We have selected the best math apps for kids that make math learning engaging, creative, and fun!
Believing that the quality of screen time is as important as quantity, I have been collecting educational apps for my children for several years. It is now a universally acknowledged truth that we learn better when playing, and educational apps and video games are actually no exception to this rule.
Does that mean that children should mostly learn with apps? No, that’s definitely not my belief. My idea is that if they use screens, they might as well have a choice of quality activities on their devices. Besides, some subjects are much less suitable to screen learning than others.
Math is one subject that is taught very well with apps, though. As a matter of fact, I cannot think of another subject that is as brilliantly presented in apps and video games. Not reading or writing, though we have a selection of fun reading and writing apps for kids as well.
From what I have been observing, math apps for kids are based on very much the same principles as math workbooks for kids. Except they are often more colourful, creative, interactive, and just generally more fun.
As much as a parent can be objective, I don’t actually think that my son has any natural interest in math. He didn’t care to remember his age until he was six, and his counting was all over the place. He really is more into arts and building things. But ever since we started doing math with apps, he has enjoyed it, and he is doing very well for his grade level.
Are math apps the only thing we do for math? Not quite. We play board games, incorporate math into real life, and read math books. We love the Math-U-See videos, like this one explaining addition +9, and Beast Academy math comic books. But for daily math practice, my son still prefers his apps.
These games teach number recognition, place value, mathematical operations, as well as shapes and patterns, and even some introduction to algebra - all while having fun.
I included the part about language skills necessary to successfully interact with the apps, so that parents of beginning readers could see how much parental help they might need with different apps. Fortunately, pretty much all of them have voice instructions in addition to text, and many of them are structured so that no language skills would be required at all, making them perfect for children all over the world, not just English-speaking students.
Perfect for children aged 3 - 7, Quick Math Jr learns as kids play and adjusts the difficulty of the questions to make sure each player is always at a level that is just right for them! Great for developing a wide range of elementary math skills - number sense, place value, skip counting, number bonds, addition, subtraction, comparison, etc.
The game has a good balance between being educational and entertaining. The tasks are creative, various and fun to complete! Unfortunately, it only comes on iOS platforms.
Language skills: Some (the vast majority tasks do not require any explanations; on lower levels, the program will read some tasks aloud, and on higher levels, there is one task that requires some basic reading on the student's part)
From counting to multiplication, this colourful app offers a comprehensive math curriculum for early elementary students.
While the tasks are somewhat less creative than in other math apps we have, we like that it offers a broad selection of elementary math topics. It doesn't just cover basic math operations, but explores patterns, graphs, time telling, measurements, and word problems. It is almost good enough to use as the main math curriculum for homeschoolers, though grade 1 and 2 students may need some additional explanations on a few topics!
My personal favourite feature of this app is daily math. It offers students a few tasks, appropriate to their level, and the amount is just right to have some math practice every day, without getting bored or tired.
DragonBox Numbers brings math to life by turning numbers into colourful and relatable characters, called Nooms. The Nooms can be stacked, sliced, combined, sorted, compared and played with, any way your child pleases.
The app contains 4 different activites, each designed to challenge players to use basic math in a different way. Our favourites are the Puzzle and the Run. In the "Puzzle" section, children use basic math to create their own puzzle pieces and place them in the right spot to reveal a hidden picture. Think colour by number puzzles, only more math-oriented! In the "Run" section, children have to direct the Noom down a path using quick mental calculations. It's like an old platformer game with math!
Learn big numbers, long addition and subtraction with Nooms in the next instalment of the DragonBox Math series.
In this game, children are challenged to think strategically to trade resources and unlock new worlds. To make progress, they must continuously add and subtract their resources. Over the course of the game, quantities will get larger and operations will get harder.
Quite as good as watching cartoons! Children complete small mathematical tasks and then get immediately rewarded with a silly animation that represents a certain number in a funny and memorable way.
Both of my children loved this app. My son, who got it at five, graduated from it pretty quickly and went to work on more challenging tasks, but my daughter, who was barely three at the time she got it, spent months giggling over the monsters' antics.
Twelve sets off on an adventure to rescue her family following a cataclysmic event that befalls the town of Dozenopolis. Children solve math puzzles to help Twelve and her companion Dot through fifty levels of epic platforming adventures.
In my opinion, it is one of the best math games on the list, combining an entertaining element with math and logical thinking in a very creative way. It is genuinely fun to play, even for an adult! It also tackles some advanced topics, such as multiplication, division. negative numbers, all the way to algebraic order of operations. Not a complete curriculum by any means, but an interesting puzzle game.
