Amazon STEM Toy Club May 2017 Subscription Box Review – 3 to 4 Year Old Box

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Amazon STEM Toy Club is a monthly subscription box service that delivers age-appropriate STEM toy that encourages any child to learn through play. The subscription costs $19.99 per month, and the theme of the month can be anything from natural sciences to robotics. There’s always something new to discover in every box of Amazon STEM Toy Club!

There are three age ranges available for this box: 3-4 year old, 5-7 year old, and 8-13 year olds. This is a review of the 3-4 year old box.

The subscription doesn’t include any Amazon-generated introductory materials – just the toy in its commercial packaging. It arrives in the usual Amazon shipping materials – our two age range selections this month shipped together.

 

Everything in our box! We ordered the 3-4 year-old and 5-7 year-old subscription items this month. This review will cover the 3-4 year old subscription.

Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Building Set ($30.57): We jumped at the chance to get this set because our kids love LEGOs, and our youngest is always playing with DUPLO blocks. This set looked to have similar appeal.

The set comes in a giant, resealable bucket, complete with a handle for lugging.

The lid has a big gear molded in the center, making it easy for little hands to grip the lid and open the bucket.

The building pieces were bagged, with base plates set to the side — 150 pieces in all!

 All of the building materials!

A brief, multi-lingual activity guide is included.

The guide shows the basic functions of the six kinds of pieces in the set, as well as providing some tips for building vertical structures and aligning gears.

Interlocking baseplates provide a sturdy surface to build on. The square holes accommodate the pillars, and the gears can be snapped onto the posts to create horizontal gear arrays.

All of the building pieces in the set – there are gears, posts, simple connectors, and dual-purpose connectors that attach to either pillars or gears.

 The posts are orange, connectors are green, and the gears come in six colors.

The pieces are slightly different than I had anticipated. I thought the gears were actually gear-shaped pieces that locked directly together — they are actually functional gears, and they need to be attached to the connector posts or stacked.

Our two and half year-old figured out the basic function very quickly, and he was really into building.

The big kids got into it, too. My only issue with the set is the small number of pillars relative to the number of gears. Because the gears need to be attached to pegs, the size and number of structures you can build simultaneously is limited by the availability of pillars.

The pieces fit together very securely. The can be moved, handled, and played without falling apart. They are also big enough that they can be gripped and pulled apart easily.

The technical nature of the set was readily apparent (he supplied the tools – they aren’t part of the set).

Gears can be placed on the surface of the baseplates or arrayed along the pillars using the posts on the connectors. A small handle lets you set the gears in motion and activate your creation.

The kids had a great time seeing how many gears they could fit on their build!

This toy was simple enough for a toddler to use, but it was allowed us to build devices that demonstrated the function of gears in various arrangements. Its a great way to teach the STEM basics of mechanical engineering in a fun, informal context. Once again, the value of this subscription is amazing – the price of the set exceeds the cost of the subscription by 50%!

If you received something different than our family, let us know in the comments!

Visit Amazon STEM Toy Club to subscribe or find out more!

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