Math App Explosion

We have an absurd number of math apps on our iPad and I thought I’d give a rundown of what we like and find useful.  If you’re like me, you’re always adding more apps, especially when they’re free or only a dollar.  A few of these are more, but they’re all ones we found to be worth the price.

Rocket MathRocket Math
This is the math app we’ve had the longest and we love the designer, who also made Stack the States.  The format of making your own rocket and testing it is appealing.  The math is mixed.  I wish it was easier to customize the math to focus on different skills and skip others, but overall, it’s a fun app worth buying.

Sushi Monster
I like that this app asks you to start with the answer and find the numbers that make it instead of vice versa.  There is an addition and a multiplication option.  It’s a simple game, but the graphics are offbeat and cute.  Plus, you can’t beat the free price.

Math Motion Wings
This game asks kids to visualize multiplication and numbers as you fly a bird around.  It’s not about knowing the exact answer quickly, it’s about comparing values and knowing which is greater.  There’s some fun bits where you get to customize your own bird nest as you go along.

Marble Math
The graphics on this game are just okay, but it’s a clever little concept.  The marble in the maze needs to hit certain numbers before the hole opens up and lets you win.  Almost everything about the game, from the color of your marble to the whether you tilt the screen or use your finger to the math practiced is customizable in this app, which makes it good for more specific practice.

Space Math
If you remember Math Blasters, then this is pretty much the same concept, shooting things and all.  Simple but fun as a way to practice basic math facts.  There’s a lite version and a full version.  We have so many others that we haven’t sprung for the full version.

Numbers League
This game plays off of comics and superheros and has one of the best looks to any of the apps listed.  It’s also a more involved game that feels more like a game in places than a math drill app.  However, math is still at the heart and there’s a lot of good basic math fact practice built into this app.

Dragon Box
This app is set up like the popular puzzle apps with different levels that build on each other.  The goal is to learn, through little cards and pictures, how to isolate unknowns in algebra equations.  This game was incredibly fun for the kids and has been good for referring back to.  I wish it had more levels and more puzzles, especially for the somewhat high price, but it’s still a really innovative app – one of the most innovative that I’ve seen.

24
This is an extremely simple app, intended for the iPhone, that lets you simply play a round of 24, where you use the four basic operations to make the number 24 from the four numbers the card gives you.  There are absolutely no settings.  You draw and play eight cards and the game times you.  I wish there were some settings (it would be nice to be able to choose how many dots you want for your challenge, for example), but at 99 cents, it’s worth buying.

Math Evolve
This is one of the newest buys at our house.  It’s basically another Math Blasters style app where a character swims through the right answer, but it has more levels as you “evolve” your character.  The kids like it and it practices basic facts.

Pick a Path
This was a quick free app where you pick a path with different numbers and operations to try and reach a target number.  The levels are limited and they get too difficult for Mushroom and BalletBoy too quickly (multiplication and division by fractions and decimals are introduced just a few levels in).  I wish there were more boards though because it’s a clever little puzzle.

Coop Fractions
I discovered this little app by accident.  The chickens lay eggs that you have to catch in a moving nest that you place on a number line.  It’s a great game for teaching fractions values and has a bunch of options of how to use it.  I do find the look on the chickens’ faces a bit disconcerting as they lay their eggs, but as it’s a free one, I’m not going to complain.

Math Board
Despite the price tag, this is the best app I’ve seen for just straight math drills on the iPad.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I really like how it lets you customize exactly what you want to drill.  There’s a “chalkboard” space to work out longer problems and an explanations function for more difficult ones.

3 thoughts on “Math App Explosion

  1. I have been trying to put off buying an ipad as I don’t really understand what they do that justifies the price but everyone I know who has one says they can’t live without it and your posts are making me think that we will eventually need to get one. These apps do sound like a great way to reinforce math learning and I’ve heard there are tons of great preschool apps as well. Do you use yours mostly for educational games or is there another benefit that I’m missing? I’ll be bookmarking this page for the day I completely succumb to Mac.

    1. If we lived abroad, especially somewhere like you, I would have gotten one even sooner. As it was, the Husband bought it for us for Christmas last year as a surprise. Other than just the apps, the ability to put a pdf on there and write on it is brilliant for curriculum. So, using an iPad stylus and a program like Notability, kids can write on their workbooks without any printing involved at any point of the process. There are also a lot of creativity apps for kids – my kids like a thing called Toontastic that lets you make simple animated stories. And there are things like Scribble Press that let you “publish” your stories. It’s also just much more snuggly than a computer, so we often end up looking up images and videos in the middle of reading for history or science. We kind of love it.

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