Cute Math is very much just what it’s name says. It is a cute way to approach math with very young children. It consists of 6 different games. Each game has a specific aim and ability level in mind, and each one is harder than the one before. They all use numbers 1-10 exclusively (nothing higher and no zeros). The first two games, Apple Harvest and Baby Penguins, concentrate mainly on counting and number recognition. In Apple Harvest, the game speaks aloud and asks the child to put a certain number of apples in the basket. Baby Penguins asks the child to line up the baby penguins, each of which has a number between 1 and 10 on their tummy, in order. The next two games, Happy Birds and Fruit Fall, introduce addition and subtraction using fun animation and visual aids. The final two games, Balloon Bounce and Parachute Jump, work on mastering addition and subtraction without the use of visual cues. The child must now figure out the addition and subtraction problems in their head or using their fingers. Parachute Jump even adds a time limit within which the child must solve it. There are minor quirks in the program that bothered us a little. The voice that speaks in the first two games is sometimes hard to understand and in half of the games there is no way of correcting a mistake. You only get one chance to solve each problem.
We tested the game on a four-year-old. None of the things that bothered us seemed to make a difference to him. He had no trouble understanding the voice. He enjoyed the games and the simple animations and even seemed to be catching on quickly to the math concepts. We did have to sit down with him and explain what he needed to do in each game because it was not readily apparent what he should do and there were no explanations given. Once the games were explained, though, he caught on quickly.
This program is very simple, but it seems to do the job, at least as far as kids are concerned. We as adults weren’t too excited about Cute Math until we saw that it could indeed provide what it promised. This app is a pretty good one for introducing youngsters into the world of math in a fun way.
CuteMath is $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.