Whether your child is learning online or in person this year, it can be tough to keep kids engaged — especially in math. But homework, worksheets, and flash cards aren’t the only ways kids can build their math skills! These computer games, video games, and apps are creative ways to make math fun.

An important note for parents to keep in mind is that speed is not a goal in math. In fact, speed drills have been linked to math anxiety. Since you know your child best, make sure you choose options and challenges that are fun for your child. If they’re not fun for your child, skip it and try the next one!

Spending a bit of time playing these games can provide a productive break from traditional forms of studying and will help your student strengthen their math skills without feeling like they’re putting in work.

  1. Math Slither

    This fun, addictive game is a great way to get good at a variety of skills, from addition and subtraction to decimals and division. It offers different skill-building settings for kids in preschool through eighth grade, and your student can choose the skill they want to practice. Math Slither adds a challenging twist to the highly popular game “Slither.io.” Players guide an on-screen snake to food and try their best to avoid collisions with other snakes. To feed your snake, you must guide it to eat the correct response to the math question that appears at the top of the screen. The game encourages memorization and quick thinking, so it can be especially helpful for students mastering skills like multiplication and fractions. Math Slither is free to use, and a great way to help your student challenge their math skills while taking a break from flash cards.

  2. Prodigy

    Interested in a game that helps your student progress over time? Prodigy is a fantastic world-building game that lets you tailor the math skills your child works on to their grade and the math curriculum in your state. Your child will get to play as a wizard, casting spells that require correct answers to math problems in order to fight evil. The game is free to play, and parents can make an account that lets them see their child’s progress. Parents can also pay to upgrade their child’s account and unlock additional game features. Even though the game supports student learning all the way up to the eighth grade, the simple storyline is probably best suited for younger learners in first grade through sixth grade.

  3. DragonBox

    This interactive touch-screen game can help tutor your child in arithmetic, algebra, or geometry. DragonBox offers a suite of apps that are ideal for kids in first grade through seventh grade. While the apps aren’t free to download, none costs more than $7.99, and all of them use fun puzzles to progressively teach math skills.

  4. Arcademics.com

    This is a great option for parents of kids ages 7 to 11 who want to customize their students’ math gaming experiences. With Arcademics.com, parents can create an account and choose from a wide array of math games that target different skills, from addition and subtraction to ratios and integers. One note of caution for parents: Games on the site often challenge students’ speed at answering math questions. For example, in Grand Prix Multiplication, students have one minute to solve as many multiplications as they can, and each right answer gives their race car a boost over other players as it zooms around the racetrack towards the finish line. Since doing math fast is not an indicator of math smarts, make sure your child enjoys these challenges. If not: skip ‘em! The site is free to use, but parents can upgrade their accounts to get more student performance data and assign custom-content games.

  5. MathLand

    For the pirate lovers out there, MathLand is a brand-new Nintendo Switch game that challenges players to solve math problems of increasing difficulty as they search for a treasure chest. The game focuses on addition and subtraction, arithmetic strategy, and multiplication tables. It is best suited for kids ages 7 to 10, but can provide engaging practice for older learners, too.

  6. MathTango

    If you have a future astronaut in the family, they might enjoy MathTango, an Apple app for kids ages 5 to 10 that teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and helps learners advance their skills. Parents can customize the lesson plan at any time, but the app will automatically create one based on the player’s age. Kids play as a friendly monster who visits its kind Uncle Fibonacci in outer space. By working through engaging puzzle games that help build math skills, the player constructs an advanced, deep-space math research center. The app is free to download and free to use for the first seven days, but after the trial period parents will need to subscribe for continued access.

  7. Math-Play.com

    Does your child want to be a millionaire? Math-Play.com offers a selection of Math Millionaire games suitable for first graders through seventh graders. The games cover topics ranging from order of operations and square roots to multiplication, division, and place values. For example, the Millionaire Money Game challenges kids to answer questions about money values and addition, and is aligned with the Common Core math standards. All of the games are free to play.

  8. Mr.Nussbaum Learning+Fun

    This site offers a ton of teacher-designed games and learning resources for students in first through sixth grade who want to improve particular math skills. Students can choose from sets of games that focus on a wide range of math concepts, like patterns and time telling, or graphing and rounding. The site also offers Common Core-aligned math games for first, second, and third graders. All of the games on the site are free for students to play.

  9. Boat Coordinates

    If your fifth grader needs to work on their graphing skills, Boat Coordinates adds a fun incentive to buckling down and figuring it out. Players plug in x and y coordinates to navigate their boats to the finish line, grabbing buoys and avoiding obstacles along the way. Reaching the finish line once elevates players to the next level, providing some quality practice time that will have your student feeling more confident about graphing in no time.

  10. Math Playground

    For a wide variety of games that are geared towards creative problem-solving, check out Math Playground, a site that hosts dozens of games for kids from first grade to sixth grade. The games are organized by grade level and often cater to specific interests. For example, in Algebraic Reasoning at the Candy Shop, sixth graders are challenged to figure out the price of certain candies based on their collective cost. Most games on the site are free to play, but parents can subscribe for access to even more.

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Updated: April 5, 2021