A Review Of The Amazon STEM Club Membership Program

Amazon STEM club review


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) toys are becoming more and more popular everyday.

So are subscription boxes for kids.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Amazon launched the Amazon STEM Club membership program in early 2017.

With technological advances being made every day, it’s no wonder that parents want their kids to be interested and successful in areas such as science, technology, engineering and math.

These skills will be critical to future generations as this is where most jobs/careers will be.

All that being said, it is important to keep in mind that children need many “building blocks” first in order to be successful later on.

And these building blocks can be nurtured and developed through good old fashioned play with traditional toys.

Now, let’s take a look at the Amazon STEM Club and what it has to offer.

Amazon STEM Club Review: What You Need To Know

*This article may contain affiliate links*

Monthly Membership

This is a subscription club currently only available in the United States.

The membership costs $19.99 and you can choose to have an item shipped once a month, once every 2 months or once every 3 months.

The $19.99 fee includes one toy and free shipping.

The toys are chosen by Amazon staff.

Age Ranges

Currently there are 3 age ranges to choose from.

They are 3-4 year olds, 5-7 year olds, 8-13 year olds.

Cancelling Your Membership

You can cancel your membership at any time.

There is no minimum amount of time that you need to subscribe for.

So you can check it out for a month or 2 and if you decide it’s not worth it, then go ahead and cancel your account.

Now I want to go over some Pros and Cons of the STEM Club membership.

PROS

♥ Makes a great gift idea!

♥ Membership can be cancelled at any time.

♥ Free shipping

♥ Toys focus on STEM which many believe all kids should be exposed to these days.

♥ You can cancel just one or two months without cancelling your entire membership.

♥ Able to subscribe with Amazon Credit Card with 5% rewards

♥ Toys will range in price, some being less than $20 while others are more than $20

CONS

♥ Only one subscription per age range per account.

So this means if you have more than one child in a given age range you would need to create another account.

♥ Only ships within the US and Puerto Rico

♥ Some toys you get may be in the upper age range.

For example, one review   stated their child’s age range is in the lower end of the 5-7 group and the toy was labeled as 7+

♥ You won’t know what you are getting until the product ships.  But you can return it if you don’t like it. 

If this makes you second guess the Amazon STEM Club, perhaps you would be better off choosing your own toys based on STEM features.  

If your child is 3 or younger, these are toys that I highly recommend (from a speech-language and general development perspective)!

Amazon STEM Club Button

Do Kids Really Need STEM Toys?

In my opinion (based on my education and experience working with young children) children do not need STEM toys in order to be successful as adults.

There are many toys out there that would fall in the STEM category that are not marketed as such.  Blocks are a great example!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, children need to learn many preliminary skills for future success.

These skills can all be obtained through play with traditional toys and interactions with peers and parents/caregivers.

Some of these skills include problem solving, social skills, critical thinking, cause and effect, vocabulary development, etc.

A child who does not have access to toys with the STEM label can and will still learn these crucial skills.

However, what STEM toys can do is inspire an interest in STEM fields.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence behind this for young children.

Personally I wouldn’t bother with STEM toys for children under the age of 5 or 6.

But, for $19.99 a month, I think that it’s worth a try for children ages 5 and up.

What do you think of the Amazon STEM Club Membership?

Will you give it a try?

RELATED READING

Best Learning Toys For 3 Year Old’s To Encourage Language Development

The One Toy Every Child Needs!

Setting Up A Kids Pretend Market As A Language Enrichment Activity

boy conducting science experiment with text overlay

building blocks with text overlay
A Review of the Amazon STEM Club Monthly Membership Program. Find out if it's worth it.

20 Comments

  1. Dave Sweney

    This was news that Amazon is setting up a club membership for STEM-related toys but it is not surprising. There are parents that think that providing such toys will give their children a leg up on their peers and can afford and want to do so. As you say, this is true even if there is no proof the STEM toys are effective.

    The cost is not that high so that is not an issue, but I would worry that some parents would think their spending this for the special toys can replace getting the kids out in social environments where they can pick up the same or more skills, which might be harmful.

    I agree with you that if someone wants to participate, the very youngest age category makes no sense to use, and in no way should this program replace other normal activities they should be getting the kids involved in. Good to know this program exists as an option in any case. Thanks for the good review.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Dave.  This subscription program definitely has its pros and cons.  I think it would make a great gift and I like that you can cancel it at anytime!

      Reply
  2. Son

    This actually sounds like a pretty good present I can get for some of my relatives who have a toddler. These are educational toys that are fun to play with but also encourages learning and exercising the brain. Darn it though they only accept USA members cause I’m from Canada and would have loved to participate. Thanks anyway for sharing this review.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I agree, a STEM club membership would make a great gift.  I am in Canada as well and I am surprised it is not available here yet as the program was introduced at the beginning of 2017.

