Best Subscription STEM Boxes


“The world is getting more complex and kids today need a solid understanding of STEM subjects.”

How often have you heard that one lately?

We’re all familiar with the importance of exposing our kids to science at an early age. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects are a very important part of modern education and will be a critical part of making sure kids are prepared for a changing world.

But continuously planning learning activities around science and technology that are fresh and new can be tough. It takes a lot of time and patience to plan out activities that are fun and educational, not to mention the time it takes to find materials and sometimes even put the whole thing together.

Also, because STEM involves a variety of subjects and topics, sometimes they can fall outside our areas of expertise, and even if we are familiar with the topics going out and finding new and wonderful activities to buy on a regular basis can get, well, annoying.

Luckily there is now a huge number of companies that offer stem subscription boxes. These monthly STEM kits send out a variety of engaging games and activities that arrive at your doorstep, perfect for children who are curious about the wide world of science.

And the best part: if (when?) they get bored of one activity they can be sure another one will arrive soon enough.

Learn important skills with monthly science kits

When a new STEM subscription box arrives, your kids will not only get excited about getting a new gift in the mail but will get a brand new activity that explores a wide variety of important concepts in the sciences, such as chemistry, physics, circuits and electronics and even coding.

These STEM activities also tend to help develop important skills that are important in school and in life such as:

  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Perseverance
  • Numeracy

In a rush? Here is our list of the best subscription STEM kits:

KiwiCo– The most diverse range of kits for budding scientists and moreCheck out KiwiCo
Creation Crate– The best kits for budding engineers 12+Check out Creation Crate
Green Kids Crafts– Great STEM kits with a dash of green friendliness Check out Green Kids Crafts
Groovy Lab in a Box – The best for younger (8+) engineering types Check out Groovy Lab in a Box
BitsBox – The best for budding codersCheck out BitsBox

Subscription box pricing: know the REAL cost before you sign up

You should know that when you buy a monthly subscription box, whatever the contents, it is prepaid. That is to say, if you buy a three month plan you will be charged for three boxes at check out.

Many companies on the market today use auto-renewing subscriptions, meaning at the end of your subscription they will automatically resubscribe you to a similar package unless you actively cancel. So if you forget to do that, you’ll be billed again.

Generally speaking, most reputable companies will let you know ahead of time when your subscription is coming to an end, but it’s your responsibility to be on the look out because a mistake can cost you.

We’ve made a note of the companies that offer non-renewing packages.

Also note that if a company says “cancel anytime” it generally means they don’t renew subscriptions automatically instead of refunding you. If you buy a six month subscription, you will pay for six boxes upfront. If you tell them you want to cancel, it means at the end of six months they won’t renew you for another six months. It does not mean they will refund you the balance of payment.

On the other hand, if a company offers month to month subscriptionsm they are offering one month boxes that auto-renew. This means every month your credit card will be charged for one new box, until you actively cancel the subscription.

How we evaluated each science subscription box

When looking at the best STEM subscription kits for kids, we examined them across a number of factors, including:

AgeWhat ages are these subscriptions aimed at?
PriceFor the price, does what you receive represent good value for money
What’s included in the BoxWhat kinds of activities and parts are included, do you need to get things yourself, are they age appropriate?
Focus of STEM (if any)Is the kit general science or does it focus on one aspect deeply?
Who Curates the ActivitiesDid the company get help from educators or scientists in putting these activities together?
FlexibilityHow flexible are the plans, deliveries, policies, etc

KiwiCo – The Most Diverse Range of Interests

Lots of boxes for different ages and interests
Very flexible service
Option to not automatically renew plan

Overview:

KiwiCo is a great company that has subscription plans that cater to a wide range of age groups and interests. With 8 lines of STEM subscription boxes for kids to choose from, ranging from newborns to teenagers, it seems they have something for kids of every age. From sensory stimulation to geography and anthropology, from arts and crafts to engineering projects, the company also covers a diverse range of interests with an assortment of fun and engaging kid-tested projects.

KiwiCo plans are also very flexible. Subscribers can switch between plans with minimal effort should a child’s interest change. The company also allows subscribers to pause subscriptions as needed and even lets them choose when they would like subscriptions to begin. They also have plans that don’t automatically renew, which we like.

Read our in depth review of KiwiCo to learn more.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Lots of subscription options (8) for different ages and interestsSubscription price breaks can be odd
Option to not automatically renew subscriptionTermed subscriptions cost a more per month compared to auto renewing plans
Company plans are very flexible
Free Shipping

Our Verdict:
If you’re looking for a company that has a lot of monthly STEAM boxes covering a lot of interests and age groups with fun and engaging projects, KiwiCo might be just what you’re looking for.

