For Teachers

For Parents


Adding and subtraction for KS1

  • iPad
  • Free
  • age 3+

About AdditionNSubtraction

The application ‘AdditionNSubtraction!’ is an app that turns mathematical adding and subtracting into a game format. The application uses a computer-based platform game to teach the skills of addition and subtraction over a variety of different levels. The application is free from in-app purchases and does not require a constant Wi-Fi connection. 

Teacher Review

Upon opening the application, the user is shown two developer splash screens before the main ‘Home Screen’ is displayed. There is a menu in the top left that gives the user the option of turning the ‘Sound’ on or off, turning the ‘Music’ on or off and whether the user would like to select a happy or sad face. The graphics are colourful and the text is easy to read and we really love the narration which is clear and calm.

The user can choose for a number of topic options as shown below:

·     Add in multiples of 1,2

·     Add in multiples of 0,1,2,5

·     Add, subtract in multiples 0,1,2,5

·     Add, subtract one and two-digit numbers up to 20

·     Add, subtract one and two-digit numbers up to 40

·     Count in steps of 2,3 and 5

·     Count in tens

·     Add, subtract in multiples of 2,3,4,5,8,10

·     Add, subtract one and two-digit numbers up to 100

·     Add and subtracting, including negative numbers

The choices of topics are excellent. However, we would like to see how this is linked to the National Curriculum of the UK or the US and the particular age group it applies to. This will enable parents to make a more informed choice about each topic and give them confidence that the same topic is being taught in schools. 

Once a topic has been chosen the user is shown a cute Panda waiting on the first platform. Displayed top left are the options to return to the ‘Home Screen’, ‘Start over’ or call upon the ‘workings’ whiteboard which will show the user how the equation is worked out, we loved this feature and that you could see the numbers changing as the equation is calculated.  Top right displays the ‘Lives’ the user has left, a ‘Countdown timer’ and the ‘completed platforms required’. Pressing the instructions at the bottom, whether it is a ‘+’ or a ‘-', will move the Panda accordingly to the next platform. The developers have thought carefully about the Panda’s movements. If a ‘+’ is required, the Panda will move ‘up’ to the next platform and if a ‘-’, is required the Panda will move down. This helps visually with mathematics too. The graphics are stunning and will appeal to children of all ages, the Panda and platforms run smoothly. If a correct answer is given from the options, the Panda will move accordingly. If an incorrect answer is given a life is used and the Panda becomes confused. Too many incorrect answers will result in the game ending, this also happens if the timer runs out. 

Once the platforms have been completed and the Panda is safely home the topic is completed.

The developers may consider the following options to make it more appealing to younger children and teachers within the classroom or at home:

·     The ability to change the characters or avatar would add great appeal. 

·     There is no scoring system which could be useful to indicate how the user is progressing or what topics they have covered.

·     Introducing a ‘leader board’ or ‘high score’ could help with classroom competition as well as a ‘sign in’ profile to retain scores and progression.

·     The user could gain extra lives or extra time by completing a level with no mistakes.

·     The ‘workings’ board that can be chosen could be a ‘working’ board for the user to scribe onto to show their own workings out.

·     There are no instructions for the user within the application which would be beneficial.

It goes without saying that the levels with negative addition and subtraction are quite challenging and added lives and time may be of some benefit to the user. It was noted that some of our users really struggled with the time allocated for the harder topics.

AdditionNSubtraction is a well-presented application that is easy to navigate and covers a range of mathematical topics. The application is user-friendly with a simple gameplay format that can be used by young children without the support of their teacher or parents. This is a good app and with a few minor tweaks could be an excellent application. This app comes recommended by the

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App Details

Teacher Ratings







Critical Thinking
Life Skills
Academic Relevance
Thinking & Reasoning


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No


Messing Around With Ltd

Screenshots for AdditionNSubtraction

  • AdditionNSubtractionAdditionNSubtractionAdditionNSubtraction

Publisher's Description

This is an educational app that turns adding and subtracting into a game. The child's aim is to leap from platform to platform and to try to get to the exit before time runs out. The trick is they need to solve addition and subtraction problems in order to jump to the next platform. If they get an answer right, they jump. If not, they lose a life. Lose three lives and the game is over.

Conceptually the app lays out platforms relative to each other so that the player jumps "up" to get to a higher valued platforms and jumps "down" if the next platform has a lower value. This cements the idea that adding creates a larger number while subtracting creates a smaller one.

The child is encouraged to repeat each level multiple times because the sums to be solved are randomly generated and so they practice adding and subtracting different numbers every time they play the level.

In addition, there are multiple levels to play, which increase in complexity. Later levels offer problems with negative numbers.

Finally, the child can display or hide a whiteboard illustrating the sum they are trying to solve. This reinforces how they are taught to construct simple sums in the classroom.

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