Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Math Doodles

Math Doodles

Fall 2012 Mobile Apps
Ages: 7 & Up
Developer: Daren Carstens
Developer: Carsten Studios
Download Price: $2.99
Platform: iPad

Our target group of four elementary aged boys covered just about every learning strength and weakness. One excels at math and has a hard time with spelling, while another can't stand math but loves reading. From the moment they opened the Math Doodles app, they reported that they knew their extra-classroom learning world was about to change.

Daren Carstens, the Math Doodles designer/developer, narrates a brief introduction. He tells users that when he was in school, math just looked like squiggles to him, and during math class, he'd just doodle. When he grew up, and realized that there actually was a place for doodles in math, the subject became fun, and he never looked back. Once the mini-intro is complete, users are transported into playful, interactive math lessons .

Even the self-proclaimed math "hater" was instantly charmed by the three Math Doodles challenges. Sum Stacker (previously reviewed) cleverly builds addition skills. Players first choose how the numbers are displayed (dice, fingers, Braille, et al). They then choose a challenge level, easy or hard. Players move the numbers from one stack to another until they add up to the sum at the bottom of each stack. Unknown Square requires filling in the missing number in a 3x3 array add up vertically, horizontally, and diagonally to given sums. Connect Sums shows a target number at the top of a 3x3 array of numbers in which players select the numbers that will add up to the target sum.

Each game gives players choices for displaying the numbers in different ways (as words, Roman numerals, currency, etc.), which adds layers of fun and dimension. Mastering one display encourages pursuit and mastery of another. And that not only builds math skills, it builds confidence. Let the love of learning begin.

Melissa Strunc   ©2012 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
Carsten Studios
Available on iTunes

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