13 Addition Games for Your Budding Mathematician

Addition games!  Yay!  You can breathe a sigh of relief if your child is struggling with the concept of addition.  Or, maybe your child is breezing right along with math and you want to make it a little bit more fun.  Whatever the case, here are 13 fun addition games to play with your child!

A little story though to kick this off… I remember being in 2nd Grade and crying, moaning, groaning and just having an AWFUL time with math!  However, thank goodness for wonderful parents, my mom told me that I could do well in math and that I could be the “math queen.”  I don’t know exactly what happened but by the end of the year, I was top of the class in math and from then on, I was in love with the subject!  So, a little bit of fun and encouragement can definitely go a long way and starting out with addition games may be just the thing your child needs!

13 Addition Games

1.     Add with Cheerios – There is a seemingly endless supply of cheerios in one box.  So, these little pieces of cereal make for awesome pieces to an addition game.  Dump a pile out onto the counter.  Then, get a piece of computer paper and divide it into 2 sections with a + and an = sign.  Between these two signs have your child put in the cheerios for whatever math fact you are working on.  For example: 4 + 6 = 10.  Use 4 cheerios on the left of the plus sign and 6 cheerios on the right side of the plus sign and then, figure out how many cheerios should go behind the equal sign. 

2.     Around the World Flashcards – Set the timer (give a generous amount of time) and encourage your child to beat the timer by answering the flashcards as quickly as possible. 

3.     Timed Worksheets – print off some addition worksheets that focuses on the facts that your child is studying.  Then set the timer (again, it’s better to give them a time that you know they can beat in order to encourage them and make them feel proud of themselves.)  If you need some worksheets, check out this great site for Printable Worksheets.

4.     Use Glitter Glue – do an art addition games project and use glitter glue to write out the addition facts that your child is currently studying.  Or, randomly shoot out a fact, have your child write the equation down with the glitter glue and solve the problem by writing the answer in glitter glue.

5.     Add with Building Blocks – Use blocks to build skyscrapers.  Give your child an addition equation: 3 + 4 = 7.  Have them build a skyscraper three stories high and a second one four stories.  Then, they have to build a third skyscraper that is the combination of the two buildings and tell you the answer. 

6.     Play a Game of Hopscotch – If your child is struggling with a few of the addition facts, draw hopscotch squares on the ground using chalk.  Start off drawing two square side by side.  Inside the squares, write two numbers that you want your child to add together.  On top of these two squares, draw one square with the answer to the equation before it.  Yes, the answer is right in front of the child so have him say the equation + answer out loud for him to hear it.

7.     String Popcorn – make a popcorn necklace using addition equations.  Start by giving your child a needle, threaded with string.  Next, make a big bowl of popcorn (that way you can snack and learn at the same time!) Write down an addition equation for your child to solve: 2 + 3.  Then, with the needle and thread, have your child string that number of popcorn pieces onto the string to give you the answer. This way, they can visualize what 2 + 3 actually looks like. 

8.     Mini Oreos – use mini Oreos or cookies to make small addition equations.  Give your child an addition equation: 1 + 5.  Have your child first get one Oreo and then another five.  Then, they can tell you the answer to the equation and lay out the number of Oreos.  Of course, some nibbling will probably occur. :)

9.     Beads Addition Games – Use necklace beads to help your child with his addition facts.  Dump a pile out onto the counter.  Then, get a piece of computer paper and divide it into 2 sections with a + and an = sign.  Between these two signs have your child put in the beads for whatever math fact you are working on.  For example: 3 + 5.  Use 3 beads on the left of the plus sign and 5 beads on the right side of the plus sign and then, figure out how many beads should go behind the equal sign. 

10.  Roll Dice – roll two dice together and have your child add the two dice together.  This will help your child with random math facts. 

11.  Use Play-doh –have your child roll the play-doh into small balls. Then, use the balls to map out simple addition equations. Use three balls and one ball to make the equation 3+1 or any other addition equation.

12.  Rock Hunt – go on a rock hunt for some pretty rocks.  You can find them at parks, down a dirt road (be careful of course) or on a walk.  Find some pretty rocks and then take them home and use them to build addition equations with your child! 

13.  Stickers – this fun addition game uses small stickers to make out addition facts.  The dollar store is a great place to buy books of small stickers.  Take the stickers and have your child put down the number of stickers on a piece of paper as they correspond to the addition equation. 

All of these addition games are very similar in nature but they help make learning addition facts fun for kids!  And if there is fun in an educational activity then a child is more apt to learn and will actually come to enjoy it! 



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