As much as you may want to download the app and entrust the phone to your kids instructing them to figure app out on their own, please don't do it. Learn from my mistakes. Make sure you spend a few minutes to set up your child with any of these games. While most children are very comfortable with new technologies and can intuit the game rules faster than we do, the default complexity level and speed may not be the one appropriate for your child. Test it yourself, then enjoy doing it together, then set them up on their own and pat yourself on the shoulder while listening to their excited squeaks.
iHangMath by Ocean Blue Apps
A creative adaptation of the old favorite Hangman game. Only instead of the words you have a random multiplication sentence to decode. Great for kids who know the rules of long number multiplication as well as adults. $0.99 iTunes link
MotionMath by MotionMath
Learn fractions the Wii-style. MotionMath utilizes the iPhone's ability to sense motion with its gyroscope and gives players a physical connection to fractions and the number line. Users need to tilt the phone to guide falling balls with ratio values into proper positions along the number line. Cool and simple in its design, the game is fun but not at all trivial as balls are falling very fast. Level can be adjusted after the first game. MotionMath won an Editor's Choice Award for Excellence in Design from Children's Technology Review. $0.99 iTunes link
PopMath, PopMath Lite, PopMath Plus by Pop Soft
This is a great app for kids at elementary school age. Practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by popping corresponding bubbles on the screen. There is a free version and two $0.99 versions. iTunes link
MathGirl Number Garden and Math Girls Addition by Icanology LLC.
While numerous studies have shown that there is no difference between boys and girls in math capabilities, girls are still occasionally being stirred away from math in our culture. Presenting math (and sciences in general) in a relaxing girl-themed context has been shown to improve girls' math attitude. Preschoolers and young elementary school ladies will be charmed by these Apps' names and pink flowery graphics. They will practice grouping and counting objects in the Number Garden and adding them in the Addition app. The game follows a popular among kids pattern of solving puzzles, earning points and then spending them to buy something. In Number Garden kids populate their virtual garden by buying flowers, animals and even lakes. Each app is $1.99 iTunes link
Along with the new creative apps, there are app versions of old popular games that kids and adults will be thrilled and comfortable to play on i-devices.
Little kids will enjoy this centuries-old game while practicing some basic geometry skills. Free. A pro version is $0.99 iTunes link
Set by Pockent, LLC
Great card matching game for all ages. Develops logical thinking. Set Lite is free. A full app is available for $2.99. iTunes link
Rush Hour by ThinkFun, Inc.
Start with the Free app, which offers 10 puzzles on each complexity level. This is a fun early introduction to programming. iTunes link
Treat Lite versions of the apps as product samples. They just provide a taste but are never enough for a delicious meal. If you like what you play, get a full app version that offers many more puzzles and challenges.
What do you and your kids like? Please share your favorite math-related apps in the comments of this post.