“I hate math,” my seven-year old says, pushing his homework aside.
“But you’re so good at it!” I counter, trying to find the right level of enthusiasm.
“It’s boring,” he replies, as if it’s obvious.
Truth is, math IS boring. Arithmetic, with its rules and repetition, goes against everything my free-spirited little dreamer embraces. He loves colours, musical notes and a world that’s lit in bright, vibrant technicolour. (Translation: he’s like every other child growing up with technology at his fingertips.) And today, there’s no shortage of educational apps and games available, created to make learning fun and assist in the development of essential skills.
One such app is Flip4Gold, a math game consisting of four rows of nine tiles each using dice and flash cards to create multiplication, division, addition and subtraction equations to be solved.
Now, you may be thinking – Another educational app? What makes this one different from the others? Well, it’s simple: Flip4Gold concentrates on strengthening one core skill – mental math – and does it really, really well.
The app itself is very straightforward, featuring a fun, creative dice game that teaches and reinforces math skills at every level. Created by a Chartered Accountant with the help of her four daughters, the goal of Flip4Gold is to make math fun for everyone and to take away the stigma of “I’m bad at math” or “I’m not a numbers person”. (Or, it’s boring.)
Ryder was thrilled to get in a little more screen time (“Wee! A new video game!”) and took to the app immediately with very little direction. I love that Flip4Gold is user friendly and free of advertisements; he loves the feeling of achievement and progression as he “plays” his way through mental math problems. Plus, it’s currently a FREE download via iTunes or Google Play.
The three core principles of Flip4Gold are to: 1) build confidence and interest in math, 2) strengthen mental math skills and 3) develop logical reasoning, strategy and problem-solving skills. And, it’s available for all ages; Flip4Gold Jr. targets children aged 3-5, and Flip4Gold, while appropriate in its beginning stages for ages 5-8, is best for ages 9 and up.
In truth, Ryder tired of the game after about 5-10 minutes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. An extra 10 minutes of mental math practice daily helps to strengthen his skills while he’s engaged in fun-based learning. He’s visited the app on my iPhone at least once daily over the past week, underscoring Flip4Gold’s appeal to school-aged children.
If you’re looking for a math-based app that will grow with your child, download Flip4Gold today! (Even though the iPhone and iPod touch Flip4Gold is compatible with the iPad, you can also download an iPad specific version, where the graphics are crisper and clearer.) I must admit, I’ve practiced my mental math a few times as well! Let’s just say my division skills leave much to be desired… shh, don’t tell my kids!