      Reply
  3. Josie

    I’ve never heard of the Amazon STEM club before now, and I must admit, I do love the idea of having something shipped automatically without having to think about it. That said, I also agree with you in that, just because a toy isn’t marketed as a STEM toy, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t provide the same, or similar benefits. Thanks for this article, gives me some food for thought.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Josie.  Glad to hear that you wouldn’t get sucked in to buying a toy just because of some clever marketing!

      Reply
  4. cpascal

    This club sounds like a good way to introduce kids to STEM subjects. Especially considering the fact that subjects like math and science have a reputation for being difficult, toys that help to teach these skills can help kids to learn and have fun at the same time. It’s a shame that it’s currently only available in the US. However, if it’s a success, Amazon will probably introduce it in other countries.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I was hoping that the STEM club would be available in other countries by now.  It was launched at the beginning of 2017.  Hopefully not much longer.

      Reply
  5. Steve

    Hello Tanya :), this is a great and insightful post even though it is a review. I quite agree with you that kids do need STEM toys as it would help them in learning and grasping concepts faster than without. We all learn from doing something we love and kids love toys so this is a no-brainer especially for kids 7+. 

    However, the major con that jumps out at me is not choosing items by oneself as I believe you are in a better position to decide which item would best work for your kids. 

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks! Yes it is too bad that parents can pre select toys or have some kind of say in what toys will be sent out each month.  But you can return anything that has been shipped for free and they will send out another toy.

      Reply
  6. Gayelyn

    How does this work if you have 2 children in same age category? Do you have to get two subscriptions?

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Gayelyn,

      Unfortunately you would need to get 2 subscriptions. Or the children would have to share the toy.

      Reply
  7. Layla S

    Thank you for this list of pros and cons! I wonder how this compares to other more established subscription boxes like CubbyCase and Kiwicrate? CubbyCase for example I know comes with 3-5 items and has Harvard created curriculum to go with the toys and books. Does Amazon’s stem club just give you a toy and that’s it?

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Layla,

      Thanks for your comment. I am not familiar with Cubby Case (also don’t know the pricing). Yes, with the Amazon STEM Club you get one toy a month. The toy typically costs more than the $19.99 a month that the subscription cost is. You can see some of the toys that have gone out to families here

      Reply
  8. Madison

    I had no idea Amazon has this STEM program now. I have a toddler and this would be something that I might look into in the future. I don’t know how much benefit my toddler can get since she is so young now. Can you give us some examples of toys that they offer as part of this STEM program?

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I know! Isn’t a cool idea. I honestly don’t feel that toddler’s need toys labeled as “STEM”. Pretty much all traditional toddler toys would fall into the STEM category because they are all about being inquisitive, teaching cause and effect, math skills, prediction, etc. Children need to learn some base skills before moving on to more advanced skills. STEM is just a label given to toys, but toys like this have existed for years.

      What I am trying to say is that any open ended, low tech toy for a toddler probably falls into the STEM category.

      As for the toys you get, they change all the time. So I can’t really give you any specific examples. If you go to the STEM Club homepage you can see examples of toys in each age group that have recently been sent out. It looks like the toy for the 3-4 year old’s is a building toy called Kids First Aircraft Engineer Kit.

      I do feel like this is a great toy for 3 and 4 year old’s as are all building toys!

      Reply
  9. Batya

    Thanks you for writing such a good review of the program, especially so soon after it was unveiled. It sounds like a very interesting program. Did Amazon give any examples of what types of toys they will send? Also you mentioned they sent toys that were too old for the age range what about sending toys that are too young? For example your child is 7 but they send a toy thats really for a 5 year old. Then you have no use for the toy if you don’t have younger kids at home.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Batya,

      As the program is set into 3 age groups you will run into the issue of occasionally receiving a toy that might be on the higher or lower end of that range. Since the Amazon STEM club is a month to month membership you can always cancel at any time if you aren’t happy with the toys your child is receiving. For $20 a month it’s probably worth it to try it out for 3-6 months.

      Reply
  10. Derek Marshall

    Hi there,

    Great article.I have to admit that I had no Idea that amazon started a STEM club. I do think that it can be a pretty good idea to have kids involved in those skills early on in their lives.

    Although I agree with you that it is not essential for their development but I do travel a lot and I do see a distinctive difference between IT skills in teenagers in Europe (Spain and UK) and South East Asia (Thailand and Malaysia). One factor in that is early age exposure to use of computers at home. IN those countries mentioned you still barely/rarely have one computer in each street!

    As a child I used to play a lot with the toy mechano set, which is based on actual and real engineering, I grew up and studied engineering funnily enough!

    There is some relevance to STEM club but it really should not be the “be all and end all” and only toys kids should get and play with.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Derek. And I do agree with you. But honestly, giving a 3 year old a bunch of STEM toys won’t get them any further ahead than the 3 year old who was playing with blocks, trains, tents, play kitchens etc. In fact, I believe that the 3 year old that was playing with a large variety of toys will be further ahead. But as kids get older then STEM toys can help “broaden their horizons”.

      Reply

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