"The Magic School Bus" Game

by Jen Kim

"The Magic School Bus" is a fantasy children's book series about a school bus that travels throughout the universe.

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"The Magic School Bus" is a popular children's book series and animated television show whose entertaining and educational stories make science interesting. Miss Frizzle, an eccentric curly-haired science teacher, guides students, both in the book and in real life, on a variety of adventures, ranging from traveling to space to going deep into the human body. Scholastic.com features official interactive Magic School Bus games on its website; however, you can adapt these game to a classroom or home setting.

Space Chase

Space Chase asks players trivia-style science questions about space and the solar system, such as: "I'm on the planet closest to the sun; where am I?" Once a player chooses an answer, Miss Frizzle pops up on screen to say whether the answer is correct and to give a scientific tidbit about the answer. She then gives another clue to her next whereabouts. Modify Space Chase for the classroom by asking trivia-style questions to students. Draw a Magic School Bus on the board. Students who answer correctly can draw themselves in the bus. At the end of the game, the students in the bus get prizes.

Build a Bug

Build a Bug lets players create bugs from different body parts, such as the head, shell, wings and legs. Players can also create original bugs, depending on what combinations they choose. Each body part comes with a hint about what type of bug it comes from. To make a modified classroom version of this activity, cut out various bug body parts from construction paper. Write relevant bug-related facts on the back of the parts. Have students combine the different parts to create different bugs, as well as come up with new ones. Some bugs to use include honey bee, ladybug, caterpillar, butterfly.

Blows Its Top

For a clever maze game, play Blows Its Top, where the objective is for the Magic School bus to reach the top of the volcano to make it explode. Draw a maze on the board, filling the maze with game board-like squares. Make the end point the top of the volcano. Cut out small paper school buses for students to navigate the maze with. Ask students trivia questions about volcanoes -- each correct answer gives students a chance to move their bus one square. The first to reach the top wins.

Gets an Earful

Gets and Earful is an audio game designed to help young children distinguish between different sounds. Prepare or buy a CD of different sounds, such as a telephone ring, toilet flush, door bell, alarm clock, piano or electric toothbrush. Draw or print out pictures corresponding to these sounds, and lay them out in front of the child. Play a sound, and have the child select the correct image for the sound.

About the Author

Since 2008, Jen Kim has been a professional writer and blogger, working for national publications such as Psychology Today and Chicago Tribune affiliates. She holds a Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern University.

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