Has your child ever complained that practicing math is boring? Why not try an interactive approach that challenges math skills through game play? The Twelve a Dozen app offers an arcade-style math game that challenges your child’s problem solving skills while reinforcing basic math concepts. Join Twelve on an adventure through Dozenopolis, using increasingly complicated math problems to solve each level.
Twelve a Dozen by Touch Press Inc.
Ages: Designed for grades 4-8 (rated 9+ for infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence)
Requires: iOS 6.0 or later
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Twelve a Dozen is an interactive, arcade-style game that teachers and parents both recommend for fun math skills practice. The app opens with an introductory video that shares the history of Dozenopolis, but if your child isn’t interested, you can tap to skip. Twelve is on a quest to save her family from the destructive Ultimate Prime. The adventure is narrated by a decimal named Dot, while Twelve works to solve the puzzles. These start out simple and get progressively harder. Levels go by operation, and include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The app’s settings are pretty simple – you can choose the voice, sound, and music settings from the main menu at the bottom of your home screen. The video is narrated but also captioned, so your child can play without sound if you prefer. The story includes five chapters, each with 10 levels to complete. Only the first chapter is included in the free version. To unlock the remaining content, you can either purchase full access ($7.99) or subscribe to the Touch Press Games monthly access pass.
To play, you’ll use arrows to move the character forward and backward, and a button to jump. After a few levels, it becomes intuitive, but your child may need to practice a little to really get the hang of it. As you travel, different math challenges must be completed to move objects or unlock gates. Some numbers have special powers, and you’ll also find machines for adding and other math operations. When a new concept is introduced, the game pauses to highlight the changes. In future levels, you’ll have to remember these different abilities. As the levels get harder, you’ll need to use more than one tool or power to solve a problem, too, since the questions get more complicated. For an added challenge, there are also more hazards for Twelve to avoid, like jumping over dangerous spikes. The game does include some violence, but overall, it is cartoonish and focuses on things like falling buildings and earthquakes.
The game includes several options for practicing or redoing work. If you make a mistake and get stuck, use the rewind button to go back. If you’re not sure what to do next, the hint button gives you clues for how to complete the puzzle. You can also zoom in and out to get a better idea of your overall layout. When you complete a level, you can choose whether to replay it or move on to the next level. Each time you complete a level, you’ll see the amount of time it took to finish the level, the number of hints you used, and the number of times you needed to rewind.
This app is a great way to supplement your child’s off-screen instruction. You can replay specific levels to practice your skills, although the app does not include any features for specific, targeted practice. Plus, children are learning through play and more likely to participate. Ready to take the fun off your screen? Talk about how math is built into the game, and where we use math in our everyday lives. A great way to build math skills is by talking about the process – you and your child can develop strategies together by talking about how you might solve the problem. You can even use a paper and pencil to chart your progress and map out your plan! You can also work math practice into your daily routines, like dividing up snacks.
For more app recommendations and examples, be sure to join us for App Time at Davis Library, Wednesday mornings at 11:15 AM. For all of our great fall programs, be sure to check out our Engage brochure for our complete program lineup. You can pick up a copy at any Plano Library, too. Happy playing!