Lizard Island! New Game Teaches Children about Ecology & Science

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Lizard Island: Observation is the newest educational game creation of a group of biology-centric parents who became exasperated with the scientific inaccuracies in children’s books and games and decided to create their own.

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Hop in a canoe, cruise around Lizard Island, explore the environment, and catch some critters! 

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Children get to be ecologists! You catch a lizard by circling the animal on the screen with your finger.

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Then you can touch and drag a ruler and use other tools to take measurements and learn about your lizards.

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Touch an icon and it pops up questions or facts about the plant or animal.

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Each step adds new data to a field notebook and expands the number and type of tools available for more advanced research.


Catching more lizards allows access to the bigger islands where there are more creatures and more diverse ecologies.

We received a free download code to try this out and this is so much fun for kids and so educational! My son thought it was cool!

More information:

Lizard Island Observation

Dr. Kristine Callis-Duehl, Katy Castronovo and Karen Boley


$4.99 retail

Published by Budding Biologist.

Comes in both Android and Apple versions.

Available at the Google Play store and the Apple iTunes store.


Lizard Island is a tablet-based game designed for students from grades one through five, and is in line with the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as Common Core Standards.


Players search micro islands for brown anole lizards, which they must catch, tag, and measure. Along the way, players can tap on various island life to learn more about it. Facts, questions, and answers are recorded in a field notebook. The game is appropriate for non-readers or those with learning disabilities, as players have the option to have the text read aloud. The game is recommended for children in grades K-5.


The school version will also have lesson plans and assessment tools for teachers and homeschoolers.


Lizard Island: Observation is the first in a series of 3 video games created in collaboration with scientists at UC Davis, who have been studying the ecology of a series of micro islands in the Bahamas. These data have been used to make Lizard Island as scientifically accurate as possible.  The creators received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the development of the project.


For more information visit

About the Creators

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Dr. Kristine Callis-Duehl


Dr. Kristine (Kris) Callis-Duehl has a PhD in Biology from the University of Florida. She is a post-doc at the University of California-Irvine and conducts research at UC-Davis. She has been published in the academic literature for her research on plant-insect interactions and plant defense as well as on science education. She lives outside of Sacramento, CA with her husband and two young boys.

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Katy Castronovo


Katy Castronovo is an artist and mother. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing from Ohio State University in 2007. Since graduating, she has been self-employed doing projects that range from graphic design to murals to illustration. She is delighted to be one of the founders of Budding Biologist, where she is the Illustrator and Art Director, and is grateful for the excellent team of collaborators that it has become! Katy currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two young children.

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Karen Boley


Karen Boley is the education director at Budding Biologist. She has a BA in elementary education from the University of Mount Union and an MS in language education from Indiana University, with a focus on ESL and reading. She has over a decade of experience as a teacher and an administrator both in the U.S. and Switzerland, and is currently involved with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to feature. I did receive a free download code.

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