Any brief online search quickly yields a cornucopia of articles, blogs, and op-ed pieces bemoaning society’s increased usage of mobile devices. Not to mention how it supposedly spells the death of such precious things as social graces, face to face conversation, and, of course, educational prowess. The critics paint a picture of a vast sea of humanity (Millennials in particular), hunched over their devices and learning nothing of value.

It’s true that some of that criticism is certainly justified (you haven’t lived until you’ve almost had someone at work walk right into you because they were texting while walking).

However, mobile devices can be put to good use in improving mathematics acumen and sharpening problem-solving skills. In fact, as the article “5 Benefits of iPad Math Apps” points out, since many kids currently enjoy using mobile devices, these apps increase the likelihood of engagement.

Here are some math apps for the iPad, covering an age range from kindergarten to tweens.

MATH VS. ZOMBIES

Zombies are everywhere these days, making one wonder if perhaps they have jumped the (zombified) shark. Regardless, this app, which costs $4.99, gives children practice in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Correct answers zap the zombies back into human beings. It works on both the iPad and iPhone. Incidentally, there’s also a free Android version.

10MONKEYS MULTIPLICATION

This app, a steal at $1.99, helps kids practice their multiplication tables from 2X to 10X. By getting answers correct, the player helps to free the ten imprisoned monkeys. This app works for the iPhone too. For the non-Apple people out there, it also comes in a free Android version.

SUSHI MONSTER

Is anyone else getting a picture in their heads of a furry blue Muppet devouring tray after tray of sushi, or is it just me? In any event, this free app challenges kids with addition and multiplication problems. The correct answers are listed on different pieces of sushi, hence the clever name. There are a dozen levels, and you can play it on the iPhone as well.

INTRO TO MATH

As its name says, this app, priced at $2.99, is a fundamental introduction to mathematics. Working on both the iPhone and iPad, it teaches young children how to write, read, and understand the numbers between zero and nine. It tests fine motor and problem-solving skills and introduces children to sequences, order, odds and evens, and spatial relationships. This app is great for beginners.

DOODLE NUMBERS PUZZLE

Here’s an app that’s great for kids and adults alike. The object is to solve a series of pattern-matching puzzles by using basic math. There is no price listed for this app, and it works on the iPhone as well as the iPad.

MATH FACT MASTER

This versatile app costs only .99 and runs on iPhones as well as iPads. It has a Flashcard (practice) mode and a Challenge (exam) mode that lets children practice their math before testing themselves on what they learned. The app’s difficulty can be increased, taking children from absolute beginners to middle school level.

These half-dozen titles are just a few of the many apps out there that can turn your kids into math experts while having fun. Adults can get in on the good times as well, and give the kids a run for their money!