Monday, August 23, 2010...7:54 pm

Ladybird Junior Science: ideal grounding for the Open University

Jump to Comments

Magnets, Bulbs and Batteries-Ladybird Junior ScienceFurther exploration of my exciting new Open University Exploring Science course material reveals its true pedigree. Its progenitor is the wonderful Ladybird Junior Science series, which used to edify and entertain the youth of yesteryear, before they discovered Miaow Miaow and Asbos.
The pack contains an intriguing box of small rocks and a magnifying glass, which forms the Practical Kit of the course. But that’s not the limit of unit S104’s experimental challenge, oh no.
From the Course Guide:

A variety of activities that you can carry out at home provide opportunities to develop your practical skills

Smashing. Under the heading “equipment list for practical work” comes the following:

  • Sticky tape
  • Vinegar (optional task)
  • Empty jam jar or similar
  • Paper
  • Scissors

They’ve missed out the cotton reels and old date boxes, but I’m sure that’s just a misprint.
And of course safety is a prime concern. I am warned to:

  • Keep children and animals away while I am working
  • Clear my working area of clutter
  • Always wash hands thoroughly after a practical activity
  • Ask a grown-up to help when handling sharp objects

This is brilliant – I should have done this years ago. When I still had all my old Ladybird books…


  • There’s even better stuff to come Simon. A friend recently ran an OU summer school practical on the physics of chocolate. This included making reinforced chocolate by adding candy floss.I would have loved to have taken part in that.

  • Plagiarising course work from Ladybird – I’ll bet the tutors have seen that one a few times.
    Old Ladybirds cost a fortune to buy now. The lovely old fairytales go for about £10-15 at our local market, even if they are a bit battered.

  • I feel I’ve missed out here. I never owned a Ladybird book.

  • That’s tantamount to abuse. My friend the Wartime Housewife is an avid collector. They are things of sublime beauty and usefulness…

Leave a Reply