Magic Tree House Activity Roundup #linky

Magic Tree House series

by Mary Pope Osborne

magic tree house

Books from the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne were the very first chapter books I ever read to Luke and Lilah.  Luke was almost 3 years old when we began, and Lilah was 18 months old.  Luke would always request I read the whole book in one sitting!!  Lilah’s attention span was obviously not that long, but she would usually play in the same room once she tired of sitting with us, while continuing to listen.  At their current ages of almost 5 and 3-12, both L&L still love to read about Jack and Annie, the main characters in the series, and sometimes my own two remind me so much of Jack and Annie that I just have to laugh!

The premise of the series is that Jack and Annie, who are brother and sister, find a tree house in the woods near their house that is filled with books.  They soon learn that the tree house is magic, and they can be transported to places in the books, both back in time and into the future, by pointing at the picture and saying, “I want to go there!”  They find out the magic tree house belongs to Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s sister, who is a magical librarian, and she sends them on various adventures and missions.

There are 28 books in the original series, which was started in 1992 when Dinosaurs Before Dark was published.  After the 28th book, Mary Pope Osborne started a second series called the Magic Tree House “Merlin Missions.”  These books are longer than the previous 28, and feature Merlin the Magician.  Currently, there are 48 completed books in the Magic Tree House series, with more continually being released.  The next is due out in March of 2013.

These are not only fun read alouds for littles, they make good chapter books for proficient independent readers!

More About the Series

  • The first 28 books in the series have about 60 pages each.
  • The books are fiction, but usually contain at least a bit of accurate historical, geographical, or other factual information, so often people use these to help teach history and/or geography.  Many of the fiction books also have a separate nonfiction companion / research guide / fact tracker book that goes along with them.  It’s also easy to do themed activities along with the books, so they work well in many homeschool settings from preschool to kindergarten to elementary grades.
  • The books are filled with content specific vocabulary and make for pretty quick reads if an adult is reading as a read aloud.  The books also have pretty controlled vocabulary, so they make for good first chapter books for independent reading by beginning readers.
  • We personally have read some of the books 5+ times each because L&L enjoy them so much, and we have read book titles #1-12 so far, as well as a few random others.
  • These books are best read in order because the story line connects, but they can be read in any order because the story does stand alone enough that it shouldn’t be confusing.
  • There is an official website — — which features some fun activities and printables (including a passport guide where you can track the books you’ve read).
  • There is also a musical version of the series: Magic Tree House: The Musical.  One of the authors of the musical is Mary Pope Osborne’s husband, Will.  L&L *love* listening to the musical!!  It provides a nice oral summary of the series.


Is there anything I might find objectionable or of concern?

  • If you have objections to reading about magic, I’m sure it is obvious this is not the series for you. 😉
  • The topics in the books, in my opinion, are pretty “safe” for the older toddler and preschool set on up.  I did skip a few books when we first started reading, like Mummies in the Morning, and waited until I thought the kids were ready for that sort of content.  My oldest tends to be sensitive and easily scared, but we read it when he was 4 and he was fine with it.  My youngest isn’t phased by any of it, so I don’t have to be as careful about content with her.  You know your child and what is best for him/her!!
  • The wording in the books, in my opinion, is also pretty safe.  I think the only thing I’ve ever changed while reading aloud is that sometimes Jack says, “I’m going to kill you!” to his sister, and I simply adjust that to, “I’m going to get you!” since I find the first instance rather strongly worded and I’d rather my children not say that to each other.


Titles in the Series

  1. Dinosaurs Before Dark
  2. The Knight at Dawn
  3. Mummies in the Morning
  4. Pirates Past Noon
  5. Night of the Ninjas
  6. Afternoon on the Amazon
  7. Sunset of the Sabertooth
  8. Midnight on the Moon
  9. Dolphins at Daybreak
  10. Ghost Town at Sundown
  11. Lions at Lunchtime
  12. Polar Bears Past Bedtime
  13. Vacation Under the Volcano
  14. Day of the Dragon King
  15. Viking Ships at Sunrise
  16. Hour of the Olympics
  17. Tonight on the Titanic
  18. Buffalo Before Breakfast
  19. Tigers at Twilight
  20. Dingoes at Dinnertime
  21. Civil War on Sunday
  22. Revolutionary War on Wednesday
  23. Twister on Tuesday
  24. Earthquake in the Early Morning
  25. Stage Fright on a Summer Night
  26. Good Morning Gorillas
  27. Thanksgiving on Thursday
  28. High Tide in Hawaii
  29. Christmas in Camelot
  30. Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve
  31. Summer of the Sea Serpent
  32. Winter of the Ice Wizard
  33. Carnival at Candlelight
  34. Season of the Sandstorms
  35. Night of the New Magicians
  36. Blizzard of the Blue Moon
  37. Dragon of the Red Dawn
  38. Monday with a Mad Genius
  39. Dark Day in the Deep Sea
  40. Eve of the Emperor Penguin
  41. Moonlight on the Magic Flute
  42. A Good Night for Ghosts
  43. Leprechaun in Late Winter
  44. A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time
  45. A Crazy Day with Cobras
  46. Dogs in the Dead of Night
  47. Abe Lincoln at Last
  48. A Perfect Time for Pandas
  49. Stallion at Starlight — coming in March 2013

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  • Tarah says:

    My four and a half year old daughter loves this series! We went to the library today to pick up #24-26. I usually have to read them all the way through too, if I try to stop she begs to keep going. They are very cute stories!