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My 7 year old son (soon to be 8!) is absolutely crazy about anything STEM related. With help from Pinterest and other blogs, I was able to keep up with his insatiable curiosity for a long time but now he’s expressed interest in circuitry and coding and those just aren’t my area of expertise. Thank goodness there are now amazing STEM-focused subscription boxes for kids that can fill in the gaps and continue feeding my child’s natural interests!
A month ago, I reached out to six STEM subscription services to have them send trial boxes for my son and I to experience. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know that there’s no way I’d give you all an opinion on these STEM subscription boxes for kids without having seen them first! Here are the boxes I reviewed:
I’m happy to report that while the contents and focus of each is drastically different, all six boxes were thoughtfully assembled, extremely well made, and totally able to hold my child’s attention. Since I was happy with the quality of the boxes, the only thing left to talk to you all about are the specifics like categories, price points, and targeted age brackets. I hope having all of this information in one place helps you make the right STEM subscription box choice for you and your child!
STEM Subscription Boxes
Below you’ll find the name, suggested ages, and price of each box. Age requirements can fluctuate depending on child maturity and adult interaction. Prices will vary depending on length of subscription.
Spangler Science Club (Kindergarten – 6th grade, starts at $14.99)
Description: The Spangler Science Club is all about giving kids hands on science experiments and real world STEM activities. Each box contains at least 5 projects focused around a central theme (such as Solar Science) as well as instructional booklets for both the child and adult guide.
Mom P.O.V: Steve Spangler is almost a legend when it comes to getting kids excited about STEM so it should come as no surprise that his subscription box service is completely on point. The science experiments were thought-provoking and entertaining for both my kindergartner and my 2nd grader. The box did require a few additional supplies but they were pretty standard household items that weren’t difficult to find.
Bitsbox (Suggested Ages: 6 – 12 years, $40/month)
Description: Bitsbox is a monthly subscription box that shares easy coding projects that teach kids to program apps. Because the kids learn by copying small bits of code into an online editor, it’s essential that they have access to an internet ready computer with a physical keyboard. Once written, the apps can be shared and viewed on any mobile device.
Mom Point-Of-View: I was initially worried that this was going to be above my child’s head since we don’t allow much screen time but as soon as I explained how to use the “shift” key, he was ready to go! I was really impressed with the quality of the book design and the fun little trading cards but if you feel like your child doesn’t need physical copies, there’s also a $20/mo. PDF-only option as well.
Update: Bitsbox has improved their already great box by including a Trapper Keeper (for reals!) to store all the perfectly sized coding worksheets. My son had a difficult time laying out the previous workbook while trying to type so this improvement is awesome. Same great kid-friendly apps!
Creation Crate (12+, $29.99/mo)
Description: Creation Crate is focused on teaching children and adults alike how to build electronics without any prior experience. Each box contains a combination of hardware and programming software so that a project can be completed entirely straight out of the box. Since each month builds on the skills learned previously, your child will gradually become more and more proficient in the basics of electronics.
Mom P.O.V: My seven year old was practically foaming at the mouth when he saw the wires and circuit board in this box! He’s still a bit too young to complete the Mood Lamp entirely on his own but it’s a great project to work on with either his father or me. To tell you the truth, I’m kinda excited to begin learning about electronics too!
UPDATE 11/27/18: My son is now 9 and STILL loves this box! Entering the code one key at a time is still slow-going for him but I love that he’s working on keyboard skills. Also, it makes the payoff when the project works that much sweeter!
Tinker Crate (9-16+, $19.96/mo)
Description: Tinker Crate provides hands on STEM projects straight to your door. Each box contains supplies to make a single project with additional materials to allow your child to “tinker” with the completed project. Since they are part of the Kiwi Crate umbrella, you also have the option of switching your subscription to one of the other box options.
Mom P.O.V: They recommend ages 9-16 but my 7 year old was totally able to complete the project without any assistance. This, of course, may vary with each box but it’s a good baseline to go off of. I’m totally digging the solid wood supplies and love the basic problem solving skills this box provided.
UPDATE 11/27/2018: KiwiCo has expanded to offer 7 different boxes for different interests and age groups. From 0 months (Tadpole Crate) to 104 years (Eureka Crate), there’s a subscription box for everyone!
Green Kid Crafts (2 – 10+, $19.95/mo)
Description: Green Kid Crafts was created by a working mom and environmental scientist to offer children 2 – 10+ a monthly subscription box dedicated to STEAM (science, tech, enginnering, art, math) activities. Each box comes with 4 -8 STEAM projects and a 12-page magazine all focused around one central theme.
Mom P.O.V: The thing I like the most about this box is that each of the projects are completely enclosed in their own packaging so that I could grab one and throw it in my purse for on-the-go learning. Perfect for doctor’s offices or restaurants. LOVE that they have a sibling discount too!
Girls That Make (10+, $39.99/mo)
Descriptions: Each box features a wearable tech project that can be made with the step-by-step instruction booklet and included components. Projects include flashing bracelet, cloud pillow, and singing cat hat.
Mom P.O.V: Made by the same company as Creation Crate (see above), this Girls That Make box is equally challenging and educational. My 10 year old son was absolutely fascinated but did need some assistance (totally okay with that because I was learning too!) I love that they’re focusing on getting girls interested in electronics but please don’t let that deter you from getting a box for your boys. My son turned the bracelet into a flashing door hanger after assembly!
Amazon STEM Club (3 – 13, $19.99/box)
Description: STEM Club is a program that delivers handpicked STEM toys to your house every one, two, or three months. Account is billed at time of shipment and subscription can be cancelled at any time.
Mom P.O.V: I’ve had a few readers ask me about the Amazon STEM Club so I signed up and paid for my subscription personally to give you the low-down. Essentially, it’s a subscription service to have random STEM-themed toys/kits delivered on a schedule for $19.99 per box. The two items (Smart Circuits & Mechanics Set) I’ve received in the last 6 months were discounted about 30% and my kids loved both of them. Honestly, though, they go through these types of toys like candy so I like the price point but I’m worried they’re going to start being too repetitive. I’ll give you guys an update with the next delivery!
Groovy Lab In A Box (8+, $29.99/mo)
Description: Groovy Lab In A Box is your classic science subscription box with enough supplies to complete approximately 5 projects for the month. The 20+ page lab notebook was easy enough for my 7 yr old son to read through by himself and taught him the beginning basics of the engineering design process. Our box sample contain projects that were themed around water and ice.
Mom P.O.V: I absolutely loved that every single supply needed to complete these projects was delivered in this box. That meant my son could open the box and start working immediately without any frantic runs to the drugstore. The five different experiments plus the design challenge at the end continued to engage my son throughout the entire month. (UPDATE 4/15/18: We’ll be signing up for this box during summer break. Perfect for those “I’m bored!” moments!)
Stem Box (7-13 yrs., $36.00/mo)
Description: Stem Box is technically focused on getting young girls interested in the STEM field but they even say on their website that boys can totally enjoy these boxes too! Each box contains one project with enough supplies to complete multiple trials.
Mom P.O.V: The project we got (Chromatography) was a bit more complicated than the other science experiments but it was a completely new field of study for my son, which he was totally excited about. With the exception of rubbing alcohol, the box contained all the supplies needed for multiple trials of the experiment. I especially love the included links to videos from experts in the STEM field that happen to be awesome women!
Looking for even more STEM Subscription Boxes for Kids?!
There are so many great options over on Cratejoy that I haven’t tried yet! Let me know if you have any personal experience with them!!