If you have children about 5 years old or older there is a good chance that they love The Magic School Bus (the TV show, books and science kits).
My children used to love this show so they were ecstatic when we discovered The Magic School Bus Science Kits by The Young Scientists Club.
My kids have been into “science” since they were about 4 years old.
We started with the science basics, mixing 2 colors of food coloring to see what the new color would be or combining baking soda and vinegar to watch it explode.
There are many science experiments that you can do with basic household supplies.
My daughter who is going on 14 still loves making slime and has tested out numerous recipes!
However, pre-made science kits such as the Magic School Bus science kits make great gift ideas and provide you with everything (almost – more on that later) you need to create your very own science lab at home!
How The Magic School Bus Science Kits Help With Language Development & Learning
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As children get older, their styles of “play” will change.
A 5 year old should already have quite advanced language skills and therefore is likely capable of having adult like conversations (correct grammar and sentence structure with a varied vocabulary – some errors will still be present).
However, this does not mean your job is done.
There is always room for a child to learn – they are like sponges – absorbing everything around them.
Since children over the age of 5 are still children, they will still like to play.
Most children at this age become fascinated by “science”. They love to see how things can change.
These kits are a great way to expand on “theme” based language as all of them focus on a variety of different themes including:
- chemistry lab
There are more that I have not included in this list.
You can really expand on your child’s vocabulary by talking about the key words that are a part of each theme.
When children are learning a new word, they will need to hear it several times before they start using it independently.
Also, make sure to explain to your child what the new word means.
Children need to be exposed to new words hundreds of times before you will hear that word in your child’s vocabulary.
My daughter received the Magic School Bus “Blasting off with Volcanoes” science kit for her 6th birthday.
With this kit she learned all about pumice and that it is created when rocks are ejected from a volcano (a few years before she learned about it at school).
We discussed how to this day, people still use these stones, most often to soften the soles of their feet. She was fascinated by this.
This is how your child’s vocabulary will continue to expand and grow!
This is a perfect opportunity to follow your child’s lead.
Following your child’s lead in the early years (0-3) is extremely, but it doesn’t end there.
You will have plenty opportunities to follow what your child is doing by showing interest, participating, etc. well beyond the age of three.
The Magic School Bus Science Kits: A Review of 2
My son received the “Back in Time with the Dinosaurs” kit for his 4th birthday. He loved it just as much as his sister did!
I realize that the recommended ages for these kits is 5+.
However, you know your child best and an adult would be with them while they are using the kits. I felt that at 4 years old my son was able to use this kit with adult supervision.
Back in Time with the Dinosaurs (ages 5-10)
- a large variety of activities (make your own fossils, how to make a diorama, clay to make dinosaur teeth, make a model dinosaur, large activity book)
- provides hours of entertainment for young dinosaur enthusiasts
- great to expand on vocabulary – my son learned many new words thanks to this kit!
- teaches children many facts about dinosaurs and their environment
- most of the materials required for the experiments are provided in the kit
- great educational tool
- good value for cost of product
- the pieces of the wooden dinosaur model need to be removed from packaging very carefully or they can crack (glue helped us fix ours) – its best if an adult does this unless the child is quite a bit older.
- once the dinosaur is assembled it can fall apart if moved around a lot. We fixed this by adding some glue to the loose parts – my son wanted to bring it in for show and tell at school. He was very proud of his dinosaur model.
- the fossils don’t look quite like fossils, however my kids thought they were great and that is all that matters.
I would give the dinosaur science kit 4.5 stars!
My kids both loved it and used it for quite some time in free play activities.
I would definitely recommend this product for those budding young scientists and fans of the Magic School Bus.
Blasting off with Erupting Volcanoes (ages 5-10)
- provides a lot of great information about volcanoes (comes with a large poster and activity book, plastic volcano, paint, test tube, measuring cups, pipette, food coloring and soap)
- great to expand on volcano vocabulary. I even learned some new words while helping my daughter with this kit.
- teaches children about chemistry
- great educational tool
- the volcano comes taped at the sides and folded in half. Once the tape is removed the volcano still seems a bit squished and flat
- the paint for the volcano is watercolor. The volcano is plastic. Therefore, the paint will not stay on the volcano, especially once you have erupted it.
- as with most science kits, common household ingredients are not provided. You will need to provide your own baking soda and vinegar to use with this kit.
I would give the volcano science kit 4 stars! My children both enjoyed it and experimented with different amounts of ingredients to make the biggest volcanic eruption.
My daughter also enjoyed the activity book that came with stickers.
I would recommend this product for those budding young scientists and fans of the Magic School Bus, but keep the “cons” in mind.
If you try one of these Magic School Bus Science kits, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. If you have already tried some of the other kits in the series I would love to hear your thoughts!
For between $12.99 and $32.99 USD a kit you really can’t go wrong.