My 2 youngest children aged 4 and 6 have a heap of iPhone and iPad apps that they love to play, including some math ones. Last month I put a call out on my Maths Insider Facebook page and my personal Facebook page for cool and educational iPhone and iPad apps for preschoolers. I’ve gathered the best suggestions, our household favorites and recommendations from other websites to compile this in-no-particular-order list of 16 of the best iPhone and iPad preschool math apps.
Help your child learn he basic foundations of math with this beautiful app from Montessorium. Your child can get a head start with reading, writing and understanding the numbers from 0 to 9, including sequencing, odds and evens and spatial relationships. The help also introduces basic problem solving and fine motor skills. Intro to Math is a Universal app that will work on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Exercises are based on classic Montessori equipment and include:
- RED RODS – understand length, by arranging the rods from longest to shortest.
- NUMBER RODS – an introduction to the idea of quantity, and how it corresponds to numbers.
- SANDPAPER NUMBERS – concentrating on the symbols of the numbers, and how to write them.through a number of guided tracing exercises.
One of the most enthusiastic math apps that I’ve come across! Game instructions are delivered by the voices of Milli, Geo, and Bot so your child can’t fail to get excited about math while using this app.
Your child will use mighty math powers to explore Umi City by playing five math games:
•Toy Store – A counting game
•Number Bubbles – A number identification game
•Race Around Umi City – A number comparison game
•Up! Up! And balloons! – An addition/subtraction game
•Rolling Toy Parade – A number line game
These cool games are leveled, and designed to increase in difficulty. Appropriate hints are given to support your child as they practice and build their math skills. There are also player profiles that allow more than one child to play and save their progress.
The free version of Counting and Addition! covers addition up to 6, but parents can upgrade within the game to unlock the adding to 10 and adding to 15 levels. The game also features:
- Self adjusting levels of difficulty
- Unique progress tracker for parents
- Detailed stats for your child that can be compared with children the same age
- Recommended learning path personalized for your child
- 27 fun rewards and medals to motivate your child to learn
The Numberlys app is more of a “short film” experience rather than a game. It presents a fanciful depiction of the origins of the alphabet in a land where only numbers exist. Numberlys is huge in scope. According to Moonbot, the creators of this Universal app:
“It’s an adventure! A mystery! A game! And a story! It’s a new way to entertain, learn and rediscover our storytelling “golden age””.
Primarily an app for writing letters, this app features a number writing section. Your child will help Mr. Crab collect the numbered balls by dragging him with their finger – and drawing the letter or number at the same time. Once all the letters or numbers are drawn properly, a cute drawing appears. Your child can then tilt their device to slide the letters/numbers into the spinning hole and advance to the next level.
My own kids have spent many a session practicing their number and letter formations on this cute app. The perfect blend of visual and audio cues and rewards make this an effective yet relaxing game for preschoolers. Need more convincing?
from A Touch of Learning:
“Its got an intuitive interface for young children. It has high quality graphics and effects. I have no hesitation in recommending this app for children ready to start learning to write. To me, this is exactly the sort of app I am looking for in my quest to have apps that are fun, but teach my kids something really useful in the real world.”
“The whole app is delightful to behold. Bright background colors are juxtaposed against equally bright and scribbly child-like artwork that convey the word being spelled. You and your child will enjoy tracing your finger along those necessary building blocks of language. With its memorable artwork and way cool physics engine, it is sure to entertain and teach your child.”
Watch this review from Chris from IPad in Canada:
Perfect for building up fine motor skills and spatial awareness with easy to move shapes that snap into place on top of silhouette puzzles. Each puzzle has 5 to 10 pieces & after positioning all of the pieces, the real image is revealed along with a professional voice recording of the word spoken by a licensed speech therapist that specializes in early child development.
Shape Builder encourages cognitive thinking and introduces preschoolers to animals, produce, objects & numbers and the alphabet in a fun & engaging format with great sound effects! Shape builder features a total of 158 puzzles including the numbers from 1 to 20.
