I read somewhere that there are now well over 1 million different apps in the market with nearly half that native to iPads. So how do you pick a good app? Many are labelled educational but are they really? They also need to be fun which is where my own three market testers come in. If it's an app that they keep returning too, I know it's one worth recommending.
I thought I break the list down in to more manageable parts so today I'm just sharing some fun, kid-approved Maths apps suitable for iPads.
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Maths apps for younger childrenMoose Math: lots of different shops that you can enter and play different games. We particularly like the Moose Juice Store where they have to follow a recipe to make a smoothie to drink. You can see from this clip that this app effortlessly combines addition and fun.
Bugs and Bubbles: is follow-on to the popular Bugs and Buttons app and it's content is similar with lots of different mini-games designed to build onto a child's early understandings of concepts like colour, size, shape, patterns and number.
Grandpa's Workshop: set in Grandpa's shed, this app combines different mini games with some short video clips showing real tools at work - great for vocabulary building. The games involve lots of measuring, differentiating (same/different), reasoning, beginning fractions with some high fives along the way.
Count the Animals: this app is one of my favourites and has been on our iPad since we first bought it so over two years ago. It's beautifully done, full of humour and gorgeous animations which keeps my kids returning to it. It focuses on numbers from 1-20 and you can alter the settings to suit even choosing another language which has been useful for the older two trying to learn German! It's a perfect app to help children connect quantity with number. Their Learn Your Colors app is beautifully made too.
Montessori Numberland: focuses on number 0-9. Hiding on every page are the same number of objects for you to find but it also allows children to practice building the number and form it correctly as they learn to write on the screen.
Multi-aged Maths apps
Tangrams: is a lush puzzle game where you can build to match a template or design you own to challenge others. A beautiful colour palette - who can resist!
Hungry Fish: can be used by younger and older children which is great if you share one device among your family like us. You simply adjust the difficulty level which starts with identifying the correct numeral to feed to the fish to having to add numbers together to make the correct amount.
Maths Bingo: is another app that can be used by different aged children, although from 7-8yrs they'll find it easier, to help establish fluency in number. It's made by ABCya who also have a whole host of interactive games on their website. We love the Fuzz Bugs game for desktop computers.
UNO: the classic card game has been turned into an app and not holding so many cards in small hands, makes this version easier for the youngest who want to play. Consequently my five year old will often play this in the car.
Maths apps for Older Children
Quick Math: There's a couple of apps good for improving children's fluency with number like and Quick Math is one I like. You can select the mode (addition/subtraction/multiplication/division or a mix of all four) along with the level (there are four to choose from) and then you are trying to answer all the questions in the quickest time possible by handwriting the answer on the screen. You can save individual profiles too which is great as then you're trying to beat your best time.
Yodel-Oh: is another app similar to Quick Maths but set to Bavarian mountain complete with soundtrack. This one makes me smile.
School A to Z: is a free app produced by the NSW Education Department and must have one for your iPad. It has both a Math and English glossary of terms along with fact sheets and short videos - useful if you're uncertain about a term being used. It also has a Maths Monkey game great for working on times tables.
Math Doodles: offers some unique ways to practice your math skills. With The Splat Go Round a fly sits on a clock face and you have to input how many hours will pass before the hand lands on it. Connect Sums a number is displayed and you have to select the right combination of dice to match. Unknown Square is probably my favourite where you have to work out the number that is missing.
Mystery Math Town: is a fun game where you solve math problems as you move around the town rescuing fireflies. The graphics are lovely but as an adult I sometimes wish there was more to do in each room. This doesn't bother the kids at all as the explore the whole town.