The mere mention of math is enough to strike fear into the hearts of adults around the world. For thousands of people, the thought of doing annual tax returns, applying for a mortgage, or even just helping children with their homework can bring them out in cold sweats and leave them running for the nearest calculator.
Luckily there are phone apps to help adults get better at math. The long-term solution, however, is to engage children with mathematics from a young age, making use of tools, cool math games, and apps that make the process of learning arithmetic fun rather than arduous. So, to help parents and children alike, here are the best cool math games for kids.
The BBC has always produced a wide range of high-quality learning materials across a broad selection of topics for both adults and children. And its language-learning services are especially well-renowned. The BBC School Radio series covers most subjects that children encounter in primary school, including math.
There are five fun math games for kids available: “Counting Songs” (ages 3-5), “Numbertime” (ages 5-7), “Megamaths” (ages 7-9), “Maths Challenge” (ages 9-11), “Maths Challenge 1” (ages 9-11), and “Maths Challenge 2” (ages 9-11). Each series has an emphasis on engagement and building confidence, rather than long, drawn-out lectures. Children are rewarded with token achievements and plenty of praise as they progress.
Each game can also be downloaded as a podcast, so your child won’t be stuck in front of the computer while they are playing the games—which makes them perfect for long car journeys or flights.
Grand Prix Multiplication is just one of the hundreds of cool math games available on Math Playground.
Math Playground divides its games into six categories: Add and Subtract, Multiply and Divide, Fractions, Shapes and Graphs, Pre-Algebra, and Money and Time. All of the games are highly interactive and offer some form of competition against other players. Each game even has a leaderboard, if your kids enjoy that sense of accomplishment.
As a teacher, you’ll also be able to see information about how each game connects to the curriculum for its associated level.
(NB: Not all games on Math Playground are free to play.)
Prodigy Math offers curriculum-aligned math games and other content for kids between first and eighth grade.
It is free to make an account as both a student and a parent. As a parent, a free account lets you see how many questions your child has answered, the grade level they are performing at, and the areas where they need to improve. You can also set learning goals and offer rewards, as well as access a range of reports and performance data.
A premium membership unlocks more games. It costs $4.99 per month, per child.
This tablet-friendly game is as simple as it sounds—a way to help very young children become comfortable with using the numbers 1-10. It has two difficulty levels which can be used to match the game to the child’s existing ability, and it’s designed to help them both recognize and use numbers correctly.
The game is based around a treasure hunt; as the children correctly answer questions an on-screen scuba diver gets closer to discovering the hidden gold. Children must answer 10 questions correctly to complete the game.
Khan Academy Kids is a free app that’s available on Google Play, the Apple App Store, and the Amazon Appstore.
The program doesn’t only cover math. It has been designed to teach early literacy, reading, writing, language, and math, while simultaneously encouraging creativity and building social skills. It also offers plenty of tools for teachers and parents, allowing them to monitor a child’s progress.
Make sure you also check out the Khan Academy Early Math YouTube channel. The video lectures will help to provide a theoretical background for the concepts the kids are learning in the online math games.
Algebra might be a child’s biggest mathematical fear, but this basketball-themed game hopes to make it more fun than simply staring at a chalkboard all day.
The player has to answer an algebra question, which then gives them a chance to make a basket. You to click the moving basketball to catch it, and if successful, your player will dunk it. Questions progress in difficulty as the game progresses.
One Step Equation supports two players, so your kids can practice against their siblings, or you can even get involved yourself to brush up on some of those long-forgotten formulas!
Mathventure is one of the many fun math games for kids on the Coolmath Games site. This specific game requires you to solve equations as you move around a giant math universe.
If you dig a little deeper on the site, you will be able to find a large number of games covering everything from basic arithmetic to Sudoku. Games are subdivided into Strategy, Skill, Number, and Trivia.
Coolmath Games also has educational games across other categories, including science, history, geography, and word games.
Another game from Math Playground, Number Conundrum Decimals requires players to build a tower of answers using fractions and decimals. Each block’s answer is the sum of the two numbers directly below it. The game develops the player’s skill in adding and subtracting fractions and working with different numerators and denominators.
Again, the difficulty increases as players move up through the levels.
Math Games hosts a range of fun math puzzles for kids between pre-kindergarten and eighth grade. In total, more than 1,000 games are available on the platform.
Unlike many of these cool math games, you can browse games by skill. More than 20 skills are listed, including geometry, ratios, estimation, money, and more.
Some of the games require a premium membership to be able to play. You can pick up a subscription for as little as $3.75/month if you pay annually.
(NB: You will need to temporarily enable Flash to play the games.)
3D Shapes Ice Cream Attack is a geometry game that teaches children to identify 3D shapes and prevent the sun from melting their ice cream.
It is part of the Education.com games platform. It offers cool math games for children between pre-school and fifth grade. All the games come with related lesson guides that allow you to expand on the interactive element of the learning.
You will also find coding games, reading and writing games, and typing games available for free. You need to make an account to be able to play.
Get More Help With Your Math Skills
If you’d like to brush up on your own math skills, we’ve got you covered with some fantastic online resources.
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