As much as I have tried to convince myself that Angry Birds teaches advanced physics and I am not a bad father for letting my kids play it, it is a pretty tough argument to make. I guess I could not let the kids play with my iPhone and encourage them to do something educational, but that is just crazy talk. No, I need the Holy Grail – an iPhone app that is fun AND educational.
Enter Kakooma – The Guilt Free App That Kids Can Play All Day
When we were contacted to review a math app called Kakooma, our first reaction was, “let’s review some toys instead“. After all, doing math is not usually fun, even if you do it on the iPhone. Luckily, our assumptions were totally incorrect. Kakooma is fun and it absolutely helps kids (and adults) improve their math skills. If my 9 year old plays Kakooma for an hour, I don’t feel guilty for letting him play games on my iphone, I feel like a responsible and wise parent!
What is Kakooma?
Kakooma is a deceptively easy looking math game. The board is made up of nine puzzles. In the upper left hand corner is the first puzzle – a grid of nine numbers. All you need to do is find two numbers in the puzzle which add up to a third number in the puzzle.
So if we look at the first puzzle, we see that 9 plus 8 equals 17, so you would click 17 and solve the first puzzle. A large 17 would then appear where the first puzzle was and you move onto the next puzzle and do the same thing.
After you have completed all 10 puzzles (the 9 small ones and the one large one that is created after you solve the first 9 puzzles) you are done. You then look at your time (you are racing the clock) and can’t believe how long it took you to solve the “simple” puzzles.
Kakooma looks and sounds very easy, but try it out and you will see it can be surprisingly difficult. There were numerous times I got stuck for a while on a puzzle and then kicked myself when I finally found the answer staring right at me.
Is Kakooma For Kids Or Adults?
Yes! As you can tell from my comments, I played Kakooma for more time than I care to admit. I finally did relent and let my 9 year old son have a crack at it and he really enjoyed it as well.
Kakooma forced my son to really test his adding skills and also to develop systems for solving the puzzles in a more efficient manner. At first, you just do trial and error, but as you play more you look at things like the high and low numbers in the puzzle and come up with better techniques.
Kakooma is probably most enjoyable for kids ages 8 and up. There are four different levels of play, so older players can increase the difficulty (adding larger numbers). Since the game is timed, kids are really just trying to better their best time – more than competing against others. Even if your math skills are not strong, all that matters is that you improve from your last game.
Kakooma Is Developed By Greg Tang, And That is A Good Thing
You may not know Greg Tang, but your children may have used his math books.
Greg Tang has authored numerous math books, games, flash cards, workbooks and teaching material. Suffice to say, Greg knows math and more importantly, knows how to teach it in a fun and educational way. Kakooma shows that Greg’s ability to teach math skills transfers very well to an iPhone app.
Conclusion: Kakooma Math App for the iPhone
Kakooma is a fun and addictive way for kids and adults to improve their math skills. In some ways Kakooma is similar to Sudoku math puzzles, but I find Kakooma a faster paced game and more enjoyable to play. The game is highly addictive, as you and your kids will find yourselves trying to constantly better your best time.
In addition to the Kakooma app for the iPhone (99 cents) you can play a free demo on their website and purchase books and flash cards. If you are a parent looking to get your kids more excited about building their math skills, Kakooma is an excellent choice. Just be warned, you will find yourself doing math grids in your sleep as you try to improve your best time. Hey, at least it is better than dreaming about flinging birds at pigs.
Kakooma Math App for iPhone Gets 4 D’s (scale of 1 to 5) -
Any Product That Receives 4 or 5 D’s is Dad Does Approved!
Here is our complete rating chart –
Kakooma Math App, sells for 99 cents on iTunes. You can also visit their site for an online demo and information on Kakooma books and flash cards.
FULL DISCLOSURE: We broke the piggy bank and spent our own 99 cents to buy Kakooma. We received no money for doing this review and receive nothing if you do decide to buy Kakooma. If you become completely addicted to Kakooma, don’t blame us – blame Greg Tang! This is a real review, by a real Dad (and his kids)!
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