Right after I posted 10 free math apps for school age kids, I found another free math app that is also quite engaging. It is called Free the Balloon. It helps kids practice skip counting via games.
The basic game play idea is simple. Kids follow the teacher’s instructions at the beginning of the game on a blackboard, like “count by 1 from 4 to 15”. They then move the balloons, in the correct order, through the hoops labeled with numbers. The hoops move from the top down, and sometimes you have to wait to the next round of hoops to get the right number. To do well in the game, kids must know the next number they have to get, find the hoop with that number, move the balloon to that hoop, and make sure the balloon goes through the hoop without hitting anything. If the balloon hit a spikey hoop, icicles, or bird poops, the game is over. Other things to watch out while playing are the lightning and Blue Bird.
When kids finish one level, they should earn enough coins to unlock the next level. The levels are: count by 1, count by 2, Count by 3, Count by 4, Count by 5, Count by 10, and Count by 25.
Kids can also upgrade their balloons with the coins to make the balloons move faster or thicker. What parents should watch out is the In-App purchase option to buy more coins with real money. The app is designed that no In-App Purchase is necessary to finish all levels, but if you are concerned, make sure disable the In-App Purchase on the device. You can find instruction in How to Child-Proof your iPAD
Another benefit of the game is to learn following written instructions. Sometime the game asks kids to count from 3 to 12, and sometime it is 5 to 16. Kids must pay close attention to what they have to do in each round of the game.
Free the Balloon is a very engaging math game for elementary school kids. It helps kids be fluent in skip counting. To move up the levels in the game, it also requires good hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and quick judgments. To perform the right task, kids also learn to read teachers’ instructions correctly. As a free app, it is definitely worth a try.
Free the Balloon works on iPhone, iPod, and iPAD. It is also available on Android. It is FREE on both App Store and Google Play.
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.
Android users can find the app Free the Balloon on Google Play.