When it comes to math apps for kids, there are a lot of apps that teach basic addition and subtraction. There are also a lot of apps that cover multiplication and division. But there are not nearly as many apps that fit the skills in between – adding and subtracting larger numbers. Magic Store Math attempts to fill that void with a fun game-based app that’s designed to help kids learn how to add and subtract numbers over 100. Kids put their math skills to the test as they assist customers in a magic shop. It seems easy enough at first, but the customers’ requests and prices of the items increase in difficulty over time, helping kids really build their skills.
Includes magic shop setting
Allows multiple users
Offers counting assistance
Increases in difficulty
On the main screen of the app, kids will see a play button and the ability to create a user. The app supports multiple users, so different kids can play and track their progress in the app. Also on the main screen are a music icon (for controlling the background music and sound effects), a trophy icon (for reviewing your performance), and a light bulb (which leads to developer information and more apps). Once kids add themselves as a user and begin playing the app, they’ll be taken through a brief tutorial to make sure they know how the app works. From there, the app is laid out pretty simply. A customer comes in to buy magic items, kids fill the order, determine the total, and take the payment. If kids choose to pause the game, they will notice an odd message. While most of the app is English, the pause screen is written in Icelandic.
Developers have put a lot of thought into designing an app that will help kids learn. The content of the app is split into 15 weeks. Think of each week as a level, not as an actual week. Kids can actually work their way through the weeks rather quickly by correctly filling orders. Each item in the order is priced differently and kids must correctly calculate the total of a set of combined items, as well as take payment from the customer.
In the first level of the app, numbers start out somewhat small and total up to 100 or less. This helps kids build some confidence. As the app progresses, the problems become more difficult. The prices of the items in the app regularly change too, making it harder for kids to simply memorize the answers. The app doesn’t use dollars and cents. Instead, customers pay with coins (50s and 10s to start out). Kids can use mental math to figure out what customers owe, or they can use a handy coin counter that allows kids to split larger coins into smaller numbers or combine smaller coins into larger numbers.
Games that require kids to run a business are usually very popular with kids. Although this game simply involves performing the same action over and over again, kids will enjoy filling the orders. They’ll be introduced to a host of different characters and get to listen to some slightly eerie background music as they play. The game also includes fun sound effects, particularly when kids get an answer wrong. They can also track their progress as they play and work on different aspects of the process, such as improving their speed.
The app is priced comparably to other educational math apps. Given the fact that it contains 15 “weeks” of play and covers a skill that many math apps don’t, it’s a good buy.
One of the few downsides to the app is the fact that it includes an icon that leads to social media and more apps icons. While the content is protected by a parental block, the names of additional apps are visible to children. Parents will also find protected access to a website outlining the app’s main features.