5 Apps to Boost Math Skills over the Summer

Encouraging kids to practice math over summer break can be a challenge. Here's how to keep it fun.
Ingrid Simone Senior Editor, Apps | Mom of two Categories: Learning with Technology, Screen Time, We Recommend
Senior Editor, Apps | Mom of two

Want to keep your kids' math skills sharp over the summer -- but don't want to be a party pooper? Daily math practice doesn't have to be drill-and-kill. We found five highly engaging math apps that will help kids avoid the "summer slide" in a fun -- and totally painless -- way.

1. Marble Math: In this fantastic app, kids see math problems at the top of the screen, such as "Collect fractions that add up to 2," and then navigate through a maze with a marble to pick up answers to the problem.

Skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, Roman numerals, decimals, negative numbers, and more

--> Why We Like It

  • The tricky mazes are fun to move through and solve.
  • Kids are empowered to customize the experience to their needs by selecting their level of difficulty, the specific skills they want to focus on, and more.
  • Users get good feedback and help; the "show me" button lets them see the correct maze pattern and math answer.

2Numbers League: Kids study and review basic math facts while helping superheroes fight evil villains. To do this, they combine superhero head, body, and feet sections, each with a number designation, to make a full superhero worth all the body parts added together. Kids defeat the villain when the total value of the superhero(es) selected is equal to the value of the villain.

Skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication, negative numbers

--> Why We Like It

  • It engages players with a story line, fun comic book-style art, and interesting sound effects.
  • Kids can play it alone, but it's also a great game for families to play together.
  • Since it's a different game each time it's played, it can be played again and again.

3. Sushi Monster: Kids playing Sushi Monster work in reverse to solve addition and multiplication problems. Each round begins with a set of target numbers. The chef puts numbered plates of sushi on the counter, and kids must choose the correct combination of plates to meet the target, thereby feeding the sushi monster.

Skills: addition, multiplication

--> Why We Like It

  • With engaging characters and achievable rewards, kids could easily get hooked on this fun math game.
  • It puts a spin on the traditional drill-and-practice method of memorizing addition and multiplication tables.
  • It's free.

4. Math Evolve: Kids enter a quest as a tiny alien that evolves as its math skills increase to save the planet. To be successful, they'll need to know their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts and sometimes do mental math computation with regrouping very quickly.

Skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division

--> Why We Like It

  • The fusion of arcade game, math, and beautiful graphics make this an engaging practice app.

  • Kids who aren't as familiar with arcade games also can​ enjoy the app in the less-busy practice mode.

  • The range of settings and two modes of play make it easy to customize the experience.

5. Motion Math: Hungry Fish: Kids combine two or more number bubbles to create a number a hungry fish wants to eat. The touch, drag, and combine actions are similar to how kids learn with number cubes.

Skills: addition, subtraction

--> Why We Like It

  • The game is responsive to kids' performance and advances them to harder levels as they improve.

  • Kids get immediate feedback as the fish responds to getting enough correct number bubble combinations.

  • It's designed for a wide range of grade levels, and with several games and difficulty levels it can give kids years of practice as their math skills grow.

What are your favorite apps or games for practicing math?

Related tags

About Ingrid Simone

Ingrid joined Common Sense Media in 2010, bringing more than 15 years as an editor and writer, a passion for providing quality content focused on kids, and a love of most things digital. She earned a bachelor’s degree... Read more

Add comment

Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts

Comments (6)

Educator written by MathNerd314

You should check out ATLT's The Lost Function 3D math adventure video game. It covers pre-algebra and algebra content and would be perfect for middle school or high school students to play over the summer to keep math fresh in their minds. The game contains thousands of practice problems and includes a virtual math tutor that detects students' deficiencies and remediates them. Plus, since it contains fun math break mini-games, a plot created by one of the writers of Star Trek, and really great graphics, the game is really fun!
Parent of a 5, 8, 12, 16, 19, and 22 year old written by djfague

These all sound great, but sadly - we would not be able to use them. It would be nice to see some reviews of apps that can be used on an android. All of these are for i-devices...
Educator and Parent of a 14 year old written by Caroline Knorr

Sorry about that! For Android users, here is a link to math apps for the Android platform: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/reviews?app_subfilter=44594&media_type=3.... We'll do another round up soon which will include more platforms. Thanks!
Educator and Parent written by VRChandler

These are some great games to add to my daughter's current activity list. She enjoys ALL of the digital items we have played thus far.... I signed up for the Summer Math Challenge sponsored by Quantile Framework for Mathematics. Each day we receive by email a game or two that focus on specific mathematical concepts. I must say it is great that I don't have to go searching for appropriate sites...
Educator and Parent of a 7 and 8 year old written by Sierra Filucci

My kids have played all four of these and they love them. It's hard to find high quality math apps that will excite kids, but these are excellent picks!