Tech & Media
5 Math Apps That Are So Fun It Won’t Feel Like Work At All
By Alicia McAuley
Photo © Originator Kids
Dec 18, 2018
My son likes to surprise me with random math problems while I’m making dinner. “Mummy, what’s 100 plus 1,000, plus 25, plus 3, plus 1,000?” he’ll ask, as I chop veggies in the kitchen. Sometimes the questions are easy, and sometimes I’m left scratching my head. When my son would come home from school last year talking about what he’d learned during math that day, I was blown away. Along with writing numbers from one to 10, my junior kindergartener was tackling concepts like AB patterns and 10 frames — and loving them!
I have to admit that math has never been my strongest subject, but as a parent, I want to encourage my kids' interest in math as much as possible.
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In our home, that happens through a combination of hands-on activities and a selection of educational apps on the iPad.
There are so many entertaining and engaging activities that teach kids about math, like this cute counting snowmen game or this “balloon bopping” game. But if you’re looking for a more high-tech way to tackle the subject, there’s no shortage of educational apps that will help you turn screen time into learning time. From basic number recognition to more advanced concepts, these five apps are sure to get your wee one excited about math.
Quick Math Jr
Available for iOS (Free limited version, in-app purchases)
Recommended for ages 4 and up
If you’re looking for an app that goes beyond counting, check out Quick Math Jr. This app teaches kids number sense through a variety of fun games that they’ll play using a character they create. The games take kids through concepts like number sequence, subitizing, skip-counting, adding and subtracting, place value and more. The app uses adaptive difficulty so that the games become more challenging as little ones complete each level, and also features a “report card” function so that parents can follow along with their child’s progress.
Endless Numbers is a perfect introduction to number recognition, counting and basic addition. Little ones can learn and explore numbers from one to 100 with some help from a cast of colourful monsters. The interactive numbers and equations, along with cute animations to help put numbers in context, are sure to make this app a big hit.
Animal Math: Grade 1
The Animal Math series is available in preschool, kindergarten, first grade and second grade versions. In the first grade edition, kids join a narrator named Emma and her animal friends to explore grade-appropriate concepts like patterns, place value and number sequences. There are also games that ask kids to determine whether numbers are greater, lesser or equal, and games that focus on number sentences. All apps in the series are based on common core standards, with familiar characters and plenty of positive reinforcement throughout.
Llama Drama: Lumio Multiplication
Llama Drama from Lumio Kids is an app that uses visual tools called arrays to make multiplication and division easier for kids to understand. The app is split into three areas of focus: Animal Arrays allows kids to become more familiar with arrays as a learning tool, while Multiplying Llamas and Divide and Capture will have kids using arrays to solve multiplication and division problems. If your little ones enjoy Llama Drama, you’ll be happy to know that Lumio also makes math apps for addition and subtraction, number bonds, fractions and geometry.
The Prodigy app is a favourite with both parents and teachers, offering home and classroom versions that cover curriculum material from grade one through eight. In this app, kids become math wizards who explore fantasy worlds, battling monsters and earning spells that help them progress through the game. Kids can play offline, or go online to interact with friends. It has a bit more of a video game vibe than some other apps, which may make it more appealing to older kids. As a parent, you have the option to sign up for a free account that links to your child’s, so you can see how they’re progressing and identify areas where they could use some extra help. While the app is free, there is also the option to purchase a membership for additional benefits.
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