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Monster Math Squad

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Monster Math Squad TV Poster Image
Superhero-style monsters solve predicaments with math.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The squad's monsters must use beginning math skills to get out of problems: counting, estimating, addition. Math puzzles are built into storylines about baking muffins or finding a location while walking.

Positive Messages

The show is built around the concept that the monsters are a sort of superhero league, ready to help those who need them. They find other monsters in trouble and help them. Teamwork and curiosity are major themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The monsters on the show are always willing to help any other monster who needs their help, and they always call to the viewer, "Join the squad!" 

Violence & Scariness

Villains are of the comic, non-threatening type -- for example, a monster who eats numbers but is convinced to eat muffins instead. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster Math Squad is a colorful animated series for preschoolers that's mild and adventure-oriented. It's about a group of friendly monsters who solve problems for their friends using math concepts. Villains and conflicts are pretty mellow: Garbage isn't being delivered properly; a neighbor can't bake muffins. There are occasional gross-outs, as when the monsters talk about how yummy "slime sauce" is, but kids will be tickled. Viewers will learn beginning math concepts such as counting, estimation, and comparisons; they're urged to "join the squad!" and learn how to use math. 

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What's the story?

"Somewhere in Monstrovia there's a monster in need, and whenever a monster needs our care, the MONSTER MATH SQUAD will be there!" That's the rallying cry that begins every adventure on the series for preschoolers, starring a trio of monsters: Lily (Julie Sype), Max (Cory Doran), and Goo (Annick Obonsawin). When they turn on their Scream Screen, they can see a monster friend who needs their help. Maybe a pet monster has wandered away during a party in a park, or the Garbage Monster can't figure out how to organize his garbage orders. The squad is there to help. introducing viewers to elementary math concepts such as estimation, counting, and comparison. 

Is it any good?

This animated show is educational enough for parents and loopy enough for small viewers. Monster Math Squad is set in a pleasantly Pee-Wee-esque world where chairs have eyes and the viewer is encouraged to shout out math words. The monsters themselves live in a big monster head, and when they need to leave their house, they slide down a giant tongue. Once out in the world, the monsters have to do things such as count monster sounds so they can help their neighbor locate the number-eating bird who ate the numbers off her kitchen scale. "Count with us!" the monsters urge the viewers. And preschoolers will. Parents may find the chirpy monster voices and the endless counting, repetition of concepts, and shouting a little annoying, but this one's OK for small viewers with or without parental supervision. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters' many adventures in Monster Math Squad. What type of world is Monstrovia? How were their surroundings different there? What problems arose for them? How did they solve them?

  • Parents can use the premise of this show to encourage imaginative play with their kids. Pretend you're visiting another place or time, and draw pictures of what you and your surroundings might look like. What sights would you see? 

  • Families can extend the learning by trying out some of the math concepts introduced on the show -- for example, you cold sort objects, show the difference among big, medium, and small, or estimate how many of something you have or need. 

  • How do the characters in Monster Math Squad demonstrate teamwork and curiosity? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love preschool math

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