Growing up, learning your multiplication tables probably meant flipping through a stack of flashcards until you could recite them in your sleep. Today, however, helping your kid ace her times tables doesn't have to mean mindless repetition; break up the boredom of flashcards with fun, engaging multiplication apps, perfect for helping your budding mathematician have fun while honing critical math skills.
From animals and games to songs and space, these entertaining, educational apps—found on iTunes, Android Market and Amazon—use kid-friendly topics and graphics to make learning multiplication interactive and enjoyable for any super student.
- Motion Math: Wings (free, ages 4+) Forget Angry Birds; help your little one soar to the head of her math class with this avian-themed multiplication app. Instead of targeting green pigs, your little learner will aim her feathered friends at the answer to a math problem. Unlike flashcards, this app explores the concept behind multiplication with easily understandable dot visuals. As your kid advances through levels, the problems get more difficult and the bird moves more quickly. Can she answer these multiplication problems and help her little bird collect enough feathers to build a nest? Once she's conquered the first ten levels of difficulty, you'll have the option of purchasing additional levels to keep her multiplication skills sharp.
- Math Puppy: Bingo Challenge ($0.99, ages 4+) Woof! Make math appealing to your tiny animal lover with this app, complete with cute graphics and engaging games. Math Puppy: Bingo Challenge gives your child her own electronic pet. When your whiz kid answers a question correctly in Bingo, her virtual furry friend fills a square, jumps and barks—but if she gets it wrong, an X appears instead. In Challenge mode, she must solve a math problem within a certain time limit to advance to different levels, and eventually become a math expert. The app even provides a calculator to help with tough equations.
- Quiz Match Multiplication ($0.99, ages 4+) It's classic match-making with a mathematical twist! Exercise your kid's mental math muscles with this simple matching game. Quiz Match Multiplication hones strong visual skills that help your child scan, find and focus on problems. Flip over a virtual card to find a multiplication problem, and encourage your kid to hunt down the correct answer. When she's right, the smiley at bottom of the screen will beam.
- Times Tables Warp ($1.99, ages 7+) Three, two, one ... blast off! Help your little astronaut get her 0 to 12 tables down pat with this out-of-the-world game. In this 3D adventure, she'll blast asteroids to answer various multiplication problems as she glides through space. Your kid will have so much fun guiding her character on multiplication missions that she'll forget she's learning.
- Multi Rap HD ($0.99, ages 4+) It's no secret that music enhances learning, so why not bring a little hip-hop fun to multiplication? Multi Rap HD is a series of 10 separate multiplication apps that help your little one become a super-fresh math star. D.J. Doc Roc, the hip hop hamster, flows about times tables in his rap videos, and encourages your little music lover to skip count for each fact family. After that, she'll have the chance to take part in a math drill—but she'll have to beat the clock if she wants to win.
- Multiplication: Invasion of the Moon Monkeys ($1.99, ages 7+) The multiplying moon monkeys are invading earth, and it's up to your child's stellar multiplication skills to save the day. As she completes each times tables-themed mission, she'll be one step closer to saving the world from these aggressive apes. This arcade-style game will keep your young mathematician busy with 14 levels, killer graphics, sound effects and missions all around the universe. Practice rounds can help your child slowly build up skills before diving into this fast-paced game.
- Times Table Lab ($0.99, ages 4+) Grab your goggles—it's time to cook up a multiplication grid in the lab! Instead of presenting your tiny scientist with a problem, this app features a blank times table and numbered balls that your child must correctly arrange on the grid. Encourage her to move fast though; if the clock runs out or five balls stack up without being moved, she'll lose a life. Get her started on a 5x5 table, and as she masters each round, she'll move up until progressing to a 12x12 grid. Once she's got it down, encourage friendly competition between your kid and her pals. They'll have so much fun with this arcade-style game, they won't realize they're learning.
- Times Tables: Squeebles Multiplication ($0.99, ages 5-11) The Maths Monster is up to mischief, and only your little learner can save the day. Whizz, a Squeeble, needs help saving his friends but he's terrible at times tables. Challenge your kid to answer the multiplication problems correctly and free 24 Squeebles, each with their own look and personality quirks. Your kid's progress is saved as she plays, so she'll never have to repeat challenges ... unless she wants to!
- Everyday Mathematics Baseball Multiplication 1-12 Facts ($1.99, ages 7+) Batter up! This app combines multiplication practice with America's favorite pastime. Cheer on your kid as she goes head-to-head with a friend in this competitive math game. As she steps up to the plate, she'll get a times table problem to solve. Answer correctly to get a hit—but miss and get a strike. Your little athlete will rack up runs while sharpening her mental multiplication skills.