Apps (web applications) on hand-held devices like iPods, cellphones or tablets are a popular way for kids to play games. They are interactive, often fast-paced and have graphics to rival television and larger gaming systems. While they do not replace direct teaching or social-emotional interactions, parents and teachers can steer a child’s gaming time to reviewing concepts while having fun.
This slideshow features three Easter-themed apps containing math games for early learners. Each game has a range of levels within it. A child’s enjoyment will be heightened with early success, so it is recommended that the player start well below what would be challenging. When the mathematic skills begin to get challenging, the child will already be comfortable with how to play the game.
If a player is struggling with the actual math concept itself, it is best to review the concept with real, hands-on, concrete materials. Children need to understand that a certain number of objects (for example, three apples) are represented by the numeral ‘3’, before they are ready to grasp how 3 apples plus 2 more apples can be added together to make a total of five.
As noted in Finding the balance between reading for fun and reading homework with children, kids will engage in learning when they enjoy what they are doing. The best thing the adults in their lives can do is encourage a love of learning early by finding ways to make it as positive as possible.
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