Monday, July 15, 2013

Dig It Games- Mayan Mysteries Review

There are a lot of educational games and apps out there.  But what some consider educational and what I myself consider educational and a great learning experience for my children is usually two separate things.  Dig-it Games has released a wonderful history option for children and we have been super excited to keep using it.

Recently Lydia and I studied about the Mayan culture while studying about Belize for our American Girl Club.  We had read a lot of items here and there, but it was very difficult to find more age appropriate materials for her to watch.  I wish we would have known about Mayan Mysteries while we were going through this unit back in December.

Lydia and I played Mayan Mysteries ($21.99 for Grades 5 and up) for quite a while, and we really enjoyed it.  This is such a great game for not only history study about the Mayan culture and people, but it's fun if your child is thinking about archaeology for a career.

A looter has been digging up Mayan cities, steeling artifacts.  But this looter is looking for something very specific.  Team Q needs to help Professor Alex Quinn and his niece and nephew Fiona and Charlie to solve this mystery.

Explore the ancient Mayan world and culture and really learn about this fascinating culture.  There are tons of puzzles to do, glyphs to decode, scientific advancements to learn about that the Mayan were working on and discovered.

You get to explore Mayan sites, analyze artifacts, learn about their math system, their calendar all while having fun uncovering the mystery through the clues given to you.

You can try a sample of the program by visiting the Dig-it Games/Mayan Mysteries website.  Or you can watch this short video demo.

How did we enjoy this game?  We really liked it.  It is for Grades 5 and up, so Lydia found it a little difficult.  But since we had just studied the Mayan Culture she also found it really cool to recognize so many things that we had looked at.  Joey sat with us while playing it too.  He loved the comic book style of so many of the pages.

This program allows for not only fun, but also helps with vocabulary.  I was very impressed with the amount of vocabulary and details laid out for kids.  If it was possible that a child might not know what a word means, Dig-it Games made sure to provide a link inside the game to explain that to them.

I was very impressed then we would click on those links and find that the word and definition were read to the child.  So even struggling readers, like Lydia, could play this game!!!   All the pages have a read-along button for the child to press and have the page read to them.  This was also great for special needs learners whose brains and eyes do not also work together. I liked that you really needed to go through all the information before you could advance onto the challenges.  That eliminated Joey from trying to quick click and avoid the important information.

There is a lot of reading with this program.  Which kind of bored Joey, but if you are studying the Mayan culture Mayan Mysteries is a definite purchase for your study unit. Will we continue to use Mayan Mysteries?  Yep....without a doubt.  It's a great go-to when the kids are done with their work or I need to distract them while working with another child.  I know that they are learning something and not just playing with the avatar or building up their house on another learning game and not actually doing learning activities.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try Mayan Mysteries both online or the iPad App.  Please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog and see how this program worked with their families.


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