Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer

Common Sense Media says

Delightful sea adventure makes a great first app for tots.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Toddler-friendly app is designed for exploration. Kids simply scroll and tap.

Violence & scariness

The little fishy's adventures lead him into some silly encounters. He's swallowed by a whale and sucked into a sea plant, but he's never harmed, and it's not scary at all. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

The fishy encounters some mild potty humor, which is sure to delight potty-training or recently potty-trained little ones. A bird poops on his boat, a seahorse poops in the water, and larger fish burp out smaller fish.

Consumerism

A logo on the start page links to other apps, but the connection to the app store is protected by a parent-lock code.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is requested. The developer's privacy policy explains the user analytics collected but is not reader-friendly.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer is an open-ended exploration game in which kids take Fins the Fish on an adventure through the ocean, encountering other sea creatures. It's totally toddler-friendly. Kids simply scroll or tap to lead Fins on his way. Yellow dots signal interactive elements, and kids can tap the dots or move Fins over them to see the animation. It all loops, so even if kids pass an adventure, they'll encounter it again. There's some silly, mild potty humor, which is likely to delight little ones. A seagull poops on Fins' boat, and a seahorse poops in the water. Some larger fish eat some smaller fish and then burp them out, too, but it comes across as silly and not scary or gross. 

What kids can learn

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids will relate to the adorable fish, Fins, as they move him through the ocean. The interactions are laugh-out-loud funny for kids, and the design is right on-target for the youngest app users.

Learning Approach

Kids are empowered to control where Fins swims and which sea creatures he interacts with. The silly stories will spark their imaginations, and the open-ended creative play can help literacy skills.

Support

The parent section includes ideas on how to explore Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer with your children to extend their learning. It also includes information on disabling the ad and parent link on the home screen.

What kids can learn

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to use their imaginations as they explore the underwater world and see what different creatures might be doing. Even though there is no text involved, kids can build literacy skills through imaginative play. If kids create a story around Fins, they'll practice narrative skills. Since this may be one of the first apps little ones explore, they'll become familiar with the touchscreen as well as scrolling and tapping gestures. They'll also learn cause and effect as they see that tapping the yellow dot causes an animated interaction. The beauty of Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer is that it's fun, open play for kids -- and that's just how little ones learn.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

What's it about?

Kids find Fins the Fish in his underwater home, where they start playing with him by tapping. They can open and close his front door and blow the horn on his roof. Then Fins swims around, and kids can guide him as he explores the ocean -- both under and above the water. Yellow dots signal that there's some interaction to be seen, such as knocking over a crab’s sand castle, playing mariachi music with a fish band, and eating ice cream with an octopus. The scenes loop so kids can eventually discover all the adventures.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's refreshing to find a preschool app that lets kids explore and play rather than trying to make it "educational" by adding in the ABCs. Fins is adorable, and his adventures are delightful. Little kids can easily explore on their own, but it's also a great cuddle-up-together-and-explore experience for kids to share with parents. There's no set path for the story to take, and no "right" way to play -- kids just get to play. Fins' adventures provide great material for creative storytelling, too, which parents and kids can do together. The sound effects aren't annoying (which is a big plus for a preschool app) and are actually kind of peaceful, just like the sounds of the ocean. Parents looking for a delightfully fun, age-appropriate app for their young preschoolers will appreciate Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer.

Families can talk about...

  • Explore the ocean together, making up a story as you go along. Then have your kid create his or her own story.

  • Before touching the yellow dots that signal an interactive element, ask your kid to predict what might happen when it's touched.

  • The logo link to other apps can be turned off in the device's settings menu.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99
Release date:December 11, 2013
Category:Education
Topics:Ocean creatures
Size:56.80 MB
Publisher:Sago Sago
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later; Android 4.0 and up

This review of Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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