Why we love the Prodigy Math game for elementary-aged kids

A parent’s review of the Online Prodigy Math game

To my son, Prodigy is an epic adventure game where he uses MATH MAGIC to win battles and earn pets and prizes. As a parent, Prodigy is a free math game that allows me to feel good about allowing him screen time.

How it all started…

My son started playing Prodigy in 1st grade as a student in a public school. Everyone in his class had an account and they played Prodigy on their Chromebooks during school hours.

After school, he could still log in as his player, or ahem, WIZARD, and choose “Home” to continue battling and playing Prodigy at home. At first, we weren’t sure about this extra screen time, but as a parent, Prodigy has won me over. Read more below to find out why…

The Prodigy Math game for kids allows students to choose if they are playing in class or at home.
Prodigy: Are you playing at home or in class?

So, tell me more about this educational game

First and foremost, it’s a safe game. There is no third-party advertising and it’s a closed environment. Although you can meet up with friends and classmates, the messages you can say to each other are pre-programmed. There is no way for your child to share personal information on this platform.

Secondly, it’s educational. My son spends hours each week, by his own choice, answering math questions and learning new math skills. Not even 3-months into his 4th-grade year and he’s already 82% of the way through Prodigy’s 4th-grade curriculum.

So, how does Prodigy make math fun? Here’s a little about the magic.

The Prodigy World

This math adventure game allows players to explore the Prodigy World, unlocking new areas as they go.

Prodigy World Map
Prodigy World Map

Role Playing – Create and Customize Your Character

Prodigy Island is full of diverse Wizards. A favorite activity in the game (other than battling) is customizing your Wizard. Players can change outfits, hats, wands, relics, boots, buddies, and more.

Prodigy wizard character customization options.
Prodigy character customization options.

What’s the difference between Buddies and Pets on Prodigy?

Both Buddies and Pets are a BIG deal in the Prodigy world.

You buy Buddies in Prodigy which is different than Pets which are only rescued. Buddies follow you wherever you go, but buddies do not battle with you. Pets do battles with you. After a battle, you earn stars to level up that pet. Rescued pets are not always on the same level that you are on.

Your Prodigy Team - Your Pets and Pet Book
Your Prodigy Team – Your Pets and Pet Book

Cute Mummy Puppy – A Pumpkinfest Buddy

This cute “Mummy Puppy” leaps behind you, wagging his tail!

My son loves Prodigy. He also loves math and thinks math is cool!

Prodigy is a game that he talks about with classmates. In third and fourth-grade classrooms, there’s “Prodigy Lore” like hacking into Prodigy and leveling up past LEVEL 100, which as of October 2021 is not possible as the Prodigy website confirms that 100 is the top level.

Our teacher friend remarked, “I love that Prodigy is your son’s jam!” Me, too! Our whole family is a big fan of Prodigy and it’s been a lifesaver, especially during the last two years of remote learning/hybrid learning due to Covid.

As a fourth-grader, my son has chosen to include “Playing Prodigy” more than once on this fall’s Joyful Pumpkin. He describes Prodigy as a “very fun math game” and is even willing to pay for half of the premium monthly price out of his own allowance.

Writing joys on a gratitude pumpkin
“Playing Prodigy” is one of our fourth-graders joys. Learn more about our Joyful Pumpkin family project.

Prodigy Player Engagement Tactics

Prodigy engages children and encourages them to log in and play Prodigy daily by offering “daily bonuses” and even seasonal extras.

For example, everyday players can spin two wheels to collect random prizes. There’s also a Bounty Board and daily quests.

Seasonal Festivals

Seasonal festivals add variety to the Prodigy World. In the fall, the world of Prodigy celebrates Pumpkinfest and later in the year transforms into a winter wonderland during Winterfest!

During the festivals, characters explore the newly decorated worlds and Lamplight Town Square, which is my son’s favorite place to visit. There are daily tasks and new currency, like snowflakes and candy corn, which you earn as bonuses after battles. You can purchase special festival gear with these new currencies, like new hats and outfits.

Is it worth paying for the annual Prodigy Math game membership?

The biggest reason to purchase a membership is that Prodigy members get better in-game stuff! Membership is about the rewards, the pets, and the gear…it’s definitely about the extras.

