It’s no secret that I love math. I’m also a big fan of Fiete, the funny sailor who stars in a line of children’s apps from Ahoiii. So it’s no surprise that I would love Fiete Math. After trying it out with my four-year-old and six-year-old, I think it’s the best counting app I’ve ever seen.
Load Incoming Ships with the Proper Cargo Size
Fiete Math takes place in famous harbors around the world, from US to Germany to China and South Africa. As the ships come to the harbor, they come with a number indicating the required cargo size. Your task is to group and/or separate container boxes so that they fit on deck.
The process of combining boxes together to form a larger cargo is actually addition, whereas slicing a cargo into two smaller ones is subtraction. The grid lines on each cargo allows you to count how many boxes can fit that cargo. This grid system, along with combine/cut mechanism, helps kids to understand the basic concepts of counting, addition, and subtraction. It reminds me of a simpler math game called Sum! which I reviewed mid last year.
Each time you complete a puzzle, the game automatically generates the next puzzle. After you complete four or more puzzles, you get to move to the next level. Within each harbor/stage, you can play up to 10 levels. And, there are seven stages in all.
You start with the basics of counting and how to combine/cut boxes to build a cargo size of up to 20. Next, you learn how to group boxes into a group of 5s or 10s to make things easier to count. Then, you learn the basic strategies in math, such as doubling and halving. You also learn to use both addition and subtraction to solve more complex problems that involve many different constants, such as groups of blocks that can’t be cut into units of ones.
Parents Need to Know
The first few stages in Fiete Math are suitable for ages 3+. Older kids may find these early stages a chore, but I assure you that it’s worth taking the time and effort to unlock the later stages. Simply finish the first five levels of a stage to unlock the next stage. You can then move on to the next stage without finishing all the levels in the current stage.
What makes Fiete Math a great counting app is its decision to use container boxes as movable units. This approach allows kids to associate the combined cargo size with numbers. The app makes it easy for kids to understand the basics of counting, addition, and subtraction by providing a visual way to validate their mental calculation. There is no time limit in the app, so kids can experiment with different approaches until they solve the problem at hand.
Fiete Math works great without an Internet connection. It doesn’t have any in-app purchase, third-party ads, or links to social networks. The app includes over 1,000 consecutive tasks using numbers up to 30. Once these are complete, the app randomly creates tasks from the relevant topic so the fun can go on longer.
Things I Like
Fiete apps are well known for their sailor theme, and Fiete Math is no exception. It cleverly uses container boxes as building blocks that you can move around, cut, and combine, to make any cargo size you like. This approach makes math problems look like real-world problems, instead of just abstract numbers on a piece of paper. By turning these abstract numbers into concrete objects — building blocks made of container boxes — kids can experiment with different combination and easily verify the result of such addition and subtraction by looking at the cargo size label.
I also like the fact that Fiete Math encourages kids to make groups of five boxes and 10 boxes by naming them perfect 5s and beautiful 10s. These visual incentives help kids to solve problems more strategically by thinking in 5s or 10s.
And once you start playing with the puzzles in the later stages, you can truly appreciate the beauty of the game mechanic. By introducing blocks of animals as rewards, the game increases the difficulty level gradually by treating them as constants. Since you can’t cut blocks of animals or blocks on deck, the puzzle becomes more strategic than just your typical math drills.
Fiete Math is the best counting app I’ve ever seen. If you have children between ages 3-7 who are still struggling with the basics of counting, addition, and subtraction up to 30, this is a must have. If your child is already proficient in addition and subtraction, Fiete Math provides them with challenging exercises. The puzzles in the later stages really force you to think strategically instead of using random approaches.
App was provided for our honest review.