Magic School Bus Science Club Subscription Review – September 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 WATER! The foundation of life on our planet!
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 was making this “submarine”. We were all in agreement that this is kind of a lame submarine, but it wound up being more fun than it looks. Yes, it’s just a can with a tube in it; however, in the bathtub, it taught a very important scientific fact. When you fill the can with water, it sinks to the bottom of the tub. Then when you blow into the tube, the submarine rises back up to the top. Lesson learned: Air is lighter than water! This also shows that it doesn’t always take a lot of money to entertain the kiddos.
This activity was all about solubility and density. This test tube (and a pinch of clay for holding it upright) were provided with a list of common household liquids to try combining to check two things. First, do the two liquids combine or separate when mixed? Second, if they separate, which liquid is on top (less dense), and which is on bottom (more dense)? This picture is the classic oil and water test, showing that the two don’t combine (kids don’t always know this), and that even though oil feels thick, it is, in fact, the less dense substance.
Verdict: This was our final month of Magic School Bus, and I think we will be sad to see it go! MSB is a 12-month program, so once you have completed all 12 months, it’s over. It’s not the fanciest, highest quality STEM subscription for kids out there, but it consistently does a really good job of driving the basic principles of science home. The activities are pretty simple, but in some ways, the simplicity makes it easier to focus on what’s happening and why. I highly recommend this subscription to anyone who wants to do simple science projects at home with their children to reinforce their studies. I also think this would be a wonderful (and inexpensive) subscription to get as an enrichment to home schooling programs.
What do you think of Magic School Bus Science Club?