Playful Minds: Math (5-8 years old)

Common Sense Media says

Great practice with fun rewards, progress tracking.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The entire app is voiced for kids, and they're told clearly what to do: Tap the correct answer.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Clothing options for female avatars include off-the-shoulder tops and short skirts with leggings.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There aren't any ads, but in-app purchases for a "handful of coins" to a "giant barrel of coins" range from $1.99 to $99.99.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The app allows for playing against other players either locally -- i.e. several kids in the same room -- or online, which uses the device's Internet connection to connect to the game's servers. There isn't any chat and nothing is shared beyond the child's profile name and character photo and whether they are using U.S. or UK standards on the leaderboards.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Playful Minds: Math (5-8) is an educational app that drills kids' math skills and stretches kids in multiplayer mode as they compete against other kids in math mini-games. The app is meant to grow with the child and provides training from kindergarten to second grade. There are five profiles, so this can be a bargain for multi-child families. Parents also need to know that in multiplayer mode kids cannot exchange information, but parents should use a nickname when they set up the child's profile if they prefer that their real names not be seen at all. The game can be played perfectly well without the Report Card feature, but if you want to continue using the app after a year, a yearly subscription of $6.99 must be bought. The app is not compatible with older devices, so parents will need to check the tech requirements.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • algebra
  • counting
  • geometry
  • money
  • numbers
  • patterns
  • subtraction
  • addition

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • achieving goals
  • motivation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The island adventure draws kids in, and the funny animated animal teachers and quest for points and prizes will keep them coming back.

Learning Approach

Highly customizable levels meet kids where they are in their level of ability. Hints and mini-lessons, offered when kids are struggling with a problem, reinforce instruction.

Support

Data tracking is amazing and helpful for parents monitoring at-home practice.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • algebra
  • counting
  • geometry
  • money
  • numbers
  • patterns
  • subtraction
  • addition

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • achieving goals
  • motivation

Kids can learn math skills for their grade level, from kindergarten through second grade, in this well-developed, kid- and parent-friendly app. The game is fun for kids, is educationally sound, and includes progress reports for parents to stay on top of what kids are working on. Kids can play against other kids, each at their own skill level. Each grade level's curriculum is aligned with Common Core standards. As kids play, they'll earn points to redeem to dress-up their avatar and keep them motivated to progress. This comprehensive, encouraging, and fun math practice app makes it easy for parents to monitor kids' progress.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

At first play, kids customize their avatar and can later earn more clothes or accessories for it. As they travel through the island, kids complete different math tasks to unlock prizes and other islands. Each new skill includes a short instruction on the concept, and kids can tap the light bulb at any time to repeat the lesson. Level options are easy, normal, hard, and very hard. Kids earn points for playing daily and based on their scores. Kids can also play against other kids, each at their own skill level, in the multiplayer mini-games.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

PLAYFUL MINDS: MATH (5-8 YEARS OLD) makes learning math engaging and fun by making it a game with goals to reach for. Kids start by creating an avatar that moves from game to game. They earn trophies and certificates and unlock character clothing and accessories as they complete exercises; they buy the character items with gold they also earn from playing games. The multiplayer mode is a set of competitive mini-games, and is safe as there is no interaction between the kids -- but kids can see how well other kids are doing graphically. Each child also gets questions suited for his or her level, so all kids have a chance to win.

The major downside for the app is that it is incompatible with older devices. Many users report crashes.

Families can talk about...

  • Offer kids some fun homework time to practice math facts by playing a round every day. Practice makes better, if not perfect, in math.

  • Challenge your kid in a mini-game. The app has parent-level problems for you, and appropriately leveled problems for your child, too.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:January 19, 2012
Category:Educational Games
Topics:Numbers and letters
Size:574.00 MB
Publisher:Gameloft
Version:1.0.1
Minimum software requirements:3.1.3 or later

This review of Playful Minds: Math (5-8 years old) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 5 years old March 11, 2012
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Haven't seen its equal.

Best I've found for my super-sharp 5y/o who doesn't have as much of a knack for numbers as for reading. Keeps her interested and teaches great foundational math. I'll most likely be spending the 6.99 to renew our subscription next year.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent Written byOsakaWilson August 5, 2013
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Brilliant App but currently BROKEN

(I give this app a 5 because it is excellent, however it is broken and until it is fixed, it should get a 0. ) This is the best designed system of education that I've seen short of the Khan Academy. I truly believe that full curriculums will look something like this. That is why it is so sad that they have not fixed the problem it has. Suddenly after updating, it stopped working for everyone and they have not fixed it. It is possible to get around the problem by turning off wifi every time you use it. This disables some of the advanced features (charts for parents), but the main app works fine. But we shouldn't need to do that. They should fix the app. It does work on my new iPad Mini, but does not work on my iPad. From the long list of people on the iTunes page, it looks like it is broken for everyone else too.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide