Best STEM Subscription Box for Kids [Ultimate Guide 2020]

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There is no better way to get your children excited about STEM than by introducing something new. In today’s digital landscape, where video games dominate, your children will love receiving mail and pursue their science passions through a monthly STEM subscription box!

There is no shortage of subscription boxes out there. Our number one pick for most kids would be a Kiwi Crate – there are so many options, you’re bound to find one they’ll love! Otherwise, for kids over 10 who are interested in chemistry, the MEL Science Chemistry subscription is our favorite among science subscription boxes! However, every child is different, so read on to find the best STEM subscription box for your little STEMist.

Best STEM Subscription Boxes
Best Overall
Best for Science Experiments
Best for Creativity
Blowing in the Wind
Name
Kiwi Crate
MEL Chemistry
Groovy Lab in a Box
Features
With different options across age and interest, Kiwi Crates pose unlimited STEAM fun tailored for your child!
A single MEL box can contain chemistry, virtual reality, and engineering--built for across the spectrum engagement!
Express their creativity and learn to think like scientists with Groovy Lab in a Box.
Best Overall
Best STEM Subscription Boxes
Name
Kiwi Crate
Features
With different options across age and interest, Kiwi Crates pose unlimited STEAM fun tailored for your child!
Best for Science Experiments
Best STEM Subscription Boxes
Name
MEL Chemistry
Features
A single MEL box can contain chemistry, virtual reality, and engineering--built for across the spectrum engagement!
Best for Creativity
Best STEM Subscription Boxes
Blowing in the Wind
Name
Groovy Lab in a Box
Features
Express their creativity and learn to think like scientists with Groovy Lab in a Box.

Note for our readers in the United Kingdom and Australia – both Kiwi Crate and MEL Science are readily available in your country.

Related post: Kiwi Crate Review: How does this STEM Box for Kids Rate?

Top 14 Best STEM Subscription Box 2020

Our handy reference list of the best STEM subscription boxes available this year – see full STEM box reviews below!

  • Kiwi Crate STEM Subscription Box
  • MEL Chemistry Monthly Science Box
  • Groovy Lab in a Box
  • Green Kid Crafts STEAM Subscription Box
  • Amazon STEM Club Subscription
  • STEM Discovery Boxes
  • Black Girl MATHgic STEM Box for Girls
  • GoBox Robotics Subscription Box
  • BitsBox Coding Subscription Box
  • Science Expeditions STEM Subscription
  • Spangler Science Club STEM Box
  • Club SciKidz Labs Subscription Box
  • The Young Scientists Club Subscription
  • Creation Crate Electronics Subscription

Best STEM Subscription Box Reviews 2020

1. Best Overall – Kiwi Crate

Best for STEM + Art
Kiwi Crate
Great for STEM + Art. Age Range: 0-104 years!

With different options across age and interest, Kiwi Crates are our pick for Best Overall STEM Box, providing unlimited fun tailored to your child! Check out our detailed Kiwi Crate Review for our thoughts on this leading provider of STEM subscription boxes for kids. Many Kiwi Crates are strong on engineering design, such as Tinker Crate, and kids love the process of building a functioning machine.

KiwiCo creates a number of different STEM subscription boxes for kids, catering to different age groups and interests. Every month includes a themed box that is filled with a hands-on project to help children explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, plus Art. The focus on including art means these are better-termed STEAM boxes.

Kiwi Crate Box Options (Age Groups) – Use code LEARN30 for 30% off:

The themes of monthly STEM activities are expanded through a Tinker Zine magazine with comics and games, which are included in the Kiwi crate. You can also check out online tutorials for exclusive DIY project ideas, if your child is interested in going further.

Tinker Crate includes some iconic engineering STEAM projects, such as a trebuchet and a hydraulic claw! For kids aged 9-16 who are more interested in craft, the Doodle Crate is a great pick.

