4 ways to teach your kid adding and subtracting


Addition và subtraction activities for kids that build math fact fluency and teach ways of solving word problems in hands-on ways.

Bạn đang xem: 4 ways to teach your kid adding and subtracting


Are you tired of searching Pinterest or googling to find engaging, hands-on addition, & subtraction activities for kids? Are you looking for lessons & activity ideas that are fun & build a strong understanding of addition & subtraction? Then you have come to the right place!

Here you will find a ton of math tips and strategies for teaching addition và subtraction in primary grades. The ideas collected here will help you bring addition & subtraction activities, games, và centers into your classroom or home. 

The activities, books, math units (linked in resources below), & other resource suggestions (including a miễn phí one) cover a ton of addition & subtraction concepts. Plus, find valuable addition & subtraction materials and manipulative recommendations, as well as freebies you can access today! This post is filled with a ton of value for you as you teach.

Addition and Subtraction Activities và Concepts

Children should have daily experiences with addition and subtraction strategies and activities. There are many opportunities khổng lồ teach addition and subtraction strategies và solve problems throughout the day. This does not only happen at school in the classroom. These opportunities can be initiated as they arise in our daily situations, such as a story in a book, setting the table, putting clothes away, and so forth.

When children are first taught these strategies, I recommend beginning with addition. Develop a strong understanding of those concepts và strategies first before moving on lớn teaching subtraction. Many activities that can be used lớn teach addition can also be used lớn teach subtraction. Use some activities lớn show their inverse relationship explicitly.

Use math manipulatives và tools to lớn help children solve problems in hands-on ways. Eventually, we want children to solve addition and subtraction problems when they arise mentally. Whether it be a problem on a worksheet or a real-life problem they need to lớn solve, we want them lớn remember and apply the strategies they have been taught.

The activities below are ones that will help develop an understanding of and build fluency with addition và subtraction. Use them as they are described or adapt them khổng lồ your own needs. Solve problems together and ask questions that encourage mental computation. When a child asks an addition or subtraction question, remind them of the strategies they’ve learned lớn solve it themselves. Make time for fun and engaging addition và subtraction activities daily in your math center and không lấy phí play areas.

Teaching Addition & Subtraction Strategies

There are many addition và subtraction strategies that should be taught when children are young. Learning different strategies helps empower them to lớn choose what works for them at that moment. When children are young, they tend lớn rely heavily on using hands-on manipulatives khổng lồ solve equations. As they develop new skills and learn new strategies, they build their mental math skills and require math tools less often.


Probably the first strategy that children will learn is how lớn count, add, and subtract using their fingers. This is an excellent tool for kids because they always have them there to lớn use. Practice using fingers to solve basic addition & subtraction equations within ten often. Teach counting on and back using fingers lớn help solve the harder equations within 20.

Teach children how to lớn draw pictures khổng lồ solve equations. They can draw pictures to represent what they hear in the story or simple shapes khổng lồ draw things quickly. This helps children visualize và solve problems.

Addition & Subtraction Activities & Games

Make learning & practicing addition và subtraction fun with a variety of hands-on activities và games for kids!


Play subtraction bowling. Set up ten bowling pins (or cups) và use a ball to knock some down. Record subtraction equations to represent what is left standing (i.e. 10 pins – ? = ?).Use a sectioned plate & small objects lớn practice solving equations. Kids can count objects into different sections và move them khổng lồ find the answer. This is an ideal way to lớn teach và show the part – part- whole strategy. You can find these plates at Ikea.


Kids love playing board games. Find some lớn practice math facts.


Play addition & subtraction games with a deck of cards. One simple one is Addition War: Each player turns over two cards, adds them up, & the player with the higher number gets the cards. Play until one player loses all of their cards.

Solve equations and đoạn phim the answer with clips. Make them self-checking with a start on the back where the đoạn phim should go.

Solving Addition & Subtraction Word Problems

Children need khổng lồ learn to solve word problems. As teachers, we need lớn teach them how to lớn read a problem, look for critical information, understand what is being asked, & solve the problem. This is an essential first skill for children to build that will help them solve problems in the future.


