Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Math is a subject that requires a lot of practice. It’s also a subject that kids aren’t always excited about tackling. So when you can come up with fun ways for them to practice, it’s a great thing! That’s why I was so excited to review a couple of apps and eBooks from Math Galaxy.
What Did We Review?
Math Galaxy has several different apps and eBooks available. I received access to these three apps:
- Times Tables Balloon Pop
- Add and Subtract Balloon Pop
- Preschool Math
I also received several eBooks. These were workbook type PDFs that I could print for the kids to practice on. There were engaging riddles and jokes that my kids enjoyed. We used books out of the Whole Numbers Bundle, which included a variety of topics ranging from one and two digit multiplication to length and area. They were all geared for kids in the 3-5 grade range.
What Are the Apps?
While Math Galaxy does have some more in-depth teaching apps for kids in the 3-5 grade range, I selected apps for practice and review. So, these were purely game based learning. The two balloon pop games were ones my students enjoyed.
Once you selected a level at the start of the game, you simply popped the balloons that solved the math problem. Several balloons, each with a different number, floated across the screen. There was also peppy music in the background.
It was a fun way for my second grader to practice addition and subtraction, and my fourth and fifth graders to spend more time memorizing their multiplication facts.
There were several levels available, with the option to review single times tables or multiple ones. Students who were ready could also practice them all at once. The addition and subtraction balloon pop also let you pick between addition, subtraction, or both.
Once you selected a level, the game began. The problem to solve was at the top. Then students selected the balloon with the correct answer.
You could turn the sound on and off, which was nice. Especially if a child was practicing their math in the car. 😀
Do you notice the light bulb up in the left-hand corner of the app? If you click on it, it either turns on or turns off the hint. In the screenshot above, it is on. Do you see those green apples next to the equation? Those are a pictorial clue to help students solve the problem. Being able to turn this on or off was a great way to help scaffold kids and help them be successful.
My kids practiced for 5-10 minutes each day, and it did help them improve in their memorization. Having another tool that they actually wanted to use was encouraging. These two apps were a lot of fun, and they’ll keep getting used regularly.
The Preschool Math app was different. Students could select between six different activities.
My five year old daughter really wanted to use this, so she could practice math like her older siblings.
The only problem? My young student had a hard time figuring out what to do, and I felt some of the tasks were too hard for preschoolers.
For instance, on the Froggie Jump activity, students are asked to “Tap the Lilly Pad with the Answer.” Then there was a math problem.
If you notice, the answers are in a line across the bottom, but they’re super small. Preschoolers are typically working on number identification, not answering math problems presented in an equation. And, their fine motor skills typically aren’t great. They’re still learning. So if these would have been a little bigger, and students asked to jump to particular numbers, it would have been an awesome improvement.
And we were using this on an iPhone, so perhaps going to the iPad with the larger screen would have helped. I didn’t test it, so I’m not sure.
My daughter really enjoyed doing the Tracing Numbers activity. But, once she finished a number, she got taken to this reward game. We couldn’t figure out how to play, and it was annoying having to close out of it and reopen just to have her end up back here. Directions on this page would have been so helpful.
But, each morning my daughter still asked to play. She’d spend a couple of minutes playing before she got tired of it or stuck somewhere. Then she’d move onto another activity.
I think with a little more work at improving directions and making this more age-appropriate, this would be a great app!
The eBooks were riddle based. Here’s a page my fourth-grader completed:
As you can see, it opens with a riddle. In this case, it was:
“What is the best way to raise a baby monster?”
Then, there are boxes at the very top with numbers underneath them. There was also a key over on the right-hand side. Students had to solve the math problems, then use the number that corresponded with each to find the correct letter.
This part took my kids a while to get the hang of. They were looking for a letter that went with the number under the box. For instance, under the first box it says 1. So, they looked over at the key to try to figure it out, but there weren’t any 1s. But once they figured out they had to look at the math problem that had that number, and then look for that product in the key, they were able to solve these.
I printed out several pages once a week, and the kids could take one to use during free time. They played “school” a lot with them.
The PDFs also have the answer keys, which was nice.
The eBooks were a great supplemental item for our math instruction!
What Did We Think of These Products?
My older kids and I really enjoyed the Balloon Pop games. It was streamlined, and easy to use.
The Preschool Math game had some positive elements, but I feel like overall it needs a bit more work before it’s ready to hand to a preschooler. Some of the activities are not age-appropriate for a student who hasn’t yet started formal math instruction.
The eBooks were colorful and engaging, and my kids loved the riddles. They had just a few problems on each page, so they were quick to do and not overwhelming. I really appreciated that.
So if you’re looking for some fun supplemental activities for math, I recommend checking out Galaxy Math.