If you’d like to give a Kiwi Crate a try, sign up using one of our links and enter Coupon Code LEARN30 at checkout for a 30% discount on your first month. And the great news is that you can cancel KiwiCo subscription boxes at any time!

2. Best Science Subscription Box – MEL Chemistry

Best for Science Experiments
MEL Chemistry
Best for Learning: Chemistry, Scientific Experimentation. Age Range: 10+ years.

A single MEL Science box can contain chemistry, virtual reality, and engineering–built for across the spectrum engagement! However, chemistry is by far their strength. We strongly believe that MEL Chemistry is the best STEM box for kids who are interested in chemistry and it’s our pick for Best Science Subscription Box. You can read all about this science box in our hands-on MEL Chemistry Review.

Perhaps you’ve tried a few kitchen science experiments at home with your child. Kids love them! These are an excellent way for your child to experience hands-on science learning, but DIY ideas can be time-consuming to plan, especially if they require many materials you don’t just have lying around the house. This is where the MEL Chemistry science subscription comes in.

Monthly Science Kits for Kids with an Interest in Experiments!

This science subscription box delivers a jam-packed starter kit, followed by two to three chemistry experiments to your front door every month. Each experiment is designed for at-home use and is very safe. MEL Science recommends their kits for children in the 10+ age range, but younger kids can certainly take part, under adult supervision. In fact, we have done many of the MEL Science experiments with an 8-year-old under careful supervision.

Each box contains everything you need for the science experiments, including chemicals, components, and instructions. Popular projects include Galaxy in a bottle (see video above) and growing a tin hedgehog from a zinc pellet through a redox reaction. There is also educational information included in each kit, and you can use the mobile app or website to dig deeper into key concepts.

You can pause or cancel your subscription any time – there’s no lock-in contract. However, if you really want to keep your young chemists happy for many hours of science experimentation, you can get some great discounts by pre-paying for several months of the subscription service in advance.
Click here for pre-paid chemistry set subscription options with MEL Science.

3. Best for Sparking Creativity – Groovy Lab in a Box

Best for Creativity
Groovy Lab in a Box
A STEM Box that will engage your child's creative side while learning the scientific method. Age Range: 8+ years.

Looking for a STEM subscription service that will engage your child’s creative side? Give them the opportunity to use their imagination and create a display-worthy final project with Groovy Labs science boxes! Groovy Labs is our pick for Best STEM Box for Sparking Creativity.

Groovy Lab in a Box sends themed hands-on STEM activities to subscribers every month. Each box includes everything children need to do this month’s STEAM projects – and we do mean everything. Each monthly theme is expanded on through the web-based learning section of the website, which can only be accessed by Groovy Labs members.

Each of these subscription boxes for kids also includes a lab notebook, which works in tandem with the online learning portal and guides the children through every project. The way each project is structured in these science kits, plus the use of the lab notebook, truly encourages kids to think like scientists.

4. Best for Future Artists – Green Kid Crafts

Best for Future Artists
Green Kids Crafts
A STEM Box that encourages backyard science. Age Range: 2-10 years.

If you don’t think STEM is complete unless the “A” for art transforms it to STEAM, then the Green Kids Craft box is for you! It’s our pick for Best STEM Subscription Box for Future Artists.

While the Green Kids Crafts subscription boxes aren’t exclusively centered around hands-on STEM activities, many projects included are science-based. The monthly subscription is available for many different age groups. Each Green Kids Crafts box has a specific theme, like the ocean or space. Each box includes science and art activities, as well as all the eco-friendly material you need to complete them.

A STEM magazine is also included in each box, which expands every month’s theme through activities, puzzles, and outside resources. With the optional literary upgrade, kids also get an additional book per month, which goes along with that month’s theme.

5. Best for Builders – Amazon STEM Club

Best for Builders
Amazon STEM Club
More than just a toy subscription! Age Range: 3-4, 5-7 & 8-12 yrs.