For instance, during Pumpkinfest, non-members can purchase a pumpkin from the event shop, but members have three pumpkin designs to choose from.

There’s also the Dark Tower, an area of the Prodigy World that is only available to members. For fun, Premium Members’ “morph marbles” make you look like a pet for a set amount of time. There are also member-only potions that help you during battle to replenish power. Another factor, non-members are limited to 10 pets, and Premium Members get 100 and get to evolve each one.

Prodigy pricing is $9.99 to $14.95 a month, with annual prices from $75 to $100 yearly. This could be a great Christmas Gift or birthday gift idea (here are other elementary-aged gift ideas, too).

Other Prodigy Member Benefits

My son completed the 100 levels of Prodigy two years or more ago. This means much of the adventure and exploration part of the game is completed. More recently, Prodigy rolled out “Mystical Epics,” which, according to a Prodigy parent email, are the “most premium-level creatures in the Prodigy world and are a part of your paid plan. Unlike other pets, their origins travel back to the start of the Prodigy world as the first creatures of magic!”

To earn a monthly Mystical Epic, players must follow clues to find items like magical vines, battle, and sign in to play regularly over time. A Mystical Epic can not be earned in one sitting. The monthly Mystical Epics have reignited the excitement of playing Prodigy for my son.

His favorite mystical Epic to date is September 2022.

Photo Credit: Prodigy Math Game, Gyrphroom Mystical Epic (Sept 2022)
Photo Credit: Prodigy Math Game, Gyrphroom Mystical Epic (Sept 2022)

Create a Parent Prodigy Account

After about a year, I created a parent prodigy account. I’m so glad I did because I now see progress reports of my children’s grade-level curriculum progress.

Prodigy Math game report shows current math skills working on and mastered.
Shows current math skills working on and mastered.
Prodigy game curriculum progress
Prodigy game curriculum progress

Weekly Summary Emails for Parents

During the pandemic, my son was quarantined for two weeks. During this time at home, he completed a whopping 552 math questions on Prodigy! Not a bad use of time!!!

Weekly summaries are progress are sent to parents with active parent accounts on Prodigy.
Weekly emails are sent to registered parents. You can see how many questions were answered that week and click for a more detailed report.
Example of the pieces of paper I find laying around the house; they're covered with equations solved to win battles in the children's math game Prodigy.
An example of the pieces of paper I find lying around the house; they’re covered with equations solved to win battles in the children’s math game Prodigy.

Send In-Game Cheers and Rewards

As a parent, I can send cheers to my child that they receive as mail in the game. I can also set goals based on the number of math questions they get correct. When the goal is met a surprise or a reward I’ve hand-selected is delivered. My son, especially, loves receiving these in-game bonuses!

An example of a Prodigy Math Game Goal and Reward Parent Email
An example of a Prodigy Math Game Goal and Reward Parent Email

Explore the World of Prodigy

When asked where his favorite place to go is, he said he didn’t know… I like them all. But he did say he liked Lamplight Town, a lot! Here’s a picture of the Town Center. It’s usually pretty busy with wizards!

Lamplight Town, Prodigy
Lamplight Town, Prodigy

Every wizard needs a place to call home

You can buy houses, but my son reports that they’re really expensive on the island of Prodigy(just like in the real world, son!) My son’s prized possessions in his LARGE Prodigy house are a trampoline, a video game, a beanbag, three stuffed animals, and a golden bathtub! There’s even a large table that he calls the “Thanksgiving table!”

Large Prodigy Member house, equipped with trampoline and golden bathtub (but you can't get in it!)
Large Prodigy Member house, equipped with trampoline and golden bathtub (but you can’t get in it!)

Just for Fun

Dyno Dig is a timed mini-game that has you dig up items that once collected go into your museum. Professor Scoog owns Dyno Dig and you can buy stuff from him or dig in his pit for fossils. The mini-game prompts you with hot, warm, cold, ice-cold, and dig dig dig to guide you around the archeological site.

A museum full of fossils from the Dyno Dig.
His wizard’s museum is full of fossils from the Dyno Dig.

We’d love to hear about your experience with Prodigy.

Feel free to leave a message in the comments.

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Wondering why we LOVE the Prodigy Math game for elementary-aged kids? Well, maybe that my son answered and solved over 500 math questions last week for FUN! Learn more on our write-up.

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