It’s no secret that math can be a tricky subject for kids, and traditional forms of learning don’t always captivate children in the same way digital media succeeds at capturing their attention. Luckily, games offer a fun, immersive experience unmatched by worksheets and print-outs, offering engaging ways for children to immerse themselves in mathematical concepts and computations while having fun.
Below, you’ll find our top picks for today’s best math games. From titles designed with specific math subjects in mind, to games which require players to utilize mathematics in order to achieve success in the game. Read on to find our favorite picks for today’s best games for math.
Our Top Picks for Best Games for Math:
Slice It is an excellent game for introducing kids to geometry, offering shape-based puzzles that task players with issuing a set amount of slices to split shapes into equal pieces. The game starts of very basic, but eventually has players chopping up shapes much harder to divide easily. A percentage is shown so players can see where they went wrong, allowing them to retry and improve their score. The game is a great way to get players working out spacial relationships and playing with things like area, percentages and angles.
Minecraft is a widely popular game with young children, making it a great platform for immersing them in the inherent mathematics the game employs. The crafting system helps to teach basic math by tasking players with figuring out how much raw material to gather, and how to best combine it for the desired results. For example, lets say we want to build a bookshelf. First we’ll need at least three books. To make a book, however, 3 pieces of paper and one piece of leather is needed. To create paper, 3 sugar canes are needed. So, by doing the math, we know that to make the bookshelf, we’ll need 27 sugar canes, 9 pieces of paper, 3 pieces of leather.
A free alternative to Minecraft, BlockHeads is another crafting game whose mechanics require computational skills. Again, players must deduce the amount of raw materials needed before setting our on a mining expedition. The game allows users to host their own persistent in-game world, meaning it lives on even while players log off. This makes it a great tool for getting kids to collaborate as they figure out the materials needed build their own unique worlds. Crafting involves combing materials to create new objects, and each object has a recipe. Before venturing out into the world, players first figure out which materials are needed, then calculate the amount of each that must be mined. See our The BlockHeads review to see exactly how math skill are used in the game.
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Available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, this challenging puzzle game tasks player with aligning digits together into rows, so that all combined numbers add up to ten. Digits will continually fill the screen, and can only be moved around by “flipping” them. Numbers appear as digital displays (like those on an alarm clock), so reversing them can change their value. For instance, a 2 can be flipped into a 5, or a 6 into a 9. The gameplay is very engaging, and encourages kid to increase their computation speed in order to post higher scores.
The Sims: FreePlay offers a casual take on real-world responsibilities, tasking users with earning money and creating a budget for the purchase of goods and services. Players who strive to improve their sim’s living standards must learn to both live within the sim’s means as well as budget and save money for bills, food, and other purchases. The in-game uses of math here can easily be connected to the real world applications of math, making the game serve as a way to get kids thinking about money management.
Sushi Monster is a great game for improving math fluency. The game tasks players with feeding a math-loving monster sushi plates, each filled with equations and sums. Players are presented a number, and must place into the correct plate to complete the missing part of that equation. Created by the Scholastic educational team, the game covers addition and subtraction at first, and then moves on to cover more advanced areas like like multiplication.