Engaging a child in learning math can be a difficult task for any parent or teacher. A new video game, however, is something just about any kid is more than willing to try. By combining entertainment with education, math games for Wii give parents and educators a way to teach children in a fun and enjoyable way. A variety of educational video games is available for the Wii console in a wide range of prices and recommended age levels.
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree is one of the best educational video games currently available for the Wii console. This sequel to Big Brain Academy for Nintendo DS challenges players to solve problems in analysis, memory, visual recognition, number crunching and quick thinking. The game is rated for ages 5 and up, although its difficulty level may be a bit too high for the average five or six year old. Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree can be played solo or with up to eight players in multiplayer mode. Scores can be traded with other players via WiiConnect24 for those who like to see how they stack up to the competition. Although not specifically focused on math, the game provides plenty of educational material in this subject area. One of the most fun aspects of the game is the "Balloon Burst" mini-game, in which players pop balloons in numerical order. Prices for Big Brain Academy ranges from £13.00 to £19.50, depending on where you purchase it. For older children and teens, this is is probably the best bet for an educational game for the Wii.
Arcademic Skill Builders
Arcademic Skill Builders offers several free math games that can be played on the Wii console through the Wii internet function. Although somewhat simplistic, games like Meteor Multiplication and Alien Addition are great for elementary school-age children because of their ease of use. However, parents or teachers may need to help their children navigate to the website's menu via the Wii console to start the game. Safety is also a priority for Arcademic: user names are not stored and participants in multiplayer games are not allowed to contact each other.
Donkey Kong junior Math
Fans of the 1985 educational math video game Donkey Kong junior Math can now download the game for Wii through Nintendo's Virtual Console service. Players can guide Junior the monkey to collect numbers and solve math problems in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Donkey Kong junior Math is a good option for younger children who won't mind the old-school graphics or repetition of the game challenges. For more sophisticated kids or older players, the game is likely to become somewhat boring rather quickly.
Geometry Wars: Galaxies
The 2007 video game Geometry Wars: Galaxies is a terrific learning game available for the Wii. Truly a fun game as well as educational, Geometry Wars challenges players to keep their ship alive by destroying enemy combatants. Although primarily geared as an entertainment title, the game forces players to learn to navigate in 360 degrees and become familiar with a variety of geometrical shapes. Price is around £13 and new copies can be found at sites like Amazon.com.
Music and math go hand in hand, and it is difficult to learn one without absorbing the rudiments of the other. Wii Music allows anyone to play a musical instrument and make their own tunes using the Wii Remote and Balance Board. Players can create their own beats, jam with other players and improvise to their heart's content. The game comes with over 60 instruments that can be played with the Wii remote and nunchuk controllers. Players can also share their creations and interact with other creators through WiiConnect24. Although the game does not pose math problems to be solved, learning beat counts and putting together musical tracks touches on mathematical skills. A parent or teacher can also easily integrate math learning into play by posing musical quests for the player, such as creating a song with a 4/4 drum beat. Wii Music costs around £16.20 depending on where you buy it.