The Magic School Bus Science Kits: Exploring the Wonders of Nature

School has started and Labor Day is over, which I know means the unofficial end of summer, but Mother Nature is telling us otherwise! We’ve continued to have record-breaking HOT temperatures here in northeast Ohio over the past couple of weeks, so even though the pool is closed, we’re still spending a lot of time outdoors. If you’re running out of ideas for soaking up this Indian summer, you may want to check out The Magic School Bus Science Kit: Exploring the Wonders of Nature! On a recent lazy Labor Day afternoon we pulled out this kit to put an end to the late-summer exclamations of “I’m bored!” and “We’re sick of that!” We also turned the kit into a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the four of us being together on a holiday weekend and make some memories while getting fresh air.

Like the “Growing Crazy Crystals” kit that we tried earlier this summer, this kit incorporates popular characters from the children’s TV show The Magic School Bus. Characters are featured within different experiments around a particular theme: in this case, exploring the great outdoors. And as it says right on the box, the purpose of the kits is to “offer children quality, science-related products that will fascinate them with the wonders of scientific discovery and spark their interest in future scientific endeavors.”

We started with an experiment to see how the sun’s rays can make shadow impressions of objects on paper. Given that it was an incredibly hot and sunny day, we had perfect conditions for this experiment! The kids selected several leaves and placed them on the included construction paper. While we waited for the sun to do its work, we moved on to another experiment.

This next activity walked through the life cycle of an ant and included stickers for identifying each stage in the cycle. My son enjoyed this quick but informative activity, because who doesn’t like sticking stickers? Plus it provided an opportunity for us to talk through the life cycle and how insects go from an egg to a full-grown adult.

Next up was my favorite activity of the kit: the scavenger hunt! This was a great opportunity for the entire family to get involved and enjoy some friendly competition. I made a copy of the scavenger hunt sheet on my printer and we split up the stickers: my son and I against my husband and daughter. All of the items to find were common to most backyards: birds, different colors of leaves, insects, etc. We had a lot of fun identifying the items and experiencing all corners of the back yard together. The most difficult items to find were the berries and the feather!


Lastly, we created a clay impression of a bear pawprint (Keesha’s experiment #2). Using the ingredients included in the kit, we made an imprint in sand of the included paw mold, and then poured wet cement into the imprint. In just an hour or so the imprint was dry! It allowed us to have a conversation about fossils and how they were similarly created over the years.




The Wonders of Nature kit can be ordered on for $19.99 or on the Young Scientists Club web site under the Magic School Bus series of retail science kits and games. Order today before it’s too cold and snowy to explore your own big back yard!

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