There's an age-old stereotype that girls aren't good at math. While we all know that's not true, it's a notion that's deeply rooted in society. Luckily, it's also a stereotype that's being smashed to bits thanks to technology.
Parents may be wondering what they can do to help foster a love of math in their daughters from a young age. Making it fun and enjoyable for children is so important. That's where the iPad and iPhone app Lola's Math Train 2 comes in. Boys will enjoy this app just as much as girls, but what I like about this app is that I believe it appeals to girls in a unique way, drawing them into the math problems presented and encouraging them to do more.
The secret of Lola's Math Train 2's success is that it incentivizes the problems with games leading to "rewards" and words of encouragement, and ultimately a "party." The game stars Lola, an adorable panda, and her friends as they ride a train that carries them from one math problem to the next. When the child solves one math problem, cheers erupt and balloons float up, and the train moves across the screen, carrying the passengers, and the kid playing the game, to the next problem in the sequence.
The math questions float above the train, and children drag and drop the answers, floating in bubbles, into the equation. Kids also have the chance to test their skills with some fairly challenging patterns, as well as playing fun games assembling puzzles.
When one sequence is complete, the child will have a chance to choose a costume for one of the characters in preparation for the party. Then the total percentage of correctly answered questions is revealed, along with words of praise from Lola. The concept of the characters having a party celebrating effort keeps the math problems fun and interesting. It doesn't feel like work, so children will want to keep practicing.
Kids can choose from three different levels: 1, 2 or 3 (easy, moderate, and challenging), and a cool feature I love is that the game adjusts in difficulty level based on how the child is performing. Parents can access a special area that will reveal a child's progress with the games and track mastery of the math skills.
For more on the app and to download, visit iTunes.