Take a look at some of the puzzles (and a singing preschooler!) in the video below:
Your preschooler will join Count Von Count from Sesame Street in this cool app full of classic Sesame Street counting videos! The Count teaches your child to touch the screen and count along with Cookie Monster, Ernie, Grover and other Sesame Street characters.
Curriculum skills covered include number recognition, counting and making choices.
A fun and shiny game for your preschooler, Monkey Math School Sunshine is a great, easy to use math game for your little one. A cute cheeky monkey guides the child through game play with animated celebrations for correct answers and gentle redirection for incorrect ones.
The game automatically adjusts the challenge levels to each individual player. Your child collects prizes to fill their very own interactive aquarium.
There are 9 interactive games that teach kids about sequencing, patterning, counting, adding and subtracting:
★ADD IT UP and TAKE IT AWAY Use addition and subtraction skills to solve math problems with multiple-choice answer options.
★PATTERNS Monkey has a problem: Objects keep popping out of his bucket, creating a pattern – but one piece is missing! Help Monkey by completing the pattern with the choices provided.
★SHAPES Is it an octagon? Or maybe a hexagon? Count each side of these shapes and help Monkey figure it out.
★SEQUENCES Monkey has a group of numbers in the right order, but some are missing. Help him complete the sequence with the correct numbers.
★LESS/MORE Monkey loves to blow bubbles, when he does, groups of shells, fish or turtles are inside each bubble! Use your expertise to figure out which bubble has either the most or least objects inside.
★BIGGER/SMALLER Which bubble has the bigger number? Which bubble has the smaller one? Help Monkey figure it out by popping the correct bubble.
★CONNECT THE DOTS Baby Turtle is stuck on the beach and she needs your help to get to the sea! Connect the dots to show her the way.
★WRITE IT UP! Help Monkey learn his numbers by tracing them in the sand.
★BUBBLE POP Monkey is running out of time! Pop all the bubbles that have either the right number or the right amount of objects inside before the time runs out!
This Disney Learning interactive app that helps kids practice essential early math skills. Children join Nemo and his undersea friends in lots of fun-filled activities that reinforce early math skills, including: counting and tracing numbers, counting and matching the number of objects in different groups, number identification, and sequencing.
Parents can track progress and results for up to four children in the parents’ section. They can also record all the numbers in their own voice. The game also includes activity suggestions that can be played offline.
The developers at Motion Math have a whole suite of excellent, high quality, engaging math apps for kids, and Motion Math: Hungry Guppy is no different. Aimed at kids aged 3-7 years, it’s easy to play with kids just needing to drag and drop bubbles to feed their fish.
Hungry Guppy encourages learners to build a strong sense of addition and understand what numbers represent – for example, “●●●” and “3” have the same meaning.
• In the Dots levels, young children who don’t yet know number symbols can practice addition. They’ll learn, for example, that ● + ●● makes ●●●.
• In the Mixed levels, kids will learn number symbols. For example, ●●● and 3 have the same meaning, even if the dots are in a different alignment or in funny colors.
• In the Numbers levels, learners can practice adding numbers up to 5, seeing the many different ways to make a sum.
Who doesn’t love Curious George? The Curious About Shapes and Colors app is a great for curious preschoolers to explore shapes and colors.
Little ones are introduced to:
• Basic shapes like circles, squares and triangles
• More complex shapes including pentagons, hexagons, diamonds, rectangles, and ovals
• Primary and secondary colors, along with varying tones
• Pattern recognition and sequencing • Skills like sorting, constructing, tracing, and coloring
Watch the cute game play in the video below:
12) Bugs and Buttons
Bugs and buttons is a beautifully executed app which lets preschoolers and beyond practice primary math skills such as counting and sorting and secondary skills such as pattern finding, tracking, path finding and fine motor skills.
There are 18 skill adaptive games and activities including:
• Flinging bees at a target flower.
