Smart phones and tablets are not toys… except for when they are.
If you are not a parent (aunt, uncle, grandparents, or baby sitter) then maybe this won’t apply to you. But anyone who spends any time around children know that kids are fascinated by smart phones, and want to play around with them as much as possible. My three year old out scores me on Angry Birds already.
Have you considered downloading some educational apps for your phone or tablet? There are dozens if not hundreds of apps that are designed to teach the little ones something as they play games – its like sneaking up on them with an education while they aren’t looking.
Here are a few of the top educational math-oriented apps for young children:
Playful Minds Math – Geared for children ages five to eight, Playful Minds tries to make math concepts fun for kids. The player creates their own video game avatar who is sent to an island filled with talking animal “professors” that lead to more than three hundred different interactive math games. Numbers, measurement, geometry, algebra, and data analysis are all covered, both in main game play and in smaller mini-games and 3D bonus levels. The more a child plays, they earn point to unlock more levels and games.
Rocket Math – A lonely rocket drifts through space, surrounded by math-oriented objects and problems that your child can solve. Pick the level for your child (the game covers material a child would learn between first and fourth grade) and then turn them loose on fifty six different math “missions.” The missions covers such topics as counting, telling time, and patterns, on up to harder topics like fraction, decimals, square roots, multiplication, and division.
Play123 – This one is for preschool age children, those evolving young minds that only want to pound on your phone with no patience for multiplication tables. This game is all about learning numbers, colors, and basic shapes. The kids can play with the shapes, dragging them around the screen and using them to make other shapes. The different activities on Play123 are designed to develop the spatial awareness of children, to help them learn basic concepts and show them how everything interacts.
Fish School – Another preschool-oriented app, this game takes the child under the sea to a series of activities involving a school of fish. The fish change color, swim, and combine together to form shapes, numbers, and letters. Different games involve matching similar objects, finding the differences between others, and learning how to decipher patterns. It also features original music, which is a big plus for most youngsters.
Math Bingo – This game is exactly what it sounds like, with a customizable twist to make it more interesting for long term play. There are five different games – multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, and mixed – and three difficulty settings. By solving problems on the bingo sheet the child can clear the board and achieve high school bonuses.