More than just a toy subscription, past monthly subscription projects from Amazon STEM Club include a “Build a Beast” bundle, a buildable science laboratory, and an Engino mechanics set. You can be sure that if you select this subscription, your tiny scientist will never stop manipulating pieces into complete inventions! And that’s why it’s our pick as Best for Builders!

Amazon STEM Club Toy subscription sends a new science toy to your door every month! Best of all, these kits are arranged by age, meaning that the toy selection will be completely appropriate for your child. The STEM Club age offerings are selected by developmental milestones, meaning that children in their youngest age group (ages three through four) will be introduced to concepts like counting and cause-and-effect, while children in their older age group (ages eight through thirteen) will begin working with principles of physics, chemistry, and engineering.

Each Amazon STEM Club box contains a toy marked forty percent off the list price. Importantly, there are box options. Parents are emailed a preview of the toy prior to shipping, as well, and have the option to ship, trade the toy out for a different one, or skip that month’s box entirely.

6. Best for Family Projects – STEM Discovery Boxes

Best for Family Projects
STEM Discovery Boxes
Family bonding with slime, bouncy balls and bath bombs! Age Range: 7 years to Teens.

With slime, bath bombs, and bouncy balls on the menu, STEM Discovery Boxes offer a lot of potential for creative mess and even greater potential for fun family bonding! That’s why it’s our pick as Best for Family Projects.

Designed for children seven and up, the STEM Discovery Boxes deliver three STEM projects to your door per month. Projects include things like creating a solar system model, coding, creating a solar-powered fan, and playing with lasers. It includes everything you need for the projects and experiments, including batteries.

This subscription box has a broader range of projects included than other options. This is great if you’re looking for your kids to be exposed to many different concepts. However, this also means that children might receive projects that aren’t very interested in from time to time. This box also includes more projects per month than most others, though it is more expensive as well.

7. Best STEM Box for GRL PWR – Black Girl MATHgic

Best for Learning Math
Black Girl MATHgic
A STEM Box that empowers young girls to believe in their own math abilities. Age Range: 3rd-8th Grade.

Ready to empower the next Katherine Johnson? This is the subscription box that will allow you to do just that! That’s why Black Girl MATHgic is our pick as Best STEM box for GRL PWR!

With STEM activities for third through fifth graders and sixth through eighth graders, Black Girl MATHgic was designed to empower young girls to believe in their own math abilities. The box comes with a themed activity book, three to five items that correspond to the theme, and an adult guide to help you muddle through the box alongside her.

These boxes are known not only for including exciting math puzzles and activities to engage your child, and expose her to great role models, but for adding stickers and clothing items and other accessories to remind her of her potential far after you are done working with the box.

8. Best Robotics Box – GoBox

Best for Robotics
GoBox
Great for learning basic building and programming. Age Range: 9+ years.

Although certainly one of the more expensive subscription boxes for kids that is on the market, GoBox will walk your child through the entire process of building and programming one robot per month. This is one of our favorite STEM subscription boxes for emphasizing all four STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and it’s our pick as Best Robotics Box.

This robot subscription definitely worth every penny, though, as each box contains considerably more than one month’s worth of STEAM projects material. Each set of this robotics box contains a series of missions that your child is responsible for completing with their robot. So not only are they tasked with designing, building, and programming their bot, but they have specific tasks they must accomplish with it as well!

Kids don’t need any previous programming experience. Each STEM box comes with a series of missions, a robotic car update, and an instructional manual to guide your child through the engineering design process and coding projects.

9. Best Coding Box – BitsBox

Best for Coding
BitsBox
Nurture your child's coding skills. Age Range: 6-12 years.

If you think you are harboring the next Steve Jobs in your home, then this is the subscription box for you! BitsBox is our pick for Best Coding Box.

BitsBox offers children a monthly computer science project. With no coding experience required, BitsBox offers children regular app coding projects to teach them to code like pros! The coding component is all done in a browser, so it even works on a mobile device.

