Math games are a great way to learn to love math. Addition and subtraction are two of those essential parts of math class! Practice addition and subtraction hands-on with these 20+ games for elementary students!
1. A deck of cards
Grab a deck of cards and divide them into two, the the Jack as 11, Queen as 12, King as 13, and Ace as 1. (or throw these cards out) Similar to “Speed” – whoever can name the sum the fastest gets a point.
2. Play “Don’t Get Zapped – Addition version
Check out the Dollar Store for plastic jumbo craft sticks for this activity. Get full directions at Swamp Frog First Graders.
Use the dots on dominos to practice addition. Add up both sides of the domino to get your sum. Get full directions and free printables at The Kindergarten Connection. Image credit: The Kindergarten Connection
4. Addition with water balloons
For an outdoors activity, practice learning sums with water balloons! All you need is some water balloons, chalk, and of course decent weather! Check out I Can Teach My Child for more details.
Use different colored LEGOs for hands-on addition. Playdough to Plato has some free addition printables for this.
Roll a pair of dice and tally up the sum. This also encourages practicing number sentences. Grab a free printable at Math Geek Mama. Image credit: Math Geek Mama
7. Math Facts Baseball
For kids interested in sports, try this math facts baseball activity. You can grab directions and free printables at Frugal Fun 4 Boys.
8. Ladybug Addition
Have fun with the spots on a ladybug and play ladybug addition. Grab the printables at Schoolhouse Snippets.
9. Addition pancakes
If you have some thin cardboard, a spatula, a permanent marker and a cup – you’re good to go for addition pancakes! This pancakes twist is more memorable and fun than traditional flash cards. Grab full visuals at I Can Teach My Child.
10. Math twister
Take the classic game of Twister into a hands-on addition game! Get full directions at Math Geek Mama.
11. Addition flower puzzles
There are many different addition problems that can make 9, 14, and so on. Discover those different ways with addition flower puzzles. Get full directions at The STEM Laboratory.
12. Gross motor addition game
With a beach ball, practice simple addition. Write random numbers on the beach ball, and when they catch it, have them add up whatever two numbers their hands are touching! Check out the full activity at Mom 2 Posh Lil Divas.
Take the traditional game of Farkle to learn about subtraction and regrouping. Grab the how-to freebie from Teachers Pay Teachers.
14. Grocery store coupons
Math games can also mirror the real world. Bring subtraction into practical, real-life learning by going through coupons, and subtracting the coupon from the store price.
15. Subtraction Bowling
With a tennis ball and disposable cups, try subtraction bowling and record your results. Get full directions and a free printable at What The Teacher Wants. It’s easy to set up, but has a major hands-on aspect!
16. Subtraction BINGO
There are many ways to combine subtraction and BINGO. See how one mom used BINGO with manipulative for her kids, at 123 Homeschool 4 Me.
17. Cootie catchers
Practice subtraction with cootie catchers. Get the free printable at 123 Homeschool 4 Me for an addition, subtraction, multiplication and division version.
18. Subtraction squash with play dough
Keep engaged with this hands-on activity involving play dough. Get full inspiration at There’s Just One Mommy.
Funbrain is one of the best for online gaming for kids, with nearly all of their games being educational in some way, whether directly or indirectly.
Flashcards are a great visual way to quickly learn sums or differences. Download this set of bright addition and subtraction flashcards! Use them as independent work, or as partner work.
What are your favorite math games for kids?