For a child in primary school, there is nothing more important in maths than knowing your times tables. It will make everything you learn in the subject so much easier. If a child needs to write out their times tables every time they need to work out something like 6×4 or 7×8, they are quickly going to lose patience and confidence in the subject.

However, despite their importance in their education, generally practising times tables is quite a boring prospect for a child (and I don’t blame them!). Writing your times tables out again and again isn’t the most exciting way to pass time. In a previous blog, I suggested 5 fun ways you can practice times tables with your child. But can we do better? Anyone with a child at primary school age will know that keeping screen time down is a big struggle. So wouldn’t it be good if we could combine this with times tables practice?

In this blog and future blogs, I will be reviewing a number of times tables apps (that are available on the Apple Store – I’m an iPhone guy). I will review one times table app in each blog to allow a thorough review of them and then after I’ve done a few of these I’ll give my Top 10. Today’s app is Math Ninja.

**Math Ninja Review**

Math Ninja is free to use, but you can pay £2.99 to remove adverts.

The purpose of the game (other than practising times tables) is to collect cards. Whenever you earn a card, it is added to your collection.

Cards can be shared with friends via WhatsApp or email.

Cards are earned by opening chests. Chests are earned by completing levels. Each times table has 4 levels of ascending difficulty. The first level for each times table is always in ascending order (so 1 × 2, 2 × 2, 3 × 2 and so on) and contains 9 questions. The later levels then get harder by asking a larger number of questions and at random. The final level is a boss level which contains 15 questions. In each level, you have three lives. The questions are multiple choice (with 3 options). There is no time limit for any of the questions, so you can take as long as you need to answer them.

When you get a question wrong, it corrects you through a diagram which is really good. See the example below, where I got 2 × 2 wrong (on purpose, obviously…).

The app also allows you to track how many questions you have answered, and how many of them were correct/incorrect, which is a good feature. You will also see below that you can earn chests by answering more questions. An additional chest is earned at 200, 600, 1200 and 2000 points. This is good as it is incentivising you to answer more questions.

However, you can also earn more points by watching an advert, which is a disadvantage as it disincentivises answering more questions, defeating the object of the app.

**Conclusion**

Overall I like the app, although I don’t think it would take a user very long to complete the game and collect all the cards. I also am not sure how interested a child would be in collecting cards (but I’m a bit out of the loop on what kids are in to these days!). The main issue I have with the app is that for each times table they test you up to 9×. This means that you will not get any practice on the 10, 11 or 12 times tables.

Pros | Cons |

Rewards are given for playing more | Only tests times tables up to 9× |

Ability to share with friends | There is a 1× level which seems very pointless |

Adverts are not very frequent | You have to complete all times tables before unlocking the random level |

You can track how many questions were answered incorrectly | Players can watch ads to earn points (disincentivising practicing times tables) |

When you get a times table wrong, it corrects you | |

A full times table grid is available on the app for revision |

Usability rating = 10/10 (how easy is the app to use and are there regular bugs?)

Enjoyability rating = 5/10 (how enjoyable is the app to play?)

Helpfulness rating = 5/10 (how much would using this app help improve a user’s times tables?)

Overall rating = **7/10**

I hope you found this review helpful. Stay tuned for more reviews in future blogs.

If you are in Bristol and your child is struggling with times tables and think they would benefit from maths tutoring, book a free taster session.