Zap Zap Kindergarten Math

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Zap Zap Kindergarten Math App Poster Image
Silly, fun math games are best for practicing skills.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can reinforce learning around kindergarten math skills, including numbers, counting, comparing, shapes, and measurements.

Ease of Play

Although the tutorials show the mechanics for how to play each game, the modeling for how to get a correct answer is too fast and has no explanation (visual or verbal). 

Violence & Scariness

Story kicks off with an alien girl's family being abducted by an angry alien. The characters get visibly angry when kids get the wrong answer.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zap Zap Kindergarten Math is the kindergarten-only companion to the Zap Zap Math app. This version is an improvement on the original, as kids see the correct answers when they answer incorrectly. The answers are shown fairly quickly and without any explanation to help kids understand their mistakes, however, so this is still more appropriate as a practice app than one for learning. The creatures tend to get angry when the wrong answers are given; younger/more sensitive kids might find this distressing. The math games are tied to Common Core curriculum, so parents and teachers can track what kids do in the app in relation to what they are learning in school. Since kids level up as they show mastery of a subject, parents will want to keep an eye on kids who can count easily but may not yet understand how to transition that to other skills, like addition. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.  

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What's it about?

ZAP ZAP KINDERGARTEN MATH is a collection of math games set in outer space. The introduction shows a family (presumably aliens) enjoying a picnic. A spaceship flies up, and we are shown an angry-looking alien laughing as he beams up the parents and brother. Only the sister is left. She immediately hops in her own spaceship and sets off to rescue her family. Kids fly the spaceship to various planets, solving math problems and getting closer to rescuing the family. The content covers numbers (counting, reading numbers, comparing), shapes and measurements (identifying 2D and 3D shapes, comparing heights/volumes/weights/lengths/sizes, identifying shapes, sorting objects), and addition and subtraction. As kids successfully complete levels, they earn puzzle pieces that eventually unlock new spaceships to use.  

Is it any good?

This is a fun practice tool for kids who have already learned the relevant skills through their school work. Zap Zap Kindergarten Math prides itself on being a "gamification" approach to learning, but the gaming elements could potentially be distracting. In one game, kids are asked to compare the heights of two characters. At any given time, at least one of them is jumping up and down or doing side bends. For kids who are just learning this skill, it's distracting and possibly misleading since they can't easily compare the characters side-by-side. When kids make a wrong choice, the app shows the right choice, but doesn't help them learn from their mistake. For example, when kids are asked to count how many apples are in a basket, they simply tap each one to count it. If they miss one, the app quickly lays out all the apples with the final total rather than counting each one out loud so that kids can see how to count them properly. All that said, most kids will find the games motivating, and they are good practice for kids who already have the basics down. Since the activities are tied to Common Core standards, families will be able to easily connect what kids are learning in school with the levels on the app and also see where they may need extra help. And those with reluctant math learners will definitely appreciate a way to engage their kids in practice in a fun way. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about numbers and the skills kids are practicing with Zap Zap Kindergarten Math. Practice counting items around the house and recognizing written numbers. 

  • Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

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