Exciting ways to begin the search for the Magic Island!!
1) "My kids' best friend came over the other day and went crazy over the Magic Island. He is all into secret agent things and said he would faint if someone sent him the agent starter packet in the mail.(He proceeded to describe in detail how I should send it!) I think I just might have to somehow get him involved in the game!" - Denise B. We think that's an excellent idea! Sometimes involving others in the adventure can make it more fun for your kids or can make the adventure more realistic.
2) For the island at the beginning of Magic Island we asked friends who owned a pontoon to bring our family on a pontoon ride. They had an island near their home where we planned to give them their message from Johnson. - Sherrie Veer
A fun 'Airport' experience - One of the things one of my sons liked the most was the security check to get on an airplane. I did a pat down & he happened to have a pocketknife in his pocket, which I promptly confiscated, put a forcefield on it so it wouldn't open & gave it back to him. - Erin M.
Fun "Submarine" ideas!
1) We made a submarine out of a large cardboard refrigerator box, turned on its side. Whenever the kids needed to travel by submarine they had to crawl into the box for the trip. We made some trips take long enough that we even fed them a meal inside their sub! They loved it!
2) To give the kids an idea of what it would be like to be in a submarine for a while, we cleaned out a section of our hall closet and that became their submarine. And just like on airplanes, they got a snack and drink while traveling from Euclidia to wherever they were going.
Turning our SUV into an airliner - I just wanted to let you know that we are having so much fun with the Magic Island. On Saturday my husband and I dressed up crazy and lined the kids up so they could apply for their Visa's and buy their tickets to New Zealand. They had so much fun. We put New Zealand Air signs on both sides of our suburban and 'flew' to the NZ Farmer's Market. It was really fun and our 3 yr old keeps asking 'When are we going to do the show again?' Anyway, thanks for the fun. It is great. - Melissa H.
I am reading about making copies of the island. I have three boys and I would love to do Option-C where I cut out all the rooms and let the island take shape as they explore each room. So my question is, what is the advantage or disadvantage of printing an island for each boy as opposed to having one island for them to share? My original intent was for each kid to have their own island, but now with all the cutting, I'm wondering if it's okay to only have one island for them all to work on. Of course, if it works out better for them each to have their own island, I will put the time in, but I just want to hear your reasoning (pros/cons) behind doing it one way or the other.
The PRO's of having each boy have his own copy of the island map, is that as each one explores a different part of the island, each is learning something different from the others. If all three are working together, they can then share what they are learning and finding. However if one or more are working independently, they may find information that will be useful to help them advance faster. For example, the first child to enter certain rooms and look in desks, drawers, etc will be the one to find and "own" various items. The CON's of having each boy own his own copy of the island map is that it will take you more time to produce and keep track of the various rooms each child has entered. One way to simplify the production would be to place the "level-one" pages of all your kids together and cut out the rooms together. Doing this for each level will reduce cutting time. NOTE: The more YOU put into the adventure, the more it becomes yours - and the more fun it will be for your whole family!
Can you please tell me how the kids are supposed to translate the coded messages from Johnson?
The messages from Johnson are in Morse code. If your kids are old enough, I would suggest that you let them figure out not only that it is Morse code, but also what the translation is. They may have to look up the code in an encyclopedia or something, but when they figure it out, it is really a sense of accomplishment! Of course, if your kids are younger, you might have to give them clues. Also, as you know, YOU don't have to figure anything out since all the answers to the puzzles are in Appendix C of the Field Guide. Look on the third page of Appendix C for the translation of Johnson's messages.
Once an agent is stopped by a guard and items in his possession is taken away, how does he get it back?
When an agent has his items taken by a guard, those items may be placed in any of the storage rooms on the island that you choose. You will need to remember where you 'put' them. Unfortunately for that agent, he no longer knows where those items are and has to search for them again. If he goes into that storage room (or wherever you put them), those items will again be 'found' by that agent. However, if ANOTHER agent goes into that storage room, they too might find those items! A number of variations: 1) You can choose to NOT allow a different agent to obtain items taken from the original agent. Although this variation may be useful (perhaps to help younger players, etc) it's usually better to make the taken items available to other agents. This can help them develop better strategies for handling their items - or for working together. 2) If caught by G-47 (or if you choose, ANY guard), instead of putting the agent's possessions into ONE storeroom, they could be scattered among different locations around the island - or placed back in their original starting locations. When we did this adventure with our kids, we used this option with G-47 and it made the kids 'terrified' to be caught by him!
What do you mean by kids "working together"?
All the adventures have been designed to work with single child families. So, if you have multiple children, they may each work on the same adventure totally independently. However, most of the adventures have also been designed to encourage children to work together to achieve their goals more quickly or easily. For example, in Magic Island, one child might be finding certain items, while another takes those items to their quarters where the guards won't find them. They can then share any common information and items that have been found.