Free Math Apps for Subitizing – Games & Activities

Subitizing is the skill of knowing how many items are in a group without directly counting them. Subitizing helps to develop overall number sense and lays the foundation for counting by 2’s, 10’s, and 100’s; adding numbers; and computing mentally.


Subitizing is the skill of knowing how many items are in a group without directly counting them. Try out these free, tested math apps.

Each of the apps featured on the blog today are free and have been supported through funding by the National Science Foundation. The apps have been researched and tested in learning centers and have been proven to improve early learning math skills when compared with students who didn’t use the apps. All of the apps have a simple interface and have a repetitive nature to the activities presented–a compelling reason to add them to your child’s collection! After using the apps with your children, check out their hands-on activities to support your child’s learning.



Gracie & Friends Birthday Café

This app creates every kid’s favorite party scene–a birthday party–to learn about subitizing. Children arrange the friends in the app at tables and distribute items to celebrate.



Gracie & Friends City Skate

Help your child ride their skateboard through the city and jump to catch the groups that represent a specific number. There are twenty different levels on the skating adventure. The skating is easy to navigate.



Gracie & Friends Treasure Bubbles

Pop bubbles with your child in this two-person app. The goal of the game is to only pop the bubbles that represent the given number. Each person can lengthen and shorten their rope to pop or avoid the bubbles falling from the sky. An engaging way to learn about numbers!



Gracie & Friends Jungle Gym

Play with robots and add stickers to their bellies to make numbers. Then children make the robots hang from a rope, matching them up to make all the robots that contain like numbers hang together from the rope. The best part is shaking the app to make all the robots fall and then starting over again!


There’s no reason not to try these excellent early math apps.


Related Blog Post: Top 10 Must-Have Math Apps



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Apps for Developing Number Sense

Learning how to count is part of what young children need to begin laying a foundation for early math skills. However, learning to count is really just one of several concepts that develop in early childhood. Beyond counting, children need to develop an understanding of numbers. For example, children need to be able to look at a set of objects and know without counting that there are 4 and begin to understand that 9 objects are more than 5 objects. Developing these concepts in early childhood will lay the foundation for later mathematics.


Apps for Developing Number Sense

Quick Math Jr.

quick math jr.

KinderTown loves the app Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things. It’s uniquely made to capture kids’ attention and help them learn about counting, ordering numbers, adding, subtracting, and writing numbers. The app is centered on colorful and playful monsters. One of five different game areas is randomly selected when the game play begins. The areas are represented by a bus, a light bulb, a pair of eyes, a house, and a train. One of the greatest features of the games is that they automatically adjust to your child’s learning level so they are appropriately challenged as they learn and progress through the app.


These games are combined together to create Hustle Bustle Island. The app has 3 different islands available for purchase, each of which provides 3 new games for children. Parents can also elect to receive report card notifications on their child’s progress via email.


Throughout the game, children can earn different facial features for the monsters, which then appear within the app. Our child testers liked this feature and the ability to personalize their own monsters. The app allows for multiple students to have profiles, so if you have a classroom or multiple children at this level, the app will support each child’s individual development. The app is appropriate for children who can recognize numbers and number concepts, starting around age 4, although the ability to add and subtract numbers and memorize the facts usually occurs later. Parents, also read the parent section to find different examples of age-appropriate number games that can be played offline to support your child’s learning and development of numbers. The app is free, but additional content costs $4.99 for each island.


Motion Math: Hungry Guppy


Motion Math: Hungry Guppy provides a delightful aquarium environment for children to work on developing number sense. The app provides easy explanations of how to drag bubbles with dots together to make a new bubble with the combined dots. Then, children match the dots on the bubbles to the dots on the fish. Your hungry guppy is designed to eat only the correct number, but there is no losing in this app. Learning is reinforced every time your fish gobbles up the correct number. Numbers that are greater than requested quietly disappear off the screen. The app moves from dots to written numerals quickly. The app practices subitizing (instantly recognize “how many”) dots and recognizing written numerals to match given quantities your fish wants to eat. The app works to build number sense and pre-addition understanding by dragging smaller quantities together to build a larger amount. Hungry Guppy is a prequel to the app Motion Math: Hungry Fish.


Other apps that incorporate number sense along with other early childhood math skills include Bugs and Numbers, Monkey Math School Sunshine, and Bedtime Math. Enjoy working with your child as they develop number sense.


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