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Archive for February 15th, 2011

Hi my name is Satori I am six. I’m learning   how to type! I am really interested in things made out of  leafs in stuff  like that I really like drawing them.

Mouse House

Today Satori had her first Top Secret Adventure in Kenya (by Highlights), and she loved it! I had this subscription back when she was four, but at that time, there was no way we could have done it. Your child needs to be able to read, write, and figure out puzzles pretty well to take full advantage of this. Their suggested age of 7-12 years is pretty right on. So I cancelled it after getting the first four countries. After trying it again this year (Satori is 6 but can read/write), we’ve renewed our subscription!

Your first package will be free (except for shipping and handling) and ours consisted of the Japan kit, a world map, passport and stickers. From then on, every five weeks, you’ll be sent a new country (for $13.95 plus $3.45 S&H). You get a folder with your puzzle and guide book, plus a white resealable bag with a puzzle. I’m going to review our experience with the Kenya package “The Nail-biter in Nairobi”. When you get your package, your child won’t know the country until it’s opened.

The puzzle will say “Open Me First”, so open that and complete the puzzle. The puzzle was 36 pieces. Read the puzzle to find out which country is covered, and what your Top Secret Mission will be.

Your child should then find the country on the World Map and stamp the passport. Next she’ll look at the list of villains. There are six, and you’ll notice a lot of plays on words.

You’ll separate these into 6 full-color cards with pictures of the villains. One of these suspects is the person involved in the crime your child will be solving!

Throughout the experience, your child will be solving Who Did It, What Was Stolen and Where It’s Hidden. In the 33-page Kenya Puzzle Book, here’s a sample puzzle, where you find the suspects at a Nairobi market. One is missing, so you can cross that suspect off your list.

You’ll also get an awesome 33 page book – Guide to Kenya. It’s full-color and very informative. Although the puzzle book is consumable, this Guide Book is one you can keep on your shelf for reference later.

You’ll need it to help solve several puzzles in the puzzle book. We learned so much about Kenya, such as geography, culture, history, foods, plants, animals, language, and more.

There were 14 puzzles total in the puzzle book, such as word puzzles, mazes, crosswords, math puzzles, trivia, word search, etc… Each one eliminates either one suspect, item, or place.

In the back of the book, you’ll be crossing off the list as you figure puzzles out. Eventually, the mystery will be solved! It took us several hours to solve the mystery, that included a few breaks, and Mommy skimming the fairly extensive guide book to help with the answers. (I promised people a review, and didn’t’ expect it to take this long, so I gave Satori some help with reading.) If your child is reading  and searching for clues with no parental help, I would suggest breaking it up into several days.

For more information, check out their Sampler PDF file and their main page. It’s pretty detailed. Their customer service is great. I was able to cancel two years ago once I realized it wasn’t for my 4-year old, and just as easily reinstated my service. The lady was very kind when I said I got a few countries but lost a few. She said don’t worry, we’ll send you all the ones you lost for free (as I paid for them once), and will skip the ones I already have, and my service will continue on with the countries I haven’t received yet. How convenient! She also gave me a list of the total countries they are offering.

Top Secret Adventures Country List

  1. Japan (with welcome kit) – “The Riddle of The Rising Sun”
  2. Australia – “The Dilemma Down Under
  3. Mexico – “The Mystery South of the Border”
  4. Kenya – “Nail-biter in Nairobi”
  5. France – “The Left Bank Baffler”
  6. Great Britain – “Trouble on the Thames”
  7. Egypt – “The Puzzle in the Pyramids”
  8. Brazil – “The Ruckus in Rio”
  9. China – “Mayhem on the Mainland”
  10. Italy – “The Colosseum Calamity”
  11. Spain – “The Incident in Iberia”
  12. India – “The Pickle in Delhi
  13. South Korea – “The Snafu in Seoul”
  14. Argentina – “The Problem on the Pampas”
  15. Germany – “The Bummer in Berlin”
  16. Canada
  17. Russia – “The Menace in Moscow”
  18. Peru – “Emergency in the Andes”
  19. South Africa – “The Cape Town Caper”
  20. Greece – “Panic at the Parthenon”
  21. Costa Rica – “The Impasse on the Isthmus”
  22. Sweden – “The Stumper in Stockholm”
  23. Thailand – “The Boggler in Bangkok”
  24. New Zealand – “The Kiwi Conundrum”
  25. Ireland – “The Error in Eire”
  26. Ecuador – “The Query in Quito”

Later this week, we should be getting our first Which Way USA? packets on Florida and Texas, so I’ll provide another review on that Highlights subscription as well. I’ll also give a Little Passports description later this week.