Parents' Guide to

Zap Zap Math - K6 Math Games

By Christy Matte, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Science-themed math practice drills are hit or miss.

App iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad , Mac , Android , Windows app Free to try Education
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What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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For practicing specific skills, this app is solid, but some activities are so far off the mark as to turn kids off entirely. Zap Zap Math - K6 Math Games has a lot to recommend it. Most of the drill games are engaging and are well-designed to make practice more fun, and many of the missions are fun for kids to figure out and solve. There are great parent tools for watching what kids are learning and it's helpful that kids can access their profiles across devices. Where things fall apart is in the lack of proper tutorials and prompting for incorrect answers. The tutorials typically give vague instructions and then ask kids to solve the problem. If they get it right, they can play; if not, they get the same instructions and another chance, but there's no opportunity to learn. Worse, some of the activities are either not appropriate for the grade or too confusing in general. For example, The missions for the first grade shape skill, for example, require kids to solve "equations" that involve adding/subtracting different colored shapes, but without actually mentioning an equation in the directions. The instructions tell kids to solve the pattern and to "pay attention to the numbers and colors." From this, kids need to figure out that a blue shape plus a red shape red equals a purple shape AND that a circle (1 side) plus a triangle (3 sides) equals a square (4 sides), and there's no hint system if kids are stuck. There are also some issues that seem to be more of a poor translation across cultures (such as the inability to choose a 12-hour clock in the United States), but they still make for a confusing experience for kids. Is there enough great content to make the subscription worthwhile? For most families, yes. But do expect to do some handholding through some activities and to possibly skip a few others entirely. This is a better choice for kids who have a solid grasp of the techniques but just need to practice to get it down.

App Details

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