The simplest way to lớn teach solving word problems is to give simple problems và solve them together as a class. Read the problem slowly together và determine what is being asked. Draw pictures lớn represent the numbers in the problem. Count along to lớn find the answer và record the equation to show.Give children math journals & daily word problems to solve independently.Read picture books that have word problems in them. Discuss and solve together. Check out the danh sách of books at the kết thúc for ideas!


Provide story mats and small objects khổng lồ solve word problems.

Xem thêm: Top 13 Phần Mềm Diệt Virus Miễn Phí Tốt Nhất 2018, Top 10 Phần Mềm Diệt Virus Tốt Nhất Miễn Phí 2021


Read examples of word problems and match them together with an equation it represents.

Tools to lớn Use for Teaching Addition and Subtraction

There are a ton of useful math tools available khổng lồ help teach addition & subtraction strategies. These tools are helpful for our youngest learners & help illustrate concepts well. Try a variety of tools in your classroom to keep things fresh & fun!



Ten frames help organize numbers & quantities around the number 10. Children can easily see when there is ten present, and this visual way of adding và taking away is helpful.

The hundred chart is a versatile tool with many uses. A chart can be used easily to solve equations.

Number lines are another important tool that children should have exposure too. Use it lớn solve equations quickly by moving forward or back to lớn find answers.

Fact Fluency và Mental Math

Eventually, we want our students khổng lồ be fluent with math facts, but this takes time. If children start practicing math facts early on, they will begin khổng lồ build fluency and their mental math abilities. Make sure that your goal is never rote memorization but as a way of encouraging the use of mental math.


Play fun games with flashcards. Have children line up in pairs và flash them a card. The quickest player gets the card and a point. Rotate through all the kids multiple times.Practice math facts in a sticker book. For every math fact that is answered correctly, get rewarded with a sticker!Keep sets of flashcards on rings or in pockets for kids khổng lồ practice independently or with a partner. Put the answers on the back, so they are self-checking.


Practice sorting math facts under the correct answer. Phối up math center equation sort in a pocket chart.

Relationship between Addition và Subtraction

Children need lớn understand that addition and subtraction have an inverse relationship. It is important khổng lồ teach the commutative property (“flip flop” strategy) and associative property.


Play “flip flop” match trò chơi to look for sets of equations that follow the commutative property.


Teach fact families, and that three numbers can be written like four different equations (2 addition and two subtraction).

Practice decomposing whole numbers into its parts.

Addition và Subtraction Activities for Kids Resources

The activities seen in this post are available in the following resources.

Addition lớn 10 Math Unit Kindergarten

Subtraction lớn 10 Math Unit Kindergarten

Addition to 10 Math Unit First Grade

Addition to 20 Math Unit First Grade

Subtraction to lớn 10 Math Unit First Grade

Subtraction to trăng tròn Math Unit First Grade

2-Digit Addition Unit Second Grade

3-Digit Addition Unit Second Grade

2-Digit Subtraction Unit Second Grade

3-Digit Subtraction Unit Second Grade

Free True or False Addition Equation Sort

Teach students the meaning of the equal sign, & help them determine if equations involving addition are true or false.

Grab a FREE true or false addition equation sort by clicking the image below.


Addition và Subtraction Books


The kích hoạt of Subtraction by Brian ClearyThe Mission of Addition by Brian ClearyIf You Were a Minus Sign by Trisha ShaskanIf You Were a Plus Sign by Trisha ShaskanMonster Musical Chairs by Stuart J. MurphyDouble the Ducks by Stuart J. MurphyDomino Addition by Lynette LongSubtraction action by Loreen LeedyMission Addition by Loreen LeedyQuack & Count by Keith BakerTen For Me by Barbara MaricondaEqual Schmequal by Virginia KrollMath Fables: Lessons That Count by Greg TangTen Sly Piranhas by William WiseMonster Math Picnic by Grace Maccarone1+1=5: và Other Unlikely Additions by David RochelleReady, Set, Hop by Stuart J. MurphyWhat’s New at the Zoo: An Animal Adding Adventure by Suzanne SladeAnimals on Board by Stuart J. Murphy

Addition & Subtraction Materials

Try the Mindful Math Comprehensive Program

Read about the Mindful Math program and how it can change your math block in positive ways! This comprehensive math curriculum is available for Kindergarten, first grade, & second grade.