I’ve always preferred using math as a tool for solving real-world problems. To do that, we may need to simplify the problem’s complexity and come up with new ways to apply our math skills. That’s why I’ve always appreciated apps and games that force us to practice our higher-order thinking skills.
Zap Zap Math is a great example of such an app. It includes plenty of fresh and fun game mechanics that help kids ages 4-7 to practice with their math skills. But, it’s not just a collection of simple math drills. Instead, it consists of problems and challenges that require you to analyze, simplify, and perform many mental calculations.
Zap Zap Math organizes the games into topics based on the Common Core Standards. The first game that you can play is popping bubbles of tens, hundreds, and thousands, to construct a given number. For example, to construct the number 27, you’ll need to pop a bubble of ten into 10 units of ones and tap seven of them. Then, you’ll tap two more bubbles of ten.
Popping a hundred-bubble will give you 10 new bubbles of ten. The same principle applies when you pop a thousand-bubble into 10 new bubbles of hundreds. With this, you can create any number that is requested or would be produced by a given equation.
Zap Zap Math also includes basic geometric games, such as identifying triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, and hexagons. It also includes more familiar mechanics, such as true/false quizzes about multiplications, and choosing more or less operators for the provided number pairs.
Parents Need to Know
Each game in Zap Zap Math has five difficulty levels. You unlock them one at a time by performing well in the current level. To play higher levels, simply tap the Mastery button when you complete a level. These difficulty levels help to keep the games challenging for kids ages 4-7.
Some of the games in Zap Zap Math are fast-paced games with time limits, which are more appropriate for older kids. Regardless of the difficulty levels, all games are designed to comply with various sections of the Common Core Standards.
Zap Zap Math works great without an Internet connection. It is a completely free app without any in-app purchases, third-party ads, or links to social networks. The developers even promise to update the app with new games every 2 weeks.
Things I Like
I have always been a fan of new game mechanics, and math games are no exception. Three game mechanics that I really like in Zap Zap Math are Excavation, Rescue Line, and Angle Broadcast. In Excavation, you trace connected hexagons to construct a valid addition/subtraction equation. Not only would you be required to mentally construct such equation, but you’d also be required to think visually and imagine how you’d connect the hexagons to construct the equation.
The Excavation is also a great example of how many games in Zap Zap Math require you to practice higher-order thinking skills. Instead of just determining whether an equation is valid or not, you are required to construct such equation from 5-7 hexagon elements. Other higher-order thinking skill game examples are the Space Shuttle 2 and 3. Instead of just combining numbers to create a larger number, you may need to subtract the target load volume with the existing cargo before finding a combination of two or three numbers that would fit the target. You clearly need to process the given information, simplify the goal, and perform several mental calculation to find the perfect combination. All of these let you practice your analytical and problem solving skills.
Both Rescue Line and Angle Broadcast are games with excellent potential. In the first one, you can practice measuring with rulers of different scales. With the latter, you can learn how to measure the angles from either end-point. At the time of this writing, there is only one difficulty level made for both games, and I’m really looking forward to what the future updates would bring to these games.
One more thing. I really need to give a hat tip to the background music designed for the games. Each game has a different background music, and it really helps to set the mood and have an immersive experience playing the games.
If you're looking for a math drill app that offers fresh game mechanics, you should definitely try Zap Zap Math. It has plenty of fun game mechanics with varying difficulty levels, and is suitable for kids ages 4-7. The best part of it is the fact that the developers promising to update the app by adding new games every couple of weeks.
App was suggested to us.