One of the best parts of this subscription is that it can be tailored to the amount you’d like to spend. For those on a budget, BitsBox Basic may be an ideal starting point, in which children get all of the fun of a BitsBox app projects, but without the monthly toy. On the other end of the spectrum is BitsBox Deluxe, which includes all of the app activities of the previous box, but with hands-on kits to bring the work you are doing in your apps to life in your living room!

10. Best Box for Problem-Solving – Science Expeditions

Best for Problem-Solving
Science Expeditions
Let them learn while solving real-life mysteries! Age Range: 9+ years.

Ideal for ages nine and up, the Science Expeditions box from Little Passports allows kids to solve real-life mysteries, and it’s our pick as Best Box for Problem-Solving. While the kids are busy solving mysteries, they’re also learning science concepts. Win-win!

Each box in this STEAM subscription includes a comic book with a glossary and activities, a mystery to solve, a hands-on science experiment and project, and achievement badges for each month. Science Expeditions also advertises access to regularly updated videos and science content from Little Passports.

Each shipment is themed for the interest of various children, with STEAM projects, such as forensic science, caves and crystals, hydrology, and rockets!

11. Top Pick for Quality – Spangler Science Club

Best for Quality
Spangler Science Club
Up to 10 experiments every month. Age Range: 5-12 years.

There is a reason Steve Spangler Science has been successful since 1995. They promise to spark creativity and science learning in your little one, and do this through high-quality, research-based science subscription boxes. That’s why they are our Top Pick for Quality.

Spangler Science Club boxes come with up to ten science experiments to use in every month, which would allow your child to rotate learning interests every three days! Each Steve Spangler Science box comes with a comprehensive guide and the deluxe box comes with a “Take it Further” guide. This guide allows you to extend what you are learning with your Spangler Science Club box into a science fair project!

With continuity of science learning in mind, the best part of this Steve Spangler Science subscription is that if you subscribe for a whole year, you will be sent enough equipment to start your own in-home science laboratory! Together with the high number of experiments per month, this makes Steve Spangler Science Club one of the best value for money STEM subscription boxes for hands-on science.

12. Best Value STEM Box – Club SciKidz Labs

Best Bang for Your STEM Buck
Club SciKidz Labs
Build their own laboratory and learn from endless experiments. Age Range: 7-12 years.

Similar to Spangler Science, Club SciKids Labs participants will be sent the materials to build their own laboratory for endless home science experiments. However, Club SciKidz subscription boxes comes with a wealth of additional materials for your child to enjoy, and that’s why it’s our top pick for Bang for Your Buck.

Each Club SciKids box comes with science experiments, engineering projects, nature crafts, lab equipment, micro STEM activities and observations, secret formulas, science quotes and riddles, inspiring scientists, science surprises, and science stories!

These science subscription boxes come with substantial materials for STEM projects that will surely keep your child busy (and learning!) all month long, and at a very reasonable price point!

13. Best Nostalgia Box – The Young Scientists Club

Best for Nostalgia
The Young Scientists Club
Magic School Bus + Science Experiments = Major Nostalgia! Age Range: 5-12 years.

With this kids subscription box, The Magic School Bus can pull up to your home every month with cool new science experiments! It’s our pick as Best for Nostalgia.

The Young Scientists Club box is framed around a particular episode of The Magic School Bus. Kids will jump on board with boxes containing an experiment, a manual, and all the Ms. Frizzle references you can handle!

Not only does this science subscription box boast some impressive pop culture credentials, but each box is developed by a team of Harvard graduates and educators who have teamed up to ensure each science kit drives your child’s learning with innovative STEM projects!

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14. Best Box for Electronics – Creation Crate

Best for Electronics
Creation Crate
Award-winning box that grows with your child's abilities. Age Range: 12+ years.

Learn electronics and circuitry while creating a lifetime’s worth of tiny robots to keep in your home with the Creation Crate! Recommended for ages 12+, this award-winning subscription box focuses on electrical circuits and coding projects, and it’s our pick as Best Box for Electronics.

