Crackers and Goo - Multiplication and Addition Math Skills Practice

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Crackers and Goo - Multiplication and Addition Math Skills Practice App Poster Image
Engaging gameplay helps kids learn basic math skills.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about addition and multiplication skills by observing and working with patterns. Specific skills include counting and skip-counting; addition within 10, 20, 100, and 1,000; mental arithmetic strategies; rounding; expanding; and more. Kids start by completing a pattern consisting of colorful, numbered crackers. Kids count the numbers inside the crackers to find the total value of the pattern. On more challenging levels, kids have to solve addition or multiplication problems using mental math. Kids earn points for successfully completing patterns and solving problems. Crackers and Goo is an engaging interactive pattern game that builds math skills with an emphasis on visual learning.

Ease of Play

Gameplay isn't initially intuitive, but a demo and a getting-started section guide kids as they begin to play the game. Using the drag-and-drop feature is easy. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crackers & Goo helps kids learn about addition and multiplication through the use of patterns. Kids are given partial patterns of colorful, numbered crackers and have to drag floating crackers into place to complete the patterns. Then kids have to find the total values of the patterns by counting the numbers in the crackers. But kids need to hurry, because splats of goo could cover the screen, making it difficult to finish. With more than a dozen levels that cover kindergarten through fifth-grade skills, as well as the ability to register multiple users, the game is very versatile.  

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What's it about?

Kids can choose from 16 levels, or skill steps, that are organized by grade-appropriate learning skills. For example, steps 1 through 4 cover kindergarten skills such as counting and basic number patterns, whereas steps 12 through 16 cover skills for grades 5 and up, including multiplication and rounding. Once kids choose a skill step, the game begins with a partial pattern in the lower portion of the screen. Players have to find and drag the floating crackers into the empty spots to complete the pattern. Correct answers are based on colors and numbers. Kids can use one pattern hint in each step. When they finish the pattern, they have to either count the cracker numbers to find the total value of the pattern or complete a math problem using the patterns, estimation, and other arithmetic strategies.

Is it any good?

CRACKERS AND GOO is a fun and unique way for kids to learn about addition and multiplication. The approach of teaching math concepts through the use of patterns is extremely visual, so learners will have to adapt to this style to play well. But it's a good approach because it builds conceptual understanding rather than teaching through drill practice and memorization. The game is interactive and challenging, and a point system helps keep kids motivated.     

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the skills kids are learning on each step. Play with kids to review the skills.

  • Look for number patterns with kids as you go through the day. Can kids continue any of the patterns they find?

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition, estimation, multiplication, patterns
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles, thinking critically
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: April 27, 2014
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 4.50 MB
  • Publisher: PJ Apps
  • Version: 1.2.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1 or later

For kids who love math

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