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Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2012

Mermaid Waters HD: A Story-based Preschool Math Game

Strong early math game with enchanting mermaid story

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Pros: Story-based game reels kids in, makes learning fun.

Cons: No easy way for teachers to view reports for multiple students.

Bottom Line: Engaging games cover a broad range of kinder math CCSS.

Use Mermaid Waters as an in-class math station option. Kids drawn to sea creatures or mermaids will be thrilled with the story, but won't miss out on any quality math practice. Signing up to receive reports for each student would be pretty cumbersome for a teacher, but the reports could be an excellent parent-communication tool to show parents what kids are working on, doing well on, and struggling with. If kids have daily or weekly at-home math skills practice, Mermaid Waters would be a good option, one that kids would look forward to playing (and learning) with.

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Editor's Note: Mermaid Waters has closed and is no longer available.

Mermaid Waters: A Story-based Preschool Math Game consists of math mini-games aimed at kids in pre-K and kindergarten. Kids help mermaids 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 number in them. Targeted skills include number recognition, addition, comparisons, shapes, and pattern completion. After kids play a game to rescue a sea creature, they earn a sticker they can play with in the "stickery." Parents can sign up to receive progress reports that include an explanation of the targeted skills and games, but there's no teacher dashboard to provide a snapshot of an entire class.

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 activities are aligned with several Common Core State Standards for kinder math and are done in a fun and motivating way. The overall theme of Hana and Cory rescuing sea creatures is maintained throughout the activities and levels, and provides a great way to drive the plot and activities forward. The sticker reward system is a fun addition for kids.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Mermaid fans will love playing. The story-based theme keeps kids engaged and adds purpose to the activities. The sticker reward system is a fun touch.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Great range of early math skills develops depth in number literacy. Even with the story-based rescue, math is baked in to each mini-game.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Parents or teachers can sign up to receive detailed reports about kids' progress. Kids don't receive much feedback about their answers, though.

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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