Magic School Bus Science Club Subscription Review – Feb 2015
Magic School Bus Science Club is a subscription box for kids that is 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: A one-year subscription is on sale at Certified Kid for $120 (50% 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.
Check out all of our Magic School Bus Science Club reviews!
This month’s topic is magnets! This is the activity booklet. Science truly does not get much more fun than playing with magnets!
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. (Yep! He turned nine!)
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. A few of them were used in multiple experiments, and it always makes me happy to have less waste!
In this experiment, we put some iron shavings on a piece of cardboard, put plastic around it, and then “drew” with a magnet. We put too many shavings on the cardboard though, so the face came out looking pretty scary!
This was the most impressive experiment this month. We made a compass! We taped a magnet into a little bowl and then set that bowl afloat in a larger bowl of water. No matter which way my son turned, the N on the magnet always pointed north! Just like a compass should! This was a great teaching point on the polarity of Earth.
This one was my son’s favorite experiment, of course. Taping a magnet to this little car meant that we could use another bar magnet to push it (with the same pole) or pull it (with the opposite pole). I think this experiment was great because it was not only entertaining, but it drove the message of magnetic polarity home to my son!
Verdict: I still have mixed feelings about Magic School Bus. With a couple of small improvements, I think I would absolutely love it. One thing that sets Magic School Bus apart from other science kits is that you do have to supply many of the supplies and most of the equipment yourself. This month it wasn’t much of an issue, but I really do wish they would include nearly everything! I have a feeling that most people buy this subscription as I did, on a deep discount, but if I had paid full price I would expect everything to be included as it is with other subscription boxes of a similar price point. The other issue, as I have mentioned, is that they don’t use the scientific method, and thus, these are not true experiments. If they would just list a simple hypothesis it would make all the difference! Otherwise, these are great science lessons for my son, and the important thing is that I think he really is learning a lot.
What do you think of Magic School Bus Science Club?