Marble Math Junior

 

Learning(i)

Younger kids' version of great math app holds its own.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to play. There are three levels (easy, medium, hard), as well as a number of customization options within each level to adjust for a kid's current learning needs. The Info page includes a chart that explains the various obstacles, as well as step-by-step instructions and a "Parents and Teachers" section with more detailed information about gameplay, levels, troubleshooting, options, and icons.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There's a "More Artgig apps" button at the bottom of the main screen that links kids to the iTunes App Store; however, it does give a warning prior to leaving the app, asking kids if they're sure they want to do that.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Marble Math Junior is a younger kids' version of the excellent math app, Marble Math. Like its counterpart, Marble Math Junior is an ingenious app that combines a marble maze game with math word problems. Since this version is for early readers, players can hear the problems read aloud by touching the words at the top of the screen. Lots of customization options and new, unique marble rewards make this game effective, sticky, and tons of fun.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • shapes
  • subtraction
  • addition
  • counting
  • fractions
  • grouping
  • money
  • multiplication
  • numbers
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • moving beyond obstacles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

One of the most fun, customizable, and effective math games available for early elementary school-age kids. So absorbing that kids easily forget they're practicing math skills like shape recognition, addition, and subtraction.

Learning Approach

The combined challenge of answering concept-building math problems and moving a marble through mazes while avoiding obstacles helps kids learn to strategize via spatial relations. Customization options allow kids learn at their own pace.

Support

Parents and teachers can customize style of play, skill sets, and levels to make this game more effective and less frustrating for kids. Pre-readers can tap on problems to hear them spoken.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • shapes
  • subtraction
  • addition
  • counting
  • fractions
  • grouping
  • money
  • multiplication
  • numbers
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • moving beyond obstacles

Kids can learn shape recognition, sequencing, number values, fractions, ordinals, addition, subtraction, and multiplication from very simple problems up to 100. For example, the problem "Collect numbers that multiply to make 15" sets the player's marble off into the maze seeking to roll over the numbers 5 and 3 and avoiding the numbers 6, 7, and 4. Kids can also practice their money and time skills. Decision-making and strategy skills are inherent parts of this game as kids move their marble through the maze. Marble Math Junior is an exceptionally fun way to practice math.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

Kids say

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What's it about?

First kids choose a level and how they want to play (drag the marble with their finger or roll it by tilting the device), and then set whether they want to play with obstacles and bonuses or limit it to math problems only. Adults can also customize what skills they want kids to work on and in which currency. Math problems appear at the top of the screen, such as "Collect numbers that equal three," and kids navigate through the maze with their marble to pick up answers to the problem.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

MARBLE MATH JUNIOR is one of the most fun, customizable, and effective math games available for early elementary school-age kids. Moving the marble around the maze while collecting answers and avoiding obstacles is so absorbing that kids easily forget they're practicing math skills like shape recognition, addition, and subtraction. Parents and teachers can customize style of play, skill sets, and levels to make this game more effective and less frustrating for kids. This is high quality math practice that's fun, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kids set the appropriate levels and settings in Marble Math Junior to ensure ease of play and appropriate knowledge level.

  • If your kid loves all the different marbles, consider helping them start a marble collection of their own. Marbles are great for sorting, comparing, counting, and other math skills!

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:March 29, 2012
Category:Education
Size:66.80 MB
Publisher:Artgig Studio
Version:1.2.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Marble Math Junior was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byKelly Morrison July 15, 2013
age 5+
 

Clever math app makes learning fun

I downloaded this app for my 5 year old, and I found that he was able to use it with some caveats: He could only use the first of three levels before it got way over his head, and he could only use the finger dragging method rather than the accelerometer. It's really clever conceptually and brings some kinesthetic elements to learning math that might benefit those kids who have trouble with math concepts or find math confounding/boring.
Parent Written bySiddie July 11, 2013
age 5+
 

Full of bugs, frustrating, and not for age 5

The marble is buggy, often not moving when you try to drag it. Very frustrating. The math required is beyond the average 5-year-old, and the option to roll the marble takes more patience, finesse, and coordination than most kids have at that age. On some tasks, it involves Roman numerals -- when are kids taught those? The instructions say you can customize the level of difficulty and skills, but there is no access anywhere to the little "wrench" icon one is supposed to click to customize! Very frustrating and disappointing. My daughter tried it twice for about 10 minutes and gave up. I wish there was a way to sample these apps before buying.

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