21st century education is changing rapidly and educators around the world are having to adapt — especially with regard to using technology in the classroom. Naturally, teachers and parents alike are wondering: What are the best math apps for kids?
Radio in the early 1920s sparked a revolutionary wave of learning with on-air classes for students within listening distance.
In 1951, videotapes set the stage for new, visually-engaging instructional methods.
The handheld calculator launched in 1972, enabling students to make on-the-fly calculations without employing mental math practices.
As of June 2018, according to Educational App Store, there are an estimated 500,000 apps categorized as “Educational.”
With an endless sea of educational apps one can sift through, finding ones that effectively build skills, engage students, and boost learning outcomes can be daunting.
To aid your quest for quality educational apps, below are 13 of the best math apps for kids.
It offers content from every major math topic and covers 1,300+ skills from 1st to 8th grade, as well as DoK levels one to three!
As players compete in math duels against in-game characters, it borrows elements from role-playing games (RPGs) such as Pokemon. To win, they must answer sets of questions.
As a teacher, you can customize these questions to supplement class material. The game also uses adaptive learning and differentiated instruction principles to adjust content, addressing each student’s trouble spots.
Prodigy also features powerful and immediate reporting tools for both teachers and parents. From Progress Reports to Usage Reports and more, use your student or child’s data to identify where they’re excelling or struggling so you can customize the content in game for them!
|Available: App Store, Google Play, Web||Age: 6 to 14||Cost: Free|
This math platform guarantees children will learn a year’s worth of math in three months when they use it 30 minutes a week.
Elephant Learning’s algorithm provides real-time reports that let you know what your child is working on and how they’re progressing through the growing library of mathematics activities.
Although they claim to be 100% compatible with all school curriculums — because they “focus on concepts rather than procedures” — Elephant Learning is not curriculum-aligned.
|Available: App Store, Google Play, Web||Age: 2 to 16||Cost: $35/month|
According to co-founders Nicola Chilman and Tom Minor, DoodleMaths is like a good tutor. Its adaptive learning technology tailors math content based on students’ strengths and weaknesses called “7-a-day” activities.
Using the Parent Dashboard, you can see where your child is excelling and where there’s room for improvement.
Though created in the U.K., DoodleMaths is also aligned to the U.S. Common Core Standards.
|Available: App Store, Google Play||Age: 4 to 14||Cost: $7.91/month, $73.94/year, $224.49 lifetime|
Note: We converted prices above from the British Pound to the approximate United States Dollar.
A California-based non-profit organization, the goal of CK-12 is to increase access to free and customizable open educational resources.
When a student signs up, they will gain access to a variety of free lessons in STEM subjects. Instead of sifting through traditional hardcopy textbooks, CK-12 breaks them down into easy-to-digest concepts in forms such as:
- Textual descriptions
- Video lectures
- Multimedia simulations
- Photo galleries
- Practical experiments
- Flash cards
|Available: App Store, Google Play, Web||Age: 4 to 18||Cost: Free|
5. Khan Academy
This self-described “global classroom” contains a personalized learning resources for all ages, in and out of the classroom.
From practice exercises to instructional videos created by math content specialists, adaptive technology helps identify strengths and learning gaps.
Now, they’ve introduced Khan Academy Kids which they hope will “inspire a lifetime of learning and discovery.”
|Available: App Store, Google Play, Web||Age: Any||Cost: Free|
On this adventure, your child will travel through time and meet famous mathematicians, help them regain their lost knowledge, and transform Mathlantis back to its original state.
Available from 3rd to 8th grade, the activities in Buzzmath are aligned with the common core and TEKS curricula.
|Available: App Store, Web||Age: 8 to 14||Cost: $20/month, $40/quarter, $60/year|
7. Rocket Math
Complete math missions to build your own rockets and launch them into space!
Dr. Don Crawford, the original paper-and-pencil Rocket Math author, created this app to help children learn math facts in each operation.
There are 26 levels — A to Z — and each one has three achievements: take-off, orbit, and universe.
Any time students can’t answer a math fact in three seconds or less, Mission Control gives the problem and answer. Then you have to prove you’ve learned it.
Teachers can create an account and buy seats for their classroom. However, for parents who don’t need a plan with multiple seats and the ability to track student progress, the iOS app store has two apps:
- Add at Home (and subtract)
- Multiply at Home (and divide)
|Available: App Store||Age: 6 to 14||Cost: $2.99/app|
8. Splash Math
Curriculum-aligned with 351 math skills to be learned, this app adapts to your child’s level and encourages self-paced learning.
Using their Parent Connect App, you can get instant notifications on progress improvement and skill completions.
|Available: App Store, Web||Age: 5 to 10||Cost: Free|
Join the numeric hero, Twelve, on a journey through a universe of numbers.
She’s on a mission to rescue her family and the crumbling world of Dozenopolis from the destructive Ultimate Prime.
Kids will use their skills and understanding of core math concepts to solve puzzles.
|Available: App Store||Age: 8 to 14||Cost: Free|
10. Operation Math
Earn the latest spy gear on your quest to defeat Mr. Odd! Operation Math creates a learning adventure out of math drills — from the streets of Paris to the pyramids of Egypt.
Kids will have access to training runs and 105 missions, each with selectable math operations and skill levels.
In case you need a refresher, there are quick reference math tables in game to help them succeed.
|Available: App Store, Google Play||Age: 6 to 12||Cost: $3.99|
11. Motion Math
This adaptive game helps students master the most challenging standards from K-6.
Its creators built their instructional math games based on growth mindset research to help improve math fluency and conceptual understanding.
Once teachers sign up and provide students with an access code, they gain access to over 900 levels of adaptive math content, including:
- Number line
- Fractions, decimals, percents
- Word problems
- Mental math
- and more
|Available: App Store, Web||Age: 4 to 14||Cost: Free (in-app purchases of $2.99 to $29.99), free pilot for teachers (with subsequent payments)|
The 11 apps in The Math Learning Center are based on visual models from Bridges in Mathematics, a comprehensive PK–5 curriculum that equips teachers to fully implement the Common Core State Standards.
Though they aren’t gamified like other math apps in this list, they provide a digital alternative to traditional flashcards and worksheets.
Their list of math apps include:
- Math vocabulary cards
- Money pieces
- Number frames
- Number line
- Number pieces
- Number rack
- Pattern shapes
- Partial product finder
|Available: App Store, Web||Age: 4 to 11||Cost: Free|
This group of apps covers numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, geometry and more.
According to DragonBox, their method “is a unique approach that uses motivation-based learning techniques to give children a deeper understanding of how and why things work.”
They achieve this through helping students engage with, explore, reflect on, and apply what they’re learning and practicing.
|Available: App Store, Google Play||Age: 4 to 14||Cost: $4.99 to $24.99|
How to choose the best math apps for kids
So, you’ve checked out the best math apps for kids but are still unsure which one to use. We understand how challenging it can be to choose the right one.
If you’re in that boat, check out the nine qualities you must assess when choosing math software:
- DoK range
- Teacher control
- Adaptivity and differentiation
- Curriculum alignment
- Data actionability
- Training and support
- Student engagement
The guide above will walk you through those qualities in detail, ensuring you make the best choice for your students or children as possible!