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Little Digits

Ages 2-up
Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Why we like it: Here’s an excellent app for home or school that hard-wires your child’s fingertips to math problems. The app takes advantage of iPad’s multitouch screen to detect how many fingers are currently in contact with the glass. Lift up one finger, and the count goes down by one. Add three touches, get a numeral that is three greater. Check out a demo here.

Need to know: This app isn’t for everybody, and can be confusing at first. Watch the short tutorial video. For a child just starting to play with numerals, it works like magic.

Ease of use: 7/10
Educational: 9/10
Entertaining: 8/10

$2.99

Littledig

Count to 100!

Ages 3-up
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Why we like it: Here’s another informal math exploration tool for early elementary-age children. This simple app turns your iPad into a base-ten counting grid. Kids can freely explore, or try to solve specific challenges that help them discover that “there are twenty 5’s that make up 100,” or “counting by 12 creates stairsteps.”

Need to know: If you’re looking for bells and whistles, look elsewhere. Make sure to explore the teacher options. Check out a demo here.

Ease of use: 10/10
Educational: 9/10
Entertaining: N/10

$1.99

Count

Mathopolis: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division

Ages 5-up
Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Why we like it: Like a self-correcting worksheet, this firefighter-themed app works as advertised — you actually do solve a lot of addition, subtraction, division or multiplication problems in a short time, and your progress is tracked. As you might expect, the faster you answer the problems, the quicker the fire goes out.

Need to know: By current standards, the graphics are crude and the sound effects are rather homemade, but the burning building theme works like charm.

Ease of use: 9/10
Educational: 9/10
Entertaining: 8/10

$0.99

Mathopolis

Stack the States

Ages 7-up
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Why we like it: Do you know the state flag for North Carolina? Which state borders Canada? This multiple-choice quiz game rewards you with more than a correct answer. You get a chance to drop the state onto a platform — a process that also makes you more aware of a state’s unique shape. The goal is to earn enough states to build a stack that reaches a marker.

Need to know: Reading is required, which is both a blessing and a curse (this doubles as a good reading exercise). Note that the free version contains ads as well as prompts to upgrade. But it’s free, so fair enough.

Ease of use: 8/10
Educational: 10/10
Entertaining: 9/10

$0.99

Stack

What Will I Be?

Ages 3-up
Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Why we like it: Wondering what you’ll be when you grow up? In this app, nineteen clear watercolor illustrations depict different professions, featuring either a male or a female lead character and his/her father, acting out the jobs. Check out a video demo here.

Need to know: This e-book’s interactive design is nothing particularly innovative or special. But the story, art and narration is top-notch, which makes it worth the download.

Ease of use: 9/10
Educational: 8/10
Entertaining: 9/10

$2.99

What

 

Chris Crowell is a veteran kindergarten teacher and contributing editor to Children’s Technology Review, a web-based archive of articles and reviews on apps, technology toys and video games.

 

Encouraging kids to willingly do math takes some persuasion and coaxing. Luckily, there are apps for that. This week’s top apps will have children adding and subtracting in no time with exploration tools and quizzes.

 

Children’s Technology Review shared these five top apps for kids with us from their comprehensive monthly database of kid-tested reviews. The site covers everything from math and counting to reading and phonics. Download a free issue of CTR here.

 

Check back next week for more Top Kids Apps from Children’s Technology Review.

 

Image courtesy of Flickr, flickingerbrad