Of all the math skills a human being needs to be comfortable with, addition and subtraction are probably at the top of the list. Even people who don’t like math need to be able to use these skills to function in the world. Addition and subtraction occur all day long, from shopping to party planning to even just timing dinner.
I’m not really concerned that my kids won’t learn these skills through their daily life. I don’t think it’s necessary to pressure them into practicing their addition and subtraction skills when they’re not interested. I believe that, when they are ready, these skills will come naturally.
However, in reading about educational philosophies, I’ve come across hands on learning ideas which are appealing to me, most of them Montessori-based. Here you will find some tools and activities that I’ve put together to help my kids practice adding and subtracting in fun, hands-on, meaningful ways.
Here are some other suggestions for helping kids learn basic addition and subtraction facts:
- The Clumsy Thief game is a fantastic resource for helping kids learn addition to 100. There are also Clumsy Thief Junior and Clumsy Thief in the Candy Shop versions which are meant for younger kids who are just starting out.
- Sum Swamp is a fun game for kindergartners to let them practice adding and subtracting numbers up to 6. I have heard that you can make this game more advanced by getting a 12 sided die or two, but we have not tried this.
- It’s a bit of a complicated game, but in our family, we play Cribbage. This is a WONDERFUL way to get kids adding numbers quickly. The game is really fun, and involves taking turns adding playing cards to get to 31. I loved this game AS a kid and now I love playing this game WITH my kids. The rules are complicated enough that I usually wait until my child is 7 or 8 to introduce it to them (and even then, offer a lot of help). This game really helped my at-the-time 9 year old advance his adding skills by leaps and bounds.
Click here for more Math activities for kids.