• Flying a butterfly through butterfly valley (tilt to steer).
• Playing tic-tac-toe with a dragonfly.
• Sorting and packing buttons fresh off the factory conveyer belt.
• Racing roaches across the finish grate/line.
• Removing and sorting bugs infesting the button production.
• Catching bugs frantically scurrying about.
• Picking apples while dodging bees.
• Catching buttons falling off Uncle Bob’s button truck.
• Helping bugs find their way through mazes.
• Interactively count bugs.
13) Bugs and Numbers
From the same developers as Bugs and Buttons, the Bugs and Numbers universal app provides an extensive collection of unique games focused on helping kids to learn and practice a wide range of math skills in a non-traditional way. The game is organized into three basic stages, the app grows with your child through 18 games ranging from basic counting to early fractions.
Designed around a bug city, activities include serving bugs food at the local diner that happens to spin on an old vinyl record, or helping ferry ants across water in an egg carton. It’s fun, unique, as well as being educational.
Math skills taught in the 3 stages are :
• Number and shape identity at the circus
• Practice left and right on an old arcade machine
• Seek and find while counting at a junkyard
• Tap and count while serving food at the local diner
• Paint by numbers at the gallery
• Match numbers and shapes at the hotel
• Count to 100 at the garage
• Trace numbers and shapes at school
• Arrange sequencing on a xylophone
• Comparisons at the theater
• Sort, count, and tally at the store
• Math with 10 on the ferry
• US currency on the old claw machine
• Practice time at the train station
• Find patterns in the zen garden
• Work with fractions at the pizzeria
• Measure length and weight in the lab
• Addition and subtraction on the gameshow
The video below by Children’s Technology Review tests out the Bugs and Numbers app.
In this game brought to you by Sesame Street, Bert teaches your child to count the surprising things he finds in his bag including marbles, bottlecaps, and even Ernie’s rubber duckie! Your child gets to count along with Bert while improving their number recognition, counting and following instructions skills.
15) Memory Train
Your little one gets to hop on the train with Spacey the elephant and help him focus his memory while on the way to the circus. Memorize the characteristics of objects passing by and recall them to earn stars, badges, and peanuts.
Kids will be challenged to remember things like:
“What color was the shape?”
“Which one was green?”
“What number just passed by?”
“What 3 things just passed by?”
The game supports up to 4 different player profiles so multiple children in the family can play.
GazziliMath is a great choice for children who are just starting to understand how numbers and math covering numerals, counting, addition and subtraction and more. This universal app features 6 engaging, exciting math-based activities that help build the foundation for understanding basic math concepts for little ones!
When your child completes each concept/activity, a portion of the ‘GazziliFunPage’ come to life.
GazziliMath also builds hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as children.
and here’s a bonus app recommendation: Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is a collection of 6 educational games for your preschoolers aged 2 to 5 .
It features 7 different games that teach kids about colors, letters, counting, shapes, sizes, matching, and differences:
1. COLORS. This picky monkey only likes fruit of a certain color, touch only the color they like to pack the lunchbox. Teaches colors, color names, and grouping.
2. MATCHING. Match pairs of fruit hidden behind the cards to pack lunch for this monkey.
3. COUNTING. Count off the fruit the monkey is looking for to fill up the lunchbox. Teaches numbers and counting.
4. LETTERS. This monkey only wants fruit that starts with a certain letter, pick the fruit that starts with that letter. Teaches letters and letter sounds.
5. PUZZLE. This monkey’s fruit broke into pieces! Put it back together for them. Teaches shapes and pattern recognition.
6. SPOT THE DIFFERENCE. Help the monkey spot the fruit that looks different, or is a different size. Teaches patterns, bigger, and smaller.
7. SHAPES. Help the monkey find the fruit in the shapes.
Monkey Preschool lunchbox is a universal game and works on both the iPhone and iPad.
Check out the video below which shows the gameplay on the iPhone:
What are your preschoolers favorite math apps? Tell me in the comments below!