Mermaid Waters HD: A Story-based Preschool Math Game

App review by
Cynthia Chiong, Common Sense Media
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Colorful games engage as kids learn early math concepts.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn key preschool math concepts with Mermaid Waters, including number recognition, quantity discrimination, size, and early addition (How much is 3+2?). Overall, the activities are simple, focusing on the task at hand, yet fun. The app provides clear, illustrative examples so kids can easily see the concept. More feedback and reinforcement from the app or parents would help take it even further. The overarching theme, while simple, helps keep activities more like a game than work. Mermaid Waters was clearly designed to be a fun way for kids to learn early math skills.

Ease of Play

Game play is kid-friendly and intuitive. The app gives prompts with instructions at the beginning, and also when players aren't taking any action. A nice menu shows overall progress throughout the game.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mermaid Waters: A Story-based Preschool Math Game consists of math mini-games aimed at preschoolers. Kids help Hana and Cory rescue sea creatures as they tackle math problems, such as identifying the ice cube with more or fewer fish trapped in it, and popping bubbles with a target number in it. Once they've rescued a sea creature, kids earn a sticker they can play with in the "stickery." Parents can also sign up to receive progress reports that include an explanation of the target skills and games.

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What's it about?

In MERMAID WATERS, kids cycle through math mini-game activities. In one game, for example, they compare the quantity or size of two items, with a 50-50 shot at getting the right answer. For number recognition, kids get a number and have to find all the bubbles with that number in it. For early addition, they get a basic addition problem along with appropriate objects and count the number of objects to solve the problem. The theme of rescuing sea creatures keeps the action going.


Is it any good?

Mermaid Waters is a great way to engage kids in math. More feedback would help kids understand when they've gotten an answer correct or incorrect, however the activities are in line with what kids learn in preschool and they're done in a fun and motivating way. The overall theme of Hana and Cory rescuing sea creatures is carried out throughout the activities and levels and is a great way to drive the plot and activities forward. The sticker reward system is a fun touch for kids.

As for parents, other apps provide progress reports, but Mermaid Waters takes it a step further by including explanations to help parents understand the goals of the activities and also by suggesting everyday activities so learning doesn’t stop with the app.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Sign up for a Stickery account to get progress reports and ideas for extending learning with everyday activities.

  • Watch along with kids as they play and explain why they got an answer right or wrong.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love math

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