Help the bird to dig up worms in this competitive and fun game! Play against the computer or your friends. The first to collect twenty worms wins!
Collecting worms happens by digging around and answering math questions. The more worms, the harder the question. Six difficulty levels are suitable for children aged 5 to 11, and you can set up the level for each player individually, so older and more advanced players can have a fair game with younger ones.
Excellent for developing strong mental maths skills and really quite fun! Addition and Subtraction comes first, but after you are done with that, you can also try Multiplication, Fractions, and Mental Math.
Moose Math engages kids in a mathematical adventure and teaches counting, addition, subtraction, sorting, geometry and more. While playing 5 multi-level activities in the game, kids can earn rewards to help build their own city and decorate buildings.
Cute creatures and fun animations made this app very popular with my kids. Unfortunately, while it is great for beginners, it doesn't go beyond kindergarten-level math.
MathTango integrates math puzzles covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division into fun “world-building” activities. Children will progress through dozens of math lessons as they earn monsters, complete missions, build their own unique worlds, and discover even more fun and surprises along the way.
When should children learn algebra? DragonBox thinks that five is about the right age! With the help of the game, children can easily grasp basic algebraic concepts and operations over the course of ten levels. And once they've mastered them, there is a similar DragonBox Algebra 12+,
Honestly, it was amazing to see my son working on algebraic problems at six! The game is really good at making sense of it.
The players are challenged to save Euclid's Island while learning the properties, definitions and relations of geometric shapes through Euclidian proofs. A very intuitive approach to teaching geometry that should probably be combined with some textbook explanation afterwards.
My kids like this app, even if they can't explain everything they do.
In this math game, tasks take the form of wonderful harbor scenarios from all around the world. Incoming ships must be loaded by your kids. Boxes can be grouped together and separated just like building blocks.
My children like all the Fiete games. They are simple but pleasing, both in style and structure.
Solve math problems by collecting numbers as you move your marble through a series of fun mazes. There are challenges that encourage players to work on shape recognition, sequencing numbers, addition, subtraction and multiplication to 100, identifying fractions, counting money and telling time.
Cute pets, epic battles and… math practice? That’s Prodigy, the math game where kids can earn prizes, go on quests and play with friends — all while learning math.
I found the gameplay to be lacking the simplicity I would expect in a game for little kids, and the tasks are a little inconsistent in their level, but it is free, and my children enjoy the epic aspect of it.
Logic and critical thinking are important aspects of math, and in elementary schools they are often studied along each other. Here are some great games to practice them!
Children will have a blast navigating their Thinkrolls through a series of obstacles in brightly patterned mazes that follow certain rules of physics. The goal is to solve the puzzles and reach the end of the maze where a new Thinkroll waits to be unlocked to lead the next quest.
Adorable and satisfyingly challenging! There were some levels that required some thinking even for us, adults.
Monument Valley is a surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry. Guide the silent princess, Ida, through mysterious monuments, uncovering hidden paths, unfolding optical illusions and outsmarting the enigmatic Crow People.
This award-winning app was not meant to be exclusive for children... but my son loved it and enjoyed going through the optical illusion puzzles until the very end. Then he promptly immersed himself in Monument Valley 2.
The player's mission in this game is to find out which picture is the odd one out. In this hand-drawn logic game, you accompany the sailor, Fiete, on his journey through 99 levels. In the beginning, you may get a pig and two sheep. Easy to determine which one is the odd one. But as the game progresses, it gets more difficult. Add a timer, and it will pose a challenge even to an adult!
It is a fun and exciting logic game for children from 4 years and over, as well as the whole family.
Samorost 3 is an exploration adventure and puzzle game. It follows a curious space gnome who uses the powers of a magic flute to travel across the cosmos in search of its mysterious origins. Visit nine unique and alien worlds teeming with colourful challenges, creatures and surprises to discover, brought to life with beautiful artwork, sound and music.
It is yet another game that was not made exclusively for children, but children can enjoy it and gain a lot from it. Everyone in our family loved it. The puzzles are smart, and the little gnome's world is beautiful and atmospheric, appealing to children and adults who dream of tranquil space adventures.
The truth is, all of the games on this list are good games with a strong educational component... but this one is also a piece of art. I believe that when my son grows up and remembers his childhood heroes, he will think of Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, and also of Samorost.