When we talk about kids learning math, we tend to think about math facts practice. While math facts are important foundational math skills, there are more math skills kids need learn – critical thinking and problem solving are two of them. I have not found as many math apps focusing on these skills as those on simple math facts, so I get excited whenever I found one, and even more excited if it is FREE.
MathLands is a free app designed for kids age 7 and up. It focuses on math logic, problem solving and critical thinking skills to help kids gain math intuition.
There are 6 games in the app:
Tower of Hanoi: includes three pegs and a pyramid of rings. Kids must move all the rings on a different peg. However, they can put a larger ring on top of a smaller ring at any time. It starts with three rings to ultimately seven rings. The easiest game requires 5 moves, and the most advance levels could require as many as 48 moves.
Magic Shapes: kids put numbers on the empty spots along the edges of different shapes. The sum of numbers on each side of the shape has to be the same for all sides. It starts with a triangle with 3 numbers to fill, to a shape with more sides and more numbers to fill.
Ravine Crossing: Kids help several passengers cross the ravine by balloons. Each person has a set time he/she needs to cross the ravine, and after each crossing, someone has to take the balloon back to the other side for the next person to use. The game gets more interesting when the number of passengers increases.
Math Comics: probably the most fan part of this app. Kids read a cartoon story first. At the end of the cartoon, there is a math problem to solve. A fan way to engage in word problems.
The Frog Puzzle: kids must help the orange frogs and green frogs switch sides. The challenge is the frogs can only leap over one frog at a time and can’t move backwards. It becomes more and more difficult as the number of frogs increase…
The Water Jug: kids have to find a way to fill a jug with the required amount of water. They will have two jugs of different size. The challenge – the two jugs kids can use can be only in two status: full or empty.
I like this app because it gives kids a feel of different flavor about math – it is great to show kids math is not just about boring math facts, math is also about problem solving and fun. The games start at a fairly easy level, as they move up levels, I find them difficult even for adults. It could be a game for the whole family to play together.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.
For more resource on critical thinking and brain training, visit Best Learning Tools for Kids – Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills.