Wednesday, June 26, 2013

{Mosaic Reviews} The Classical Historian: Medieval History Memory Game

 Typically, we are not much of a game playing family.  When we do play games, we always comment on the fun we had or that we should play more often because it's a great activity for family time.  Our children, like ourselves, have varied opinions about playing games.  One son loves to play games and is always asking someone to join him.  One kiddo really dislikes games because he thinks he always loses.  We require him to play at least one round because it's good for developing character...especially when he loses.  Grin.  Our other children don't seem to have a strong opinion either way but almost always join in for fun. 
We were given the opportunity to review a memory game created by The Classical Historian.  This company creates products to teach students history through age appropriate activities.  The memory games are designed for children ages 3 and older and teach chronology, geography, and historical image recognition.  Our memory game covered Medieval History but there are additional memory games covering different time periods.
The game comes packaged nicely in a sturdy, colorful box with game pieces that need to be punched out.  The game pieces are made of thick, glossy cardboard with high quality images.  Each card shows an image and text naming the image.   
Instructions are included to play this 64-card memory game in two ways. 
The first way to play involves matching images in the same style as the classic children's version of memory...placing cards picture side down and taking turns flipping over two at a time to find a match. 
The second way to play is to place the cards in the correct category - Europe, The Americas, Far East, and Arabia.  The player who categorizes the cards most quickly is the winner.  It is important to note that you must keep the paper instructions for the key to which images go in each of the four categories.  I was concerned that we might lose the instructions, therefore the answer key, so I taped it to the inside of the box lid.
 My boys, ages 9 and 10, played the second version of this game by categorizing the pictures under the correct heading.  I didn't time them when they played the game.  I was curious to see how many cards they would place in the correct category since we had studied the Middle Ages this past school year.  They did quite well!  Now that they are familiar with the categories and images, I think it will be fun to time each of them.  Maybe a little brotherly competition?! 
I attempted to have my 3 year old and 6 year old play the memory version of this game, but it was hard to get them interested.  In part, I think it was because I used all the cards for the game...that's 64 cards!  They were overwhelmed.  Next time, I will choose about half of the cards to play the game. 
While I didn't play the game as intended with the younger children, we enjoyed looking through the game pieces and pointing out things that we found interesting about the images.  Doing this activity has value in itself as an avenue to expose the children to topics, people, places, and artwork we will encounter again in the future. 
Overall, I really like the idea behind this memory game series because they have value for the whole family.  They have a simple enough strategy to allow little ones to play and are stimulating enough for older children and adults to learn and review.  The approach to learning is a fun and non-direct instructional time...your kids might not even realize they are learning about history while playing!  I always appreciate activities like this because they seem less "schoolish" to my kids.  Because of that, they are usually quick to jump right in and get involved.  We did enjoy playing this game together!
If you are interested in purchasing this game or learning about other products published by The Classical Historian, please visit their website!


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