Beginner Math Games?

Any good games that teach math to beginners? I found plenty of flash games of varying quality, but I’m looking for something a little more engaging.

My daughter is actually pretty good at math, but she doesn’t realize this. I thought plyaing a game might help her build self-confidence.

They’re not necessarily teaching tools, but both Brain Age and Big Brain Academy have math exercises built into them.

You could try the ‘Zoombini’ games.

Maybe a card game like ‘Flinch’ or ‘Harvester’ would be better.

I remember there were math games from the learning company awhile ago probably 13 years ago that I played which were pretty helpful back in elementary school. They had basic algerbra and advance, don’t know if they went any more then that.

They could have updated versions of them, but I don’t know if the learning company is still around.

As someone who teaches math, well, I suppose for a living:

Nothing builds a kid’s confidence more than a parent or tutor.

Most children (and teenagers) don’t feel truly confident about something like this until they show someone else that they can do those annoying problems in the practice section at the back of the book. Something to keep in mind for later on, since you implied that your child is still at the grade-school level.

And some actual on topic advice: If you are a Gametap subscriber, they have a metric fuckton of educational games available.

Jesus, McBain I don’t know if I’m comfortable accepting advice about my daughter’s self esteem from someone in your location. :)

Thanks for the head’s up about doing the practice problems with an adult/tutor. My other child is the exact same age but has tons of confidence. How does that happen?

Thanks for the suggestions. I am familiar with the Learning company, so they’re still around, but I was hoping someone had something specific in mind. I’ll have to take a look at Brain Age and Big Brain Academy.

‘Zoombini’ games are the closest I can think of.

I personally think ‘Harvester’ or ‘Flinch’ is a better idea.

Nothing ever makes someone feel as good about how well they can do something than seeing how poorly other people do it.

Take her to McDonald’s and ask the staff there how much various hypothetical orders would cost. (IE: How much would 3 items from the dollar menu and a $.50 Apple Pie cost?) Make it clear that needing to punch it into the register would be cheating.

Heh, one time I asked a mcdonalds employee for ketchup and she looked at me like I asked for sushi.

The zoombini game takes me back, I remember loving that game back in fourth grade, and even have a copy of it around somewhere. Elementary school was the time that I bought so many educational games. Learning company and broderbund were the 2 big ones back then. Didn’t broderbund go out of business or am I thinking of someone else?

I worked with some of the folks who worked on the Zoombini games, and they’re still raving about how they were the best mix of entertainment and education that they’d ever produced.

We have the zoombini games, and they are good, but it’s higher level math, like patterns and such. She’s actually pretty good at those. Somehow she has a bad self image about simple addition.

Maybe a trip to Micky D’s is in order.

You could try ‘rigged’ games of Blackjack, and you could shift the target number around to whatever you want.

You might want to remove the ‘Face’ cards.

Number Munchers and Math Blaster are the only ones I’ve seen in action. And that was many years ago (Number Munchers was on an Apple IIe). However, I thought both looked fun for an elementary level.

I’ll have to track down those Zoombini games… also thanks for the tip on Gametap having edutainment software.

It’s not a computer game thing per se, but with my 5 yr old who is a total video game nut, we introduced the notion of “codes”. That is to say, when he wants us to do various things (like switching out games on the Xbox, etc. just minor stuff) he has to first input the “code”, which is typically a very small math / spelling puzzle improvised out of whatever is on hand.

This works like gangbusters with him and provides a nice constant challenge / reward cycle. Yeah, I know, I can’t stop being a game developer even at home. :) Also I found it’s pretty easy to work lots of math stuff into discussion about games or even random pretend play around the house… whenever my boys want me to chase them around the house as a pirate (go figure) they have to count out the Pirate’s Treasure in pennies… and then when they “fight” the pirate he has hit points they have to do subtraction on.

Yeah, so I’m a horrible geek… so what? :)

That’s a good idea. I remember when I was young my mother would play blackjack with me (she’d be the dealer of course). It’s a timeless game that is a tremendous exercise in doing quick mental math.

Depending on how astute your daughter is, I’d suggest leaving the face cards in (the Ace too!). They’ll add an element of trickiness which will require a bit of low-level abstract thinking to figure out.