Coral Reef by Tinybop

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Coral Reef by Tinybop App Poster Image
See and hear the wonders of reef life, no snorkel required.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Animals and plants that create the coral reef ecosystem. Life cycles and how other animals help dead animals decompose in the ocean. In-app labels and the parent guide that's downloadable from the developer's website add to the learning.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Open-ended play like other Tinybop apps, but this one's a bit simpler, which isn't a bad thing.

Violence & Scariness

Sharks are violent creatures; there's blood in the water when they eat. Watching scavengers eat dead carcasses (even those of sharks) is never pretty.

Sexy Stuff

"Make Creatures" icon in the middle of the intro screen is actually a promotion for another Tinybop app. Tap on it and it opens to a page with many Tinybop apps. Swipe two fingers to access purchasing on the app store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Coral Reef by Tinybop is an interactive free play app for kids to explore undersea life. Coral Reef is Number 10 in Tinybop's Explorer's Library of apps that introduce kids to "big ideas." Kids can hear undersea sounds and read the labels (available in more than 20 languages) of the variety of undersea plants and animals, and there's a parent guide on the Tinybop website to help parents facilitate learning. There are some visually stark scenes of how sea stars and bacteria decompose a dead shark, as well as how sharks eat other sea creatures, but it's nothing close to what kids see during Shark Week or documentary nature shows. However, it's best for kids old enough to understand the life cycle. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 4, 2018

Too much violence and shark attacks for really little kids.

The app is educational, because it shows you what real fish do in their lifetime. There is some violence and blood when a shark eats its prey, but it's not... Continue reading

What's it about?

To play CORAL REEF BY TINYBOP, tap the Play icon, and then watch as a coral reef appears and a hand guides where to tap next. Swipe or tap a sea animal or plant to move it or cause it to interact with other animals and plants in the scene. Return to the selection screen to choose scenes: Cleaner Fish, Seagrass, Parrotfish, Blacktip Reef Shark, Box Jellyfish, Peacock Mantis Shrimp, and Linckia Sea Star. Tap on the label icon to view the vocabulary terms, tap "en" to choose a language, and tap the sound icon to mute sounds.

Is it any good?

Based on the natural beauty of coral reefs that's quickly vanishing, this app is a work of art for kids. Coral Reef by Tinybop uses visuals, sounds, actions, and labels to help kids learn about many aspects of reef life -- from the tiny plants and particles that make up the base of reef ecosystems to large reef sharks and all sizes of animals in between. Kids will likely love hearing the clicking sounds made by shrimp, helping little crabs, and seeing how the sun interacts with the world under the waves. Some kids may not love seeing how a shark catches its prey and how a shark carcass decomposes, but the app definitely shows it like it happens in the wild world under the sea. By exploring the reef on Coral Reefs by Tinybop, perhaps more kids will grow up with a desire to preserve the real ones. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Coral Reef by Tinybop brings users into the undersea world. Ask your kid to describe what they see and what they hear on the app. What do they imagine it would feel like to be a diver in each scene? 

  • If your child is particularly fascinated by one of the sea creatures featured on Coral Reef, find other online or real-life resources to learn more.

  • Download the parent guide for more ways to explore this app and the topic of coral reefs with your kids. 

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science and animals

Themes & Topics

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