Creation Crate – The Best for Budding Teen Engineers 12+

Really cool electronics projects
Kids can learn Arduino and C++
Easy to follow tutorials and instructions

Overview:

With an impressive variety of electronics projects based around real Arduino microcontrollers, Creation Crate is an ideal STEM subscription box for kids 12 and up who are interested in electronics and the engineering side of STEM.

Step by step instructions help kids assemble parts and input C++ code into some really cool projects, and access to online tutorials and support help keep things relatively straightforward. While projects can be soldered for permanence, they are breadboard-based meaning parts are plugged in and no soldering is required.

Read our in-depth review of Creation Crate to learn more.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Really cool, diverse electronics projects for students 12+

Teaches some Arduino and C++, very important

Get a fair bit of help and tutorials online, challenges and more

Don’t need to solder

Flat rate Shipping

Gift Wrappable
Not ideal for most young kids, may frustrate
Can get expensive, especially with add-ons

Plans could be more flexible

Our Verdict:
If you’ve ever wanted to build a weather station or an infrared security system with your kids, Creation Crate might be the subscription box for you.

Green Kid Crafts – The Best for the Green Scientist

Cool eco-friendly, green projects
Projects co-developed with educators
Free Shipping

Overview:

Green Kid Crafts is a STEM subscription box company that believes that kids can be eco-friendly AND learn important STEM lessons at the same time.

With 4-6 educator-assessed projects per package, each box contains enough interactive scientific learning activities to keep kids up to age 10 engaged, busy and learning about the world they live in all month long. Plus, they make sure each package is as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.

Read our in-depth review of Green Kid Crafts for more information.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Free Shipping

Eco Friendly and Environmentally aware

Sibling package can save money for multichild families

Projects are co-developed with experienced educators

Parents can change plans with ease
Sibling package really only for two kids

No option to pause service

Sometimes need to supply some materials yourself

Our Verdict:
If you’re interested in your kids learning STEAM topics AND about saving the environment, or if you just want a science subscription box for kids that’s a bit more green than others, Green Kid Crafts might be what you’re looking for.

Groovy Lab in a Box – The Best for Younger Engineers (8+)

Helps kids get thinking like engineers
Open ended projects that aren’t frustrating
All materials included

Overview:

Groovy Lab in a Box is an excellent choice of STEM subscription box for kids who are interested in hands-on Bill Nye-style learning. Based around various science themes, boxes are filled with the materials needed to conduct fun and beloved practical experiments that kids can set up and enjoy.

The company, a big believer in the Engineering Design Process, also offers a unique challenge every month to its subscribers that requires kids to use the knowledge they’ve gained to build a solution to some Big Problem in whatever manner they think would be effective. While kids are challenged to figure out an answer in a logical way (there are some measurable goals it has to achieve), the monthly challenge is always open ended and has no set answer, encouraging kids to be as creative as they’d like. You may be surprised at how resourceful your child can be.

Read our in-depth review of Groovy Lab in A Box to learn more.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
All materials for activities are included, even batteries

Classic and fun experiments, nothing here will be too frustrating for kids 8+

Engineering Challenge encourages creativity and logical thinking
Young scientific enthusiasts may have seen some of these experiments before

Our Verdict:
If you’re looking for a groovy STEM subscription box that gives kids a wide range of science experiments but also challenges them to think creatively and scientifically, Groovy Lab in a Box might be the STEM box service for you.

Bitsbox – The Best Coding STEM Subscription Box

Easy, fun intro to real app coding
Share one box with many digital accounts – great for larger families
Web based, runs anywhere on any device

Overview:

With all the STEM subscription boxes for kids out there, most have activities that focus on the traditional sciences (chemistry, physics, math and engineering). In today’s world, though, coding and computer science can be almost as important as reading. That’s why Bitsbox offers a monthly science box that focuses on coding and the concepts of computer science.

Bitsbox certainly put a lot of thought into getting kids to program. Each box offers a number of durable, colorful printed cards that contain various codes that kids can then input online, creating their first real mobile apps that they can play around with and even download and play later. Families with multiple children are given a break as families can share a box by creating as many free coding accounts with the company as they need. And best of all, it’s all done in actual JavaScript, so kids can get experience in a popular, real-world coding language.


Read our in-depth review of BitsBox to learn more.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Simple, non frustrating introduction to coding

Real Javascript

Nice binder and goodies included to organize

Great option for families with multiple children, easy to share one box with free coding accounts

Apps are fun and easy to make and customize, downloadable

Web based, runs on any device mobile or not
Might be a little too simple for older kids with greater programming skill

No non-auto renewing options or single boxes for sale

Our Verdict:
If you have a young child that is looking to get into coding, BitsBox might be the STEM subscription box for you.