Clever Kids Mysteries: Fun for Young Detectives
How’s your summer vacation going? Do your kids love playing outdoors and enjoy the long, care-free days… or are they constantly glued to a screen, jumping on the furniture, and generally driving you crazy?
When my kids start to fall into the behavior I don’t like, I want to redirect them to something else. Especially on days with nasty weather, I want to give them new things to work on and puzzles to solve, rather than yell at them for the hundredth time to stop poking each other!
On a recent rainy day, we received a mystery box from Clever Kids Mysteries – the Mystery at the Lux Museum. Opening the box, the kids were immediately interested in what this mystery might be, and how they could solve it!
Susie, Banks, and Nick are the Clever Kids Detective Agency, and they want your help to solve a mystery! Their field trip to the Lux Museum didn’t quite go as planned, and they ended up pulling a note out of a stuffed alligator’s mouth. Could it be a clue to something Kieran Lux (a notable thief) stole so long ago?
Working through Mystery at the Lux Museum involved some critical reading and pattern matching, as well as careful observation of the “room photos” provided.
From shining a flashlight through a series of strategically placed statues, to using a decoder wheel and some patterning to figure out a symbolic alphabet, my kids were hooked!
Each of the Clever Kids Mysteries encourages logical thinking, using 8 distinct puzzles to give clues to a final solution. In Mystery at the Lux Museum, the puzzles involved some simple math, spatial & pattern recognition skills. They’re just the right level of cleverness to be interesting for upper-elementary school kids.
We’ve played Unlock boxes with our kids in the past, which has been a frustrating experience. They just don’t have enough life experience to understand some of the puzzles, and even “easy” sets are sometimes too hard. Clever Kids Mysteries don’t have that problem, since they’re designed for kids to solve! As long as your kid is a solid reader (and can come to you for help once in a while), they can make progress on their own.
Between an adult, an 8-year-old, and a 10-year-old, we easily solved the mystery in about an hour. It was a great experience, although I unintentionally short-cut a bit of the puzzle by pointing out things that were obvious to me. I wouldn’t mind letting the kids do the next one by themselves, and I know now that they’d enjoy it.
The components in the box were mostly handcrafted from cardstock and paper. It could have been a bit more polished, but the quality of the puzzles is what really matters here. Our kids certainly didn’t mind as they cut, taped, and puzzled away. And it’s hard to beat the price! Priced around $10, it’s a great value to get an hour or more trying something new with your kids.
What Did the Kids Think?
Claire, 10: “It’s a lot more fun than Unlock. I like that there were obvious (ie. discrete) puzzles and they weren’t too hard.” This might be a good group activity for a sleepover or a Girl Scout meeting, too.
Asher, 8: “I feel left out when we try to do an Unlock as a family, and I didn’t feel as much of that.”
Elliot, 4, was interested when we opened the box, but lost interest quickly when every puzzle required some amount of reading. Maybe in a year or two he’ll be ready with some reading skills and a longer attention span.
While writing this review, the kids also asked if we were getting any more Clever Kids Mysteries. We’ll definitely be first in line to buy the next adventure, “Mystery at Eerie Island”, due out in August. I’d love to keep one in stock for our next rainy vacation day!
Clever Kids Mysteries provided The Family Gamers with a copy of Mystery in the Lux Museum for this review.
Clever Kids Mysteries - Mystery at the Lux Museum
Number of Players: 1+
Age Range: 6-12
Playtime: 45-120 minutes, depending on your children