My daughters are always playing potions. They get into the kitchen and have a great time mixing anything. It doesn’t matter if the result is always the same murky sludge, it’s the stories they make up while they’re doing it that provides the entertainment.
One day I thought perhaps I can teach them some chemistry and science while they play potions, and that is how Messrs Pope & Bear magical academy came to be.
This is a story of about 14+ chapters (it’s likely to grow) following a young half fae witch as she learns magic in the academy. With each chapter there are 1-2 experiments (constructs) that relate to the story. I’m currently in the process of separating the experiments from the story, so they have their own pages.
Many of the experiments e.g. (baking soda volcano) are well known, but often young girls haven’t seen them, and if they have they don’t mind doing them again (especially dressed as a witch). They do also provide an excellent introduction to chemistry and science.
The story isn’t finished, it’s in draft, and I would love it if you could help improve it. The following paragraphs give some ideas of how you can do that.
Naturally, I want families with kids to try it. My girls are 9 and 10, but Kate (my youngest) was 8 when I trialed an early draft with her and it worked well. It should work with 7-12 year old girls and possibly even boys (I’ve not tested the story with boys yet, and it’s definitely written with girls in mind).
I’d love kids to send in drawings of anything they like, Mathylda the dragon, Kate, the school. I’ll feature all drawings in our gallery (as soon as we have it).
If you, the adult want to read it first, then I’d love ideas for new experiments. If when reading the story an experiment springs to mind, do add a comment and I’ll try and add it. Finding good, fun, interesting experiments that are also safe is not so easy.
I would particularly love thoughts for interesting edible experiments. The kitchen is the laboratory that everyone uses daily. It’s filled with science and so I’d like more things that can be created in the kitchen and eaten afterwards – how special is that! Anything that shouts fairy or magic or perhaps delicacies that we’d find at the Baron’s welcome feast.
Of course, please highlight any spelling and grammatical errors or things that don’t seem in character.
Let me know words or ideas that you needed to explain to your child and note, the language is fairly advanced. I read reasonably difficult books from a young age and so do my daughters. If they don’t know a word they ask what it means or they get the gist from the story. What I would like to do is add a glossary that links to the story so kids can hover over the word and get the meaning.
The focus of the story is currently chemistry with a little science, however more science will be added. When it’s sufficiently well rounded, I hope to produce a witches set (a bit like a chemistry set but way more fun and less clinical) to go with the story.
Regarding feedback and comments please enthuse, critic, suggest and share – the more the better, just remember that this is a site that kids will be reading. Never be rude to another person, be critical of course, but politely.
I’ll keep updating the site with progress reports so you’ll know where I’m at.
My current tasks:
Speed the site page load times – it’s a little slow.
Add more story where Kate interacts with her classmates.
Make the presentation of experiments consistent in structure and make them easy to find separately from the story – it’s all a jumble at the moment.
Add more science and experiments.
That’s all from me. Welcome to Pope & Bear’s magical academy!
Oh, PS some of the characters are named after famous scientists and there’s a good chance that more of the character names will change as I find more scientists that I’d like to include. Let me know if you have any favourite scientists and why…