Number crunching has never been so much fun with these educational kids maths games and apps – many of which are FREE!
How do you get your kids into maths – that all important ‘M’ in the oft talked about STEAM education? While we are all for limiting passive screen time, we do love a good educational app for when we are travelling or need to support kids in their education. Here we round up some recommended maths apps (iPhone, iPad and Android) to help kids of all ages with their mathematical understanding and best of all, all these games are actually fun!
Young kids will develop number recognition and early maths skills such as basic addition, while older kids and tweens can work on algebra and calculus. These maths games teach kids about why math is so important in everyday life too — and we all want money-savvy kids, right?
These maths apps aimed at 2-to-4-year-olds gently introduce numbers and counting to little kids in a fun and engaging way.
Park Math by Duck Duck Moose
Park Math is an entertaining app that teaches maths so kids get to grips with numbers while having fun. Animal lovers will enjoy counting the colourful animation: count the ducks as they go down a slide and make two amounts even by adding or removing mice from a seesaw.
Read more: Best STEM Toys for Kids of All Ages
Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things
Kids learn how to identify and trace numbers as well as get started on simple addition and subtraction. To incentivise kids, the app rewards progress with virtual money so kids can buy customisable parts for their very own monster pet. Cute!
Montessori: Learn 123 Numbers by Kids Academy
This app is great for little kids to help them start recognizing and writing numbers by using the iPad’s touchscreen to trace them out using their finger. The numbers fill the screen so are a suitably large format, and the tracing points are well laid out. Check out your kid’s progress with the Parent Mode, too!
Doodle Math: Shapes
Doodle Math: Shapes includes six activities to introduce kids to 8 different shapes such as triangle, rectangle, square, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, circle and semicircle. Kids can trace each shape while hearing about its characteristics.
Once kids can recognise numbers and understand very basic maths like addition and subtraction, these maths apps step things up a notch. Aimed at kids 5 and up, these number-crunching fun games will make maths super fun and keep kids challenged as the games progress to more difficult levels.
Peter Pig’s Money Counter
It’s never too early for kids to get money-savvy! This app from Visa is aimed at kids 5 and up and teaches monetary values — how to count coins, budget and save. Once kids get the hang of their finances, they are rewarded with virtual money that they can spend on Peter Pig accessories.
DragonBox Big Numbers
In the land of Noomia, kids need to collect resources to give the Nooms to help them build new works. As the game progresses, kids need to add, subtract and regroup to accomplish various tasks. It’s a great visual way of getting to know numbers. Levels get harder as they progress and new worlds are unlocked. Interestingly compared to other apps, there is a focus on minimal instruction to encourage creativity and experimentation in kids so kids will need to be patient while they figure their way.
Love To Count by Pirate Trio
Why do we even need to learn maths? Love To Count by Pirate Trio answers exactly that question. This app teaches kids why numbers have meaning and how you need maths for everyday problems. Kids start by choosing their own pirate avatar. Help split a pizza evenly for the pirates, or count the number of fish caught with this fun colourful app aimed at kids ages 4 to 7.
Pet Bingo – by Duck Duck Moose
In Pet Bingo, kids can practise addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or mixed operations and there are three levels: easy, medium, or hard. Kids need to answer the math question on a bingo grid. The reward? A new pet (or food and accessories for their pet). If kids are stuck on a problem, they can tap the question mark to see the problem broken down using a math strategy.
Prodigy Math Game
Cost: FREE (or you can pay to subscribe)
This fantasy adventure web and app game lets kids choose their own avatar. Kids then answer math questions correctly to earn magic spells which are needed to defeat monsters. This one is good for basic maths as well as fractions, functions, geometry, and statistics. There’s an option for kids to play online with friends if they wish, but chat is limited to preselected phrases. There is some annoyance amongst parents of the marketing to subscribe, but this game can be enjoyed for free.
Many of the previous apps build on lessons kids will have already learnt at school. Older kids from 8 upwards might be ready to get their heads around more complex maths concepts as well as develop critical thinking.
In Wuzzit Trouble, kids need to help free the Wuzzits from their traps while playing a game that builds critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. As the game progresses, the maths puzzles get increasingly difficult. There is an option to redo each puzzle, which encourages kids to keep trying again and again until they get the problem right.
Math Snacks offers fun videos and games covering elementary school maths concepts (like ratio, proportion, rate, and measurement) with accompanying teacher and student materials.
This one is a super app to challenge kids mathematically. Concepts include addition and subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, Roman numerals, decimals, and negative numbers. Math questions are asked on the screen and kids need to navigate through a maze to pick up the correct answers. There is a Marble Math Junior for younger kids, too.
BrainPOP Featured Movie
BrainPOP Featured Movie does educational movies with a sense of humour for kids — there is one new video every day and you can access older videos through subscription. Each day, a new animated documentary takes kids through a digestible lesson on maths and compound arithmetic to science, history, and technology too! Movies are followed by quizzes to check if kids have retained the content.
DragonBox Algebra 12+
This educational game targets children from the ages of 12 to 17 and is a follow on from the award winning game DragonBox Algebra 5+ but covers more advanced topics in mathematics and algebra.
Desmos Graphing Calculator
The Desmos Graphing Calculator is a powerful assistive tool that can help kids understand complex math concepts by graphing them to a coordinate plane. This graphing calculator plots functions, creates tables, adds sliders, animates your graphs, and more – and all for free must-have for any student learning advanced math skills.
Read more: Best Educational Apps for Kids of All Ages
Lead image sourced via Getty