With some kids on holiday, and more about to take a break from school for Chinese New Year, the time is right to stock up on some educational, yet entertaining, math apps to help sharpen the skills of the young minds in the family.
The first app in our math roundup is Grow Your Garden by Learning Yard. This adorable app uses visual cues in the shape of water droplets to encourage kids to add and subtract the correct amount of water for each flower that they grow in their garden. Little by little, the plants get properly cared for and eventually fill your child’s garden. Reina (4.5 years of age) enjoyed solving the problems to get to the flowers, with only occasional assistance from mama and baba. Grow Your Garden is rated 4+ and is available for $0.99 for the iPhone and $1.99 for the iPad at the App Store.
The developers at Pirate Trio have produced a winner with Love to Count, a pirate-themed introduction to numbers as indicators of order, time, weight, and quantity. There are hundreds of tasks for children aged 4-7 to accomplish in order to gain rewards for their treasure chests. I was particularly impressed when it asked Reina to locate items on her left and right as this is a concept many kids (and some adults) struggle to master. Pirate Trio has added simple statistics page that allows parents to track the progress of each child by indicating how much of the app a child has completed and the amount of problems that were completed correctly on the first attempt. It’s a great start at providing parents with some useful feedback. Love to Count is currently my daughter’s favorite math app and it is wonderful to see her math skills improving. Love to Count is available at the App Store for $3.99 here.
Space Math is one of the latest apps designed by Lunchbox Apps to help your kids improve upon not only their addition and subtraction, but also their multiplication and division too. After a child is registered, he or she selects between three different games to attempt to answer correctly a host of challenges within a 2-minute time limit. There are custom settings for biggest and smallest numbers, negative numbers, the number of problems, and problem type. Like Love to Count, Space Math provides feedback for parents, but in this case it uses SmarTots; a third-party app that provides data on what kids are doing on educational apps (I’ll write more about SmarTots in the near future). One of the beauties of Space Math is that it rises to the challenge as your child’s math skills improve and the ability to set levels for different children makes this a great app for families with siblings too. Space Math is a bargain for at $0.99 at the App Store.
Finally, not all math apps need to be problem solvers. Jane Hague, the author of the Stories from Tilly’s Number Town series, and developer 123 Number Fun, have two new math-themed storybook app titles out: A Very Busy Week and The Harvest Festival. Both stories include the familiar characters we were introduced to in 123 Shape Up (see review here). The stories are loaded with numbers and each character has a number of their own. The apps provide readers with a variety of ways of experiencing the stories (read to me, auto play, and read it myself) along with highlighting text to encourage kids to associate the text with the sounds of the words. The stories delight kids and encourage familiarity with numbers without making it feel like work. A Very Busy Week and The Harvest Festival are available at the App Store for $1.99.
Photo courtesy of learningyard.com.