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Daily iPad App: Murky Reef is a fun, underwater game that'll improve math and language skills

There are apps that teach your kids math and apps that teach your kids language arts and then there are some like Murky Reef by Frolyc that teach them both. Murky Reef targets the younger elementary group with a series of apps that teaches math, English, critical thinking and logic. All these skills are presented in an entertaining, underwater-themed game. For this review, I am focusing on the Murky Reef app for first and second graders which has both language arts and math.

Murky Reef has an underwater theme that stars Puff, a puffer fish. The puffer fish is slowly being pursued by Ogee the shark and must be saved by your child's correct answers. Children are presented with five problems and each correct answer will help the puffer fish grow. When the fish gets big enough, he can spew hot lava on the shark and chase the predator away. There's also a variety of underwater sea creatures which your child can earn. The creatures are helpful as each one has a different weapon that can temporarily push the shark away.

The Murky Reef version that I tested was broken down into 22 different sections that cover subtraction from 1-20, spelling, addition, sentence formation, number patterns and more. There's even a few quiz sections that cover a topic like sharks. After reading a passage, children must answer a series of questions that test their reading comprehension. Between the math, grammar and reading, the breadth of information covered in this app is impressive.

The graphics are colorful, the sound effects whimsical and the overall feel of the app is fun. My kids enjoyed the storyline and loved it when the puffer fish spit out lava on the shark. Besides learning about ABCs and 123s, the app also has tidbits of information on the undersea animals. With your reading help, your child can learn about the octopus, sea stars, sharks, puffer fish and more.

From a parent's point of view, the iPad app has one feature that most apps overlook -- support for multiple children. I have more than one child and each one can setup their own profile. They can choose their profile and all their achievements will be saved separately. Parents can even pull up an individual reports that keep track of each child's progress.

The Murky Reef:1st - 2nd Grade Reading, Science & Math app that I reviewed costs US$4.99. With 22 different exercises, progress reports and multiple profile support, it's well worth the cost.

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