and how we could solve the problem of trying to get the light to the laser. My kids are way too young for this game, but they still had fun moving the pieces around on the board and seeing what happened to the light each time.
Here is an example of an easy challenge – we had the two rockets and had to figure out how to get the light to reach both rockets using only the splitter. This was very simple since there was only one element to add to it, but it did take some thought as to where and which way to place the splitter. This was great for teaching problem solving and teaching kids to think something through before they perform an action.
This is the set up for a medium challenge. I was able to add two mirrors to try and get the light to hit the rocket on the target.
This actually took me a little bit of time to figure out even though it was a medium challenge! It was a little bit of trial and error and a lot of thinking it through and I really think that kids would enjoy the challenge.
Here’s an example of a harder challenge. You can see there are a lot of opportunities for learning when you add more pieces and limit the number of pieces you are able to add to the board! It can definitely get pretty challenging and I like that the game is able to progress from Easy to Super Hard.
Verdict: This was a pretty fun toy from this month’s Amazon’s STEM Toy Club. There is definitely an appeal to playing with lasers and all of the pieces we received were interesting to look at and use for our challenges. This was a great toy for teaching problem solving and logic and I thought it was great that the challenges progressed in difficulty. The toys that we receive each month are all so different, but they always find a fun way to encourage STEM learning. Playing board games is such an ideal way for kids to learn and this was one that we were able to explore and play with as a family which made it even more special. This toy retails for $27.99, but we only paid $19.99, including free shipping, which is a decent deal for a toy we might have never discovered otherwise.
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: The cost of the subscription was $19.99 and we received a toy valued at $27.99. That’s a savings of $8.00 on this toy.
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