Fuzzy Numbers: Pre-K Number Foundation

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Fuzzy Numbers: Pre-K Number Foundation App Poster Image
Practice estimation and number sense in fun scenes.

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice estimating and comparing quantities. They'll work with concepts of less and more by comparing groups of items with different quantities. Kids also exercise basic addition and subtraction skills by estimating the quantities of items. This kind of easy flexibility and familiarity with number and quantity may give kids a good foundation for future math concepts.

Ease of Play

It's easy to tap and navigate through the home screen and games. However, though there's always a right and wrong answer on every level, it's not always clear exactly what kids are supposed to do.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fuzzy Numbers: Pre-K Number Foundation focuses on giving kids practice making general estimations about quantity, addition, and subtraction. In some games kids choose which of two groups has more or fewer items. In others, kids watch groups of items combining or separating and estimate which of two groups better represents the correct number of items. Parents can create multiple accounts so kids follow their own learning path, but at the time of this review there were some technical difficulties with the app remembering the level reached in each account from session to session. There's no audio instruction, so prereaders will either have to figure things out by trial and error or rely on a grown-up to play with them. The app was inspired by academic research that suggests that kids get a short-term boost in their math performance after playing games about number sense. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

FUZZY NUMBERS: PRE-K NUMBER FOUNDATION calls on kids to exercise a basic sense of number and quantity. In each of four magical worlds, kids intuitively choose between two groups with a different number of items. Lead the whale on the path that has the fewest buoys. Watch a witch as she throws potion ingredients into a cauldron. Choose the cauldron that has the same total number of ingredients. Estimating quantity gets harder as kids progress through the levels.

Is it any good?

Lovely graphics and a fun, magical theme lead kids through games of subitizing, or estimating amounts without numerals. Fuzzy Numbers: Pre-K Number Sense gives kids lots of practice with making intuitive judgments about the quantity of items in a group. Level after level, kids choose which of two groups of items meets the requested criteria. All the whimsy of the magical land and the fun context of each game may be enough of a package to distract some kids from the repetition. Others may tire quickly. With no audio instructions, kids are free to explore and discover on their own. However, since there's a clear task to complete and a definite right and wrong answer choice, the complete lack of instruction may confuse some kids. Since most kids playing this game likely can't read yet, grown-ups should be prepared to play with kids and read the written instructions out loud. Despite a few shortcomings, Fuzzy Numbers: Pre-K Number Sense gets kudos for putting together an academic-research background with an imaginative, playful presentation to try to help kids build a solid early math foundation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about quantity, the main theme of Fuzzy Numbers: Pre-K Number Foundation. Count things you see around you -- from stairs to snack crackers -- to give kids practice with associating number and quantity.

  • Practice basic addition and subtraction with your kids. Divide groups of blocks into smaller groups, and take one item away and add it back and see what happens.

  • Play with your kids and read the simple instructions to make it really clear what kids are supposed to get from the game. Particularly on early levels, help kids count if they're having trouble with the concepts of less and more.

App details

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For kids who love preschool math apps

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