Best iPhone & iPad apps for kids: Mr Thorne's Times Table Terra; Mr Thorne's Divide + Conquer; Mr Thorne's Addition Space Station
All £1.49 (App Store links: Mr Thorne's Times Tables Terra, Mr Thorne's Divide + Conquer; Mr Thorne's Addition Space Station)
All three are available as part of the Maths Universe Bundle, which is £2.99
All for ages 4+
London teacher Christopher Thorne must be one of the coolest Sirs on the planet (although he does appear to own several pairs of Timmy Mallet-like specs), and he uses the planets as the theme for his three maths apps: Mr Thorne's Times Table Terra, Mr Thorne's Divide + Conquer, and Mr Thorne's Addition Space Station.
The apps are simple and look gorgeous - sure to be a hit with boys as well as girls.
When you score 10 out of 10 on a particular addition, times table or division test you get to keep a space station or planet, depending on the app you're using. There's a mystery challenge when you've unlocked all the tests, which is an extra incentive - and different to the Squeebles and Math Bingo reward games.
Each game has three levels: Beginner/Newcomer, First Class/Elite and World Class/Legend. The top level is going to test adults, too, so you can join in the sum fun.
Mr Thorne's Addition Space Station has 42 mental maths tests, which includes adding multiple numbers, decimals and fractions so is suitable for children aged 5-11.
Mr Thorne's Times Table Terra features 60 tests based on basic multiplication and times tables. They also feature video tutorials from Mr Thorne himself.
Mr Thorne's Divide + Conquer has 50 maths tests based on division and inverse times tables.
I recommend all the Mr Thorne maths apps, as they're simple to use, look great, and should really engage kids in these maths basics.
Best iPhone & iPad apps for kids: My Very Hungry Caterpillar
Price: £2.99 (Download My Very Hungry Caterpillar)
Made for 5 and under
The Very Hungry Caterpillar has munched its way through countless books, a telly animation, and even the odd activities-based app. But My Very Hungry Caterpillar takes a different approach, transforming the ravenous larva's surroundings into an interactive game.
The result's not unlike a no-lose Tamagotchi, with you feeding the caterpillar, playing with it, helping it doze under a leaf, and watching it grow. Eventually, like in the original story, the caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly, at which point a new egg is laid for the adventure to begin anew.
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