What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that NumberShire is a Web-based game that teaches and reinforces early math skills such as number recognition, counting, adding, and subtracting. The activities are aligned with the Common Core standards curricula for kids age 4–7. In addition to math, NumberShire teaches kids the value of being helpful. The game is designed for use in the classroom rather than at home, with a teacher dashboard and discounts offered for the purchase of bulk licenses.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
Responsibility & Ethics
- honoring the community
Engagement, Approach, Support
High production values and compelling characters make NumberShire feel more like a game than a set of math drills. Kids earn new outfits and pets by completing lessons, which motivates them to keep practicing.
Exercises are explained thoroughly, but feedback could be improved. If a child chooses a wrong answer during play, the game simply says, "We'll come back to this later," and ends rather than offering guidance. There’s also no way to customize or adapt the experience based on aptitude.
NumberShire is recently out of beta, and as yet it lacks a robust community or support network for kids and teachers. Teachers can track a child's progress through the teacher dashboard.
What's it about?
NUMBERSHIRE is set in Tally-Ho, a rustic village inhabited by friendly animals. Players create their own anthropomorphized character, then help the villagers with various tasks that all involve numbers in some way. This includes counting groups of nails at the blacksmith's shop, helping a musician sort the coins in his case, and writing numbers by tracing them with the mouse. Kids receive a score for each activity, and upon completing the day's lessons they earn rewards such as new clothing and pets.
Is it any good?
NumberShire is a warm and inviting setting for kids to practice basic math. Each set of activities is grouped around a theme relating to an ongoing storyline -- such as building, baking, or preparing for the big parade -- which helps kids feel a real sense of accomplishment and progress. That said, there's no way to customize the experience based on the player's age or aptitude, leading to some uneven levels of challenges within the lesson groups. But, in spite of its quirks, NumberShire is a compelling way to teach and reinforce an otherwise dry subject for a young audience.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why math is important. What kinds of tasks does it help you do?
Explore opportunities for using math skills such as counting, adding, and subtracting in the real world from the lessons found in NumberShire.