Children with Down’s Syndrome often struggle with learning math. Researches suggest that the problem might be caused by the slow development of "number sense" in children with Down's Syndrome. Number sense is a person’s intuitive understanding of numbers.
Millie Moreorless is a learning game that aims to help children improve their number sense, especially regarding number magnitude, as a foundation for learning math. It’s been developed with children with Down’s Syndrome, but it is accessible and fun for everyone.
Before we proceed, please note that neither of us at Geeks With Juniors have had any experience working with children’s with Down’s Syndrome. As such, this review will be written from our usual point of view, i.e., based off our understanding of children without disabilities.
Choose More or Less
In the app, Millie Moreorless is a space adventurer who explores wild and wonderful planets. During her travels, she would sometimes reach a hole in the ground or a tower. The player can help Millie create a flat path by choosing from two arrays of dots: the one with more dots will add one block, whereas the one with fewer dots will remove one block.
When the player has successfully completed a level, Millie celebrates with a dance. The player also gets a souvenir if they can complete a level with over 80% correct answers. All won souvenirs can be viewed by tapping the backpack icon on the level selection screen.
In all, the game has 25 levels that are grouped into 5 worlds. Each world features a unique theme; for example, the first world takes place underwater whereas the last world explores the moon. It should also be noted that the difficulty increases as the number of dots shown gets closer together each level, moving from a ratio of 1v4 in the earlier levels towards a ratio of 4v5 in the latter levels.
Parents Need to Know
In math education, magnitude refers to a person’s intuitive ability to recognize which of two groups of items contains the greater number. It is believed that this instinctive sense of magnitude is developed very early on in life, and affects our later math skills.
The basis of the design of Millie Moreorless is that children with Down’s Syndrome develop their sense of magnitude more slowly than other children. The aim of the app is to create an engaging environment where children with Down’s Syndrome can get better at magnitude and eventually, grow up to become adults with Down’s Syndrome who are better at math. If you are interested in learning more about the app and its design principles, we highly suggest reading the interesting journal entries on the developer’s site.
Millie Moreorless is available to download from the App Store. It contains no third-party advertising, no in-app purchases, and no social media links.
Things I Like
What makes Millie Moreorless a great learning game is its accessibility. Aimed towards children with Down’s Syndrome, it’s also enjoyable for children without disabilities. The game has a gentle learning curve and the right amount of challenges, plus lots of fun rewards that encourage the child to learn. It doesn’t punish the player harshly when he or she makes a mistake, instead opting for a gentle prod to try again.
Design-wise, there are many things to like about Millie or Moreorless. For starters, the interface is simple and easy to use. I like that you can glance at selection screen to check your child’s progress; any planet with a star on it means he or she has completed a level with over 80% correct answers. The graphics are colorful and vibrant, and the soundtrack is also quite lovely.
Designed for children with Down’s Syndrome, but easily accessible by everyone, Milie Moreorless helps players develop number sense as the foundation for higher math education. In the app, players solve magnitude-comparison problems in order to help the titular character Millie journey across beautiful worlds. The gameplay is straightforward but appealing, and has a moderate amount of challenges. If you have been looking for an app to help your child with their basic math skills, you might want to give this app a try.
App was provided for our honest review.