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Choosing a Kids Calculator for Learning

Updated on October 31, 2011

Learning Math Skills with a Kids Calculator

Math is a very important skill and learning basic math can begin in the pre-school years. There are a number of kids calculators on the market that can help your child learn those basic calculations.

These devices can not only assist your child in learning math through practice and homework help, but they can provide additional motivation through games and quizzes in many instances. Learn all about what to consider when choosing one of these educational tools for a child 10 years or younger.

Buying Tips

There are plenty of models on the market for parents searching for a kids calculator. Some are better for teaching basic math skills and engaging kids than others. Some devices are just simple devices that merely appeal to the interests of younger users because of their look. Here are a few thing to consider when deciding which one is right if you want an educational device.

  • Size
    The typical kids calculator tends to be a handheld model rather than desktop. For kids between 5 and 8 years old, having a larger than average keyboard can be useful. An over-sized LCD screen can also be good so that the device can display the entire problem and eyes don't have too work too hard to see the answers.
  • Construction
    If the calculator will be used with pre-school age children, you want to be sure there are no small parts that can present a choking hazard.
  • Math Functions
    For kids between 5 and 10 years of age, basic math functions are needed. In many instances, having a calculator that eliminates the functions they won't use will make the task much more simple. Square roots and trigonometry are not something most pre-school and grade school age children have to use. All of these calculators are capable of handling basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers. You will want to know if the device will use remainders or decimals with division problem answers. You'll also want to know if the device can display positive and negative numbers. If you want a calculator that can deal with fractions or percentages, check for that as well, because certainly not all of them have this capability.
  • Teaching Ability
    Some calculators for kids can also provide teaching and practice in basic math skills. For instance, the display will show the entire problem rather than just the answer. This way your child can view the entire equation just as it will be taught in school. In addition, some of these devices will provide self-guided practice such as electronic flash cards. Practice may be timed, and ideally, the calculator will provide immediate feedback on your child's answer. In some instances, these kids calculators will provide a variety of skill levels just as video games do.
  • Other Features
    For some kids, a talking calculator is a good choice. These devices will state answers and in some cases repeat things so that if there is an error in entry, your child knows right away. For talking calculators and those that give off any type of auditory feedback, it's also good to either have a mute button or a headphone jack so that they can practice without disturbing others when necessary.

Fun Math Activities for Kids


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      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      Great article with fun ways to help the little ones develop their math skills...