SUM! – Math with Lovable Numbers By Makoto (Mac) Funamizu, is a new early learning math challenge that is absolutely delightful and very fun to play. Intended to teach kids 6-8 basic addition and subtraction facts, it’s a fantastic game for any age! The goal is to make units of 10 by combining or separating numbered charactered balls without having your glass overflow. It is a race of wits against the clock! It’s very simple to learn and play and kids will have this up and running in minutes. The graphics are adorable and each number has its own personality and sass! Learn more about their personalities on the home page, and discover what makes them unique. One of the high points of this section was seeing both the Japanese and English spellings of the numbers. In such a subtle way, it helps present the commonalities of cultures in play and learning. Settings are simple – kids or adults can toggle off music, sound effects, or select English or Japanese as the language of choice.
On opening, the number balls will drop into a glass shaped playing field. It is then up to the player to combine the numbers by placing one atop the other or to separate a larger number into its component parts by tapping it twice. In addition to their unique personalities, all numbers have their own color, size, and sound out their names. Making the numbers come alive through characterization brings in visual and auditory cues to help kids retain direction, make decisions faster, and are therefore more successful; i.e. if you have a two and a five combined to make seven, your eyes will then visually scan for something sized in-between those numbers to achieve the desired number of ten. After playing a few times, kids quickly learn the one is black, and the two is red, and three is green. Here, they are already playing around with possibilities and building fluency. Combining numbers over ten is possible, but a big bloated 15 takes up a lot of room. You can divide it later, but it does take up space and time to do so. Going over 15 crowds the playing field, and that concludes the game. High scores are tallied and celebrated! BONUS: Making 10s in a row (without breaking numbers or making other numbers) gives you a bonus score and a brighter kids’ voices can be heard. The bonus goes up from twice to ten times the original score! Have FUN learning.
What I love about Sum!
- Its open-ended play theme encourages kids to explore and learn about addition and subtraction in a non-judgmental environment.
- The games were quick to learn and play and could be used as a springboard for teaching early spatial thinking and problem solving. By gradually increasing the time for play, it will help build attention to task and the ability to complete tasks.
- The personification of the number balls are just genius and drives the desire for repeat play. And that results in improved fact fluency and competency.
- Graphics are clear, distinct and non-cluttered. Music and sound effects can be toggled off for the more sensory sensitive
- No IAPs, ads, and can be played on the phone or tablet.
- And most of all, it’s addictively fun!
Sum! – Math with Lovable Numbers is definitely a TWA Top Pick! There is currently a drive to name the number characters and the developer welcomes feedback. Check it out today!
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing in Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps has been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.