Magic School Bus Science Club Subscription Review – July 2015
Magic School Bus Science Club is a subscription box for kids based on the books and television show “The Magic School Bus” and teaches children about science topics through hands-on activities. The subscription is part of The Young Scientists Club and was developed by a team of Harvard graduates, scientists, and educators!
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Magic School Bus Science Club
The Cost: Regular monthly subscription is $19.99
Ships To: US only (free)
COUPON: There is no current coupon, but interested families on a budget can find the annual version of this subscription very frequently on Groupon, LivingSocial, or Amazon Local for 50-75% off!
The Products: Every month, Magic School Bus Science Club sends an activity booklet with seven “experiments” and most of the materials to complete them. Each month is built around a science topic.
This month’s topic is Lights, Rainbows, and Mirrors! We would tell right away that this would be a colorful month!
Just as a note, if you are hesitating on this subscription because of some shortcomings you might have in science yourself, there is an answer key in the back of the booklet with some notes for parents. They also have a fairly robust set of online resources for you to read up on.
For the purposes of this review, I will only highlight a few of the experiments – enough that you get a good idea of what this subscription is all about. Magic School Bus Science Club is appropriate for ages 5-12 (per their website), and I go through these activities with my nine-year-old son.
Here is a look inside the booklet at some of the experiments and their format. Much of the important information is included in comic book dialog format, which I think is perfect for kids this age (especially boys). As I’ve mentioned, I do wish they would stick to the scientific method, though!
These are all the raw materials that were sent to us this month. One thing that I have to say about Magic School Bus is that they do NOT send you everything you need. Fortunately this month was pretty light on materials needed from home. No extra trip to the grocery store was required.
One of the activities this month was making a spinning color wheel (basically a top). I was kind of annoyed that the cardboard disc they sent us had some weird coating on it (plus some kind of sticker residue), so the markers color didn’t take very well. It still worked well enough to convey the lesson, though. When you spin it, the colors blend together. In our case, we didn’t have all primary and secondary colors, so it didn’t turn perfectly white, but it did blend well enough to get the idea.
Our second activity was drawing half shapes and using a little mirror to complete them. My son made this half heart.
Obviously this activity was all about reflection, so I drew this little swan for him to show him how he could use a mirror to make it look like it was on the lake.
The third activity was about light bending. My son taped together two mirrors and put the battery in the middle. You can see pretty easily the two reflections on either mirror, but if you look closely you can see a fourth reflection in the middle. This is the reflected light being bounced (bent) back and forth between the two mirrors. It reminded me of dressing rooms, though, so I had to get through this activity quickly!
Verdict: Magic School Bus has been a great subscription so far to learn and reinforce the basic principles of science with my son. This month’s activities worked as they were supposed to, but they were kind of boring, and definitely things my son already knew about. MSB is kind of inconsistent when it comes to two things – the “awesomeness” of their activities, and the age propriety. I think these activities would have been better for a younger child.
What do you think of Magic School Bus Science Club?