Science Resources: The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus is a fun way to introduce children to the world of science with the ever wacky Ms Frizzle who always encourages the children to “take chances, make mistakes and get messy!”

Magic School Bus Books

Written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, the Magic School Bus takes children on wild and exciting field trips to learn all about the world around them. This series of books is intended for children age 4 and up and is a great way to nurture their budding curiosity about science and nature.

Magic School Bus Science Kits

The Magic School Bus Videos

The books were later made into a TV series that was said to be one of the highest rated PBS TV shows for school-aged children. Word on the street is that The Magic School Bus will be getting a reboot and the new episodes will be aired sometime in 2016 (get ready to see a new Ms Frizzle, modern school bus and new technology).

Watch Magic School Bus Videos.

Magic School Bus Apps

This is probably the one area they are seriously lacking given the large content they cover. The only two apps they have on iTunes are only available for the US:

The Magic School Bus Dinosaurs

Wahoo! Time to go on a field trip with Ms. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus to explore dinosaurs! Based on the book “The Magic School Bus: In the Time of Dinosaurs” written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, this interactive storybook app lets readers dig deep to discover everything they want to know about dinosaurs! Every page of this Magic School Bus adventure features an interaction to extend the reading experience. Go on dinosaur digs to uncover the fossils of 16 different dinosaurs, and then assemble the dinosaur bones to earn a dinosaur card! Or, touch a notebook icon anywhere you see it to read what the students have learned as they explore fossils, dinosaur nests and more. When the dinosaur reading adventure is complete, play a fast-paced game to discover dinosaurs that lived on all seven of the world’s continents!

Features:

  • Embodies the “open exploration” essence of The Magic School Bus – which encourages kids to “take chances, make mistakes…and get messy!”
  • “Touch & Tilt” animated interactions make it easy for children to engage with the story.
  • Over 20 individual voices plus original music and sound effects bring the story to life – meaning you don’t have to know how to read to enjoy The Magic School Bus!
  • Dinosaur digs to unearth fossils and build dinosaurs using the bones uncovered!
  • 16 different Dinosaur Cards that offer pictures, facts and more!
  • 16 reports written by students in Ms. Frizzle’s class—each filled with intriguing science lessons.
  • Replayable game with 7 different levels explores where dinosaurs lived around the world.
  • Hundreds of facts about dinosaurs including when and where dinosaurs lived to their eating habits and physical characteristics.
  • Individual words highlight as they are read aloud to aid reading skills; settings options allow independent readers to turn off music and narration, access dinosaur cards and go to a specific page in the story.

The Magic School Bus: Oceans

Based on the book The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, this interactive storybook app is teeming with science facts, videos, photos and games. In comic book style format, readers engage in an active reading experience as they discover plant and animal life, coral reefs, the ocean floor and more. Touch an animal in the ocean to watch a video or learn a fun fact. Every page of this fantastical Magic School Bus adventure features an interaction to extend the reading experience. When the reading adventure is complete, children can play a fast-paced game to earn points for more science facts and to travel to other areas of the ocean!

Features:

  • Embodies the “open exploration” essence of The Magic School Bus – which encourages kids to “take chances, make mistakes…and get messy!”
  • Takes more advanced facts from the book and brings them to life so kids can manipulate variables and see cause and effect in action.
  • “Touch & Tilt” animated interactions make it easy for children to engage with the story:
  • 7 interactive science explorations that bring key science concepts to life.
  • Access 26 real photos and 11 videos of underwater animals and plant life.
  • Over 20 individual voices plus original music and sound effects bring the story to life – meaning you don’t have to know how to read to enjoy The Magic School Bus!
  • A highly re-playable game that includes over 20 animals in which children can play to earn points for more science facts and to travel to other areas of the ocean.
  • Includes hundreds of facts about underwater life.
  • Individual words highlight as they are read aloud to aid reading skills; settings options allow independent readers to turn off music and narration, access mini-games and go to a specific page in the story.

They do have one app that is available on the Windows Store that sort of makes up for it with 8 adventures in 1 at only a fraction of the price:

The Magic School Bus: Field Trip Frenzy

Get ready for a wild ride certified on The Magic School Bus with adventurous, interactive science games designed exclusively for All-In-One or 2 in 1 devices! In this innovative, multiplayer app, kids hop on the bus with Ms. Frizzle for extraordinary field trips to explore dinosaurs, blast off to outer space, go inside the human body and more! Inspired by the best-selling book series from Scholastic, The Magic School Bus: Field Trip Frenzy introduces science in a fun, engaging way that encourages kids to take chances, make mistakes and get messy! Through experiential play, kids develop an understanding of science concepts and learn hundreds of facts about animals, dinosaurs, the solar system, the human body and ocean life.

Encourage kids to get out there and explore with these exciting field trips:

  1. Go deep into the Amazon Rainforest, featuring the most diverse plant and animal species of any habitat!
  2. Explore the African Savannah—home of some of the world’s largest, fastest and tallest land animals!
  3. Travel back in time to discover and study 16 different dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods!
  4. Blast off to outer space to explore the fascinating inner and outer planets of the solar system!
  5. Go inside the human body to learn how its natural defenses attack germs that can make humans sick.
  6. Dive deep into the Great Barrier Reef to learn about food chains and the ocean creatures that hunt and eat each other to survive!

Features:

  • Interactive board game that promotes collaborative play
  • Multiplayer capabilities for 2-4 players for simultaneous, multi-touch interactions
  • 8 different Magic School Bus science field trips
  • Over 75 rounds of play with hundreds of science facts
  • Randomized play pattern for great replay value—no two games are the same
  • Stamps to reward players and show off successful adventures
  • Favorite characters from the hit TV show and best-selling book series
  • Great for players ages 7 and up

Magic School Bus Games

They may be lacking in apps but they have online games on the Scholastic website to make up for it:

  • Maze Craze – plants and animals
  • Space Chase – solar system
  • Monster Bugs – germs
  • The Great Habitat Match – habitats
  • Gets an Earful – sound
  • Blows Its Top – volcanoes
  • Adventures of Weather Lizard – weather

They also have resources for experiments, pop quizzes, science news, and printables.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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