Sunday, September 2, 2012

BrainFood Alert! The Magic School Bus Young Scientists Club Review! Keeping science at your fingertips is a good way to make it memorable for your brain!

 The Young Scientists Club is a monthly program that is kinda similar to a magazine subscription.
It's cool because it features the Magic School Bus, which .. in my humble opinion, should still air daily on EVERY children's programming television channel. I'm an old lady and I still enjoy watching the Magic School Bus on TV because I learn something every single time I watch it. (Even if it was something I already knew, but forgot!)

Science is not only important for young minds to start learning early, but can be fun when done in a creative way. Much like these kits do! What I loved about these kits is they are good for ages 5-12! That's a pretty broad age span for young learners of all ages to experience science with The Magic School Bus and Mrs Frizzle!

Kits Developed by a Harvard Grad for Your Future Harvard Grad 

Esther Novis Founder, The Young Scientists Club 

In 1999, Esther Novis went shopping for a science kit for her young children that would provide both hands-on fun and a true educational science experience. A Harvard graduate with degrees in biology, she noticed that the science products available at the time targeted mostly older children - primarily boys. She felt that the few kits available then for small children were predominantly arts-and-crafts activities, with little to offer in the way of a real scientific experience. 

Esther's quest to find quality, age-appropriate science kits led to the genesis of The Young Scientists Club, which she began as a summer science camp for her then five-year-old son. In 2007, Esther was approached by Scholastic, Inc. and the award-winning The Magic School Bus series was born. Esther's products continue to receive numerous awards and accolades, introducing generations of new children to the thrilling experience of scientific discovery and learning.

The kits sent to me for review were:

WINNER! The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
WINNER! Learning Research Institute Outstanding Resource Award
WINNER! National Parenting Publications Honors Awards (NAPPA)
WINNER! Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products
WINNER! Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Award

Unfortunately Giana (age 7) let Devonny (her little sister- age 2) lose the program materials for Solids, Liquids Gases. By carelessly leaving them laying around, they probably ended up in the trash can. Devonny loves to throw things away. You have no idea just how many things have come up missing. Naturally, I have flipped this house upside down looking for them. Sadly, we never got a chance to try that kit, and it looked pretty promising. These kits contain small parts and shouldn't be used by children under the age of 5, and never without adult supervision.

However, lets move on to my our review of Stars and Planets!!! 

I could almost hear Mrs Frizzle's voice in my ear throughout the experiments with Giana (age 7) who was truly fascinated by even the most simplest of experiments in the kit(s). The stars and planets come with a lot of materials.
    Each kit needs things from home, but not much more than water, bowls and tape, glue & things of that nature.

Things to do in this kit are:
Star & Planet Fact Book
Creating a Rainbow
Making a Night Vision Flashlight
Constellation  Box & Cards
 Solar System Poster & Model

Here is something we learned from the website ... Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky!
Here's what Giana had to say!
   " I liked the Stars and Planet Kit because when I put the cellophane on the flashlight I could see how light looks different in the dark when it is different colors. That was so neat!  The kit had me put a CD disc close to a light to see the lights in all the colors of the rainbow.  I also got to see the light bouncing off the CD and putting prisms onto the kitchen walls! That was really cool! "

Now for Magnets review!
Hands on!
Here's something new we learned:
      The Earth, like the magnets has a North & South Pole!

Things to do in this kit are:
Repulsion & Attraction
Floating Magnets
Magnet Car
Magnetic Scavenger Hunt
Making a Compass
Magnetic Fields
Magnetic Faces
      You can make your own compass using a bar magnet and a 2 bowls, the smaller one with a bar magnet taped in it, floating in a bowl of water .. what happened in the experiment was the magnet (much like a compass) is always going to point its North end to the North end.  Pretty neat, huh?  And here is a fun Magnet Fact I we learned from the website!

"A cow magnet is a magnet put into a young cows stomach that stays there for the rest of it's life. Cows (much like goats) will eat everything in site, and accidentally eat wire and other dangerous metals. The magnet attracts the metal stopping it from moving into other parts of the cows body- therefore stopping it from doing damage to the cows intestines, bowels and other organs."  
                                                     (Bet you didn't know that?)

Here's what I liked: It was fun and she was tickled by it. I am all for things that make learning more hands on and fun, because I know that children remember that better than simply reading it. Experiments that we did in my day in school, I still remember today, but honestly- not much else. I love making memories with the kids!!
But, of the 2 kits- we definitely liked the magnet kit best! She had so much fun pushing and pulling the lightweight plastic toy car with magnets! 
PLUS, I especially loved the part where she gets to make her own Magna Doodle with the Iron.

Here's what Giana had to say: 
  " I didn't know magnets has a North & South end, and it was neat how the Two North bar magnets were attracted to each other and the 2 ends of the South Magnets were attracted to each other, but interesting how the North & South ends of magnets repel each other. I could feel them resisting each other. That was so strange! I did not know that! I also didn't know some rocks had metal inside of them until now either. I liked playing with the Iron Dust too! "

For children between the ages of 5 and 12 to develop a love for science by exploring science through exciting and thrilling experiments that will spark an interest in future scientific endeavors. Complete kits (shipped once or twice a month – your choice) filled with materials will help your Young Scientists by using the special instructions given by each kit  to explore the exciting world of science! With topics such as magnets, weather, minerals, batteries, planets, stars, senses, acids and bases, forces, tornadoes, human body, volcanoes, and more (36 topics in all). Easy to follow adult instructions are also included (adults with no science background will find the kits as easy to use as adults with advanced science degrees). Hours filled with science experiments, learning, and fun! Young Scientists experience science in a fun and hands-on manner with our multiple award-winning science kits and receive an edge with this Educational Science Adventure That Will Last a Life Time! Don't believe me? Watch some of the Mrs Frizzle YSC Videos!!! (Note: some kits mentioned are Young Scientist Club kits, not just The Magic School Bus Kits

The only thing I think it should include with the cost of the 20$ a month membership/kit is a DVD of The Magic School bus episode talking about that particular topic. I am not 100% sure each topic covered by the YSC was ever even an episode of MSB, but it seems like it probably was!

Overall - we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, and the kits kept us entertained for several days.

I recycled the kits by sending them to Giana's teacher, and I hope that she can use the materials to teach the class some early Science knowledge!!!

I gotta say, I am interested in seeing the other Young Scientists Club Magic School Bus kits, especially the Weather Station where you get to make your very own Weather Vane, Rain Gauge and Thermometer!  I also think the Rainbows, Lights & Mirrors sounds especially fun too!  Giana wants to try the Volcano kit! Sounds like a messy good time! :)

I do think that the year long monthly subscription would be a great gift for a child who loves learning. Get them out from in front of the TV and learning with things from around the house. These simple experiments are enthralling, entertaining and educational!  Plus- Mrs Frizzle TOTALLY rocks!!!

Learning time with Momma & Mrs Frizzle!!!

Be sure to like them on, because they post infrequently about money saving deals. On Living Social recently they offered the year long membership regularly 240$+ for 120$ which is a whopping half-off! Don't wanna miss that in your news feed. (That promotion is currently over, but more are sure to follow soon!)  If you aren't completely blown out of the water by these educational kits yet, (how could you NOT be?) be sure to check out their TV press.

On their site you can also find MORE YSC MSB Kits & games!!!
... and ONE last thing, are you a Teacher? If so, click here!

Thanks for being a reader of LoE, be sure to like the brand on FB and let them know how you found them!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Your experience with the product may differ from mine. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment and will be shipping the winner(s) their prize(s). For more information read my rules/disclosure policy.


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