If you could harness your child’s enthusiasm for dragons and dungeons video games, and use it to improve his math skills, would you do it? A new app, called Magic & Math by Revolumedia, is a new one you should consider. After checking it out, Fun Educational Apps finds that this is a Top Pick because it will challenge your 7-10 year old while giving him hours of gaming enjoyment.
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In this app, the character’s quest is to release the butterflies from an evil spell that is imprisoning them. All the requisite elements- dragons, spells, castles, challenges, and magic- are present. Your child searches through the castle for clues and secrets while fighting past dragons and evil creatures. The castle itself is an elaborate, multi-level maze. Small challenges require one correct answer; larger challenges require multi-step problem solving. It is possible to collect spells and keys which help you in your search.
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It’s hard to tell if Magic & Math considers itself a gaming app that incorporates math facts or a math app set inside a fantasy game. Actually, that’s a good thing, because it means that both aspects (the enjoyment value and the learning content) hold equally important positions. Any child who has played a fantasy game will be able to pick up the strategy for this app in no time. I was impressed at the number of problems that appear, and the range of difficulty that they represent. There are questions on place value, ordering, number patterns, word problems, basic geometry, and double digit addition/ subtraction. While some folks might disagree with me, I like the fact that there’s no time pressure to answer the questions. They’re difficult enough without it.
Math fluency (the ability to calculate math problems quickly and accurately) is a critical skill for every child to develop in 2013. Magic & Math combines legitimate practice in math fluency with a fun, easy to play game. You may notice that some of the clues are not correctly translated; for example, feet is written as foots. Also, there is a slight difference in terminology for the place value clues (the reference to unit should be ones). I can forgive these minor errors because they are easily fixed and do not affect the game play. For a true combination of entertainment and education, check out Magicians & Mathematics. It’s one of our Top Picks for January.
Magic & Math is available for download via the iTunes App Store
Julie P. - I am a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14. I am happy to see more developers producing quality content for older kids.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.