Preschool Math App for Girls
I really like the concept of MathGirl Number Garden: make iPhone/iPad/iPod math games that appeal to girls. And it is really appealing to girls with graphics and music that are very sweet. But I find it to be an incomplete math app. I mean, I LIKE the idea of pre-addition — number grouping and counting, but I want to app to go further. The app has girls counting items such as flowers and fingers (well, gardening glove fingers). The faster you get the answer correct, the more points you win. There is an indication of the speed with a bunny for fast counting, a bee for medium speed, and a snail for slow counters. The answer choices are buttons that you select. “Fast but correct” garner more points that can be cashed in later for your virtual garden. This gaming feature is very nice.
This is the home screen for the app. This is the screen where you can redeem your points for flowers to decorate your garden.
I also like how the answer selection is not multiple choice but buttons with a broader selection of numbers that limits random guessing.
This is a sample question for level 6.
The levels of difficulty are:
- Counting 1-5
- Counting 1-10
- Tricky 10’s (the items are grouped in a trickier and less obvious grouping)
- Tricky 5’s
- Counting 11-15
- Counting 16-20
- Power 20
- Tricky 10’s
- Trickier 5’s
This is what I don’t get: at level 6, you have to skip count by 5’s to get the answer even moderately fast. Skip counting is pre-multiplication and division which is a 2nd or third grade concept at my kids’ elementary school. And yet this app does not cover sequence counting to 100 nor addition or subtraction and yet, all of a sudden, we need to skip count by 5’s? That’s like asking the player to jump from kindergarten to 3rd grade in order to move up the game levels.
Maybe the app expects girls of many different ages to play the game at their appropriate level but then why do they make each player go up from level one before allowing them to advance to the next?! I would have preferred for the app to stay within one or two grades in difficulty rather than apply a math concept over such a broad range of ages on such a narrow topic. For example, let the app be age-appropriate for preschoolers through kindergarten. Cover grouping and counting 1-20. Teach addition for numbers 1-10. Cover counting in sequence 1-20 with advanced levels counting to 100. Teach skip counting by 10’s. And stop there!
Nevertheless, the app is sweet and appealing to little girls. It has gaming features that make math fun. Pre-addition number grouping is a useful thing. Skip counting is also the basis for multiplication and division so it’s great that it is introduced early BUT you might have to coach your child on the side to help her advance if she is young. I also noticed that an additional version is coming out soon.
At $1.99, this is worth trying out for any little girl who is learning to count to five. It’s appealing for preschoolers and also has something to offer elementary school girls. Better yet, pair up the siblings together while you wait for your meal to be served at a restaurant. It will be the most peaceful meal you’ve had in a long time, or at least, here’s hoping! If you want to check out the app, please click on the first image at the top to view on iTunes.
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