Each box from Creation Crate, or project, as they are called, comes with all of the needed components to build that month’s project, video tutorials, manuals, and over-the-phone support where needed. The STEM projects include a mood lamp and memory game – they’re quite a design challenge, but they require no previous coding experience. They’re also extremely rewarding for kids in the target audience: 12 year old and above. And from an educational point of view, Creation Crate is great for kids to learn the engineering design process.

Unlike many other STEM subscription boxes, Creation Crate includes progressively more challenging STEM projects as the monthly subscription progresses beyond the mood lamp and memory game, ensuring that your child never outgrows them and is continually challenged!

What is a STEM Box?

Young boy happily opening a Tinker Crate STEM box

STEM Boxes are engaging kits for kids aged from toddlers to teens delivered monthly to your door. They’re packed with hands-on science experiments, projects, and activities that will expand your child’s mind in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math!

Given the interval nature of subscription boxes, you can guarantee that just as your child is beginning to tire of a given activity, a new one will be en route to you, ready to challenge and stretch your child’s brain!

Even better, a STEM box subscription takes the pressure off you. We all know what it’s like to have good intentions to do hands-on STEM projects with the kids, but it takes time and the right headspace to come up with ideas, let alone source the materials and then guide them through the project or experiment.

What to Consider When Buying STEM Subscription Boxes for Kids

Mother with three kids at home

Factor #1: Age

You will definitely want to evaluate the age group that the subscription box you are evaluating is intended for. While some boxes might say that they are suitable for all ages, this is largely dependent on the amount of supervision you are willing to put in as a parent. If you envision this box as a highly anticipated, whole family activity, then a box for all ages or a different age than your child might be suitable. However, if you are hoping for independent activities that you can use to provide your child with appropriate struggle time, then you will absolutely want to ensure you are selecting a STEM box that is aligned to your child’s age.

Factor #2: Content

With tons of subscription boxes for kids out there, it is important for you to consider your goal in purchasing a subscription box for your child. Do you want them to learn to code? Do you want them to gain a new toy with a science spin? Science subscription boxes like MEL Chemistry might be best. Do you want them to build and design new things? Once you know what types of STEM activities they’re interested in and you would like to expose them to, you’ll be better able to select the box that best meets your needs.

Factor #3: Budget

STEM crates vary in price range from $17 to $150 and beyond. This provides consumers with a wealth of options, from those just looking for an afternoon’s entertainment to those looking to invest in their child’s future science career. Determine how much you can spend on these subscription boxes before jumping in!

A Subscription for STEM Fun and Learning

Kids doing an experiment using kits from STEM subscription box

A STEM Subscription Box is a low-stress way for you to get more fun STEM learning activities into your kids lives every month. We all know that kids in all age groups love novelty, and the great thing with boxes like those shown above, there’s something new arriving in the post on a regular basis. Go ahead and try one out – these companies generally have very consumer-friendly policies, so you can normally suspend or cancel the ongoing subscription at any time. Any of the options highlighted above would keep most kids blissfully happy for hours, and that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your own face!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a STEM Subscription Box?

Many companies offer STEM subscription boxes for kids, where they will send a new STEM kit every month, that is filled with materials to undertake Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects.

How do I select the best STEM Subscription Box?

There is no box that fits the needs of every family! When deciding to subscribe to a STEM box, consider your reason for subscribing (to teach or to entertain, for example), your budget, and the amount of time you plan to spend on the box per month. From there, you can easily narrow down which box best fits the needs of your family.

How do I use a monthly STEM Box?

Again, there is no broad answer here. If you select a box with the intent of entertaining your child with an educational toy for a few hours, then feel free to dazzle them with the contents of the box and then allow them independent time to explore! On the flip side, if you select something as immersive as a programming box, you may wish to sit down and ensure your child understands the instructions before they venture out on their own. Either way, this answer depends on your child, your child’s threshold for frustration, and the amount of time you have on your hands.

Mark Coster, BSc(Hons) PhD MRACI CChem
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Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API