10 Easy, Simple Addition Activities for Kids

Hero image
Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 4 min read

Simple, hands-on addition activities are the perfect addition (excuse the pun) to any early years classroom. Not only are they lots of fun, they are critical in helping young learners understand the foundation of mathematics.

My hot tips? Don’t reinvent the wheel! Use hands-on activities recommended to you and spend your time getting organised for your classroom. Have a selection of hands-on activities stored away.

You can use some cheap storage containers to store each activity. Then, at the beginning of the day, you will have a selection of activities that you can just grab and use.  Not only will this save you precious time but it will be the perfect warm-up, consolidation activity or a time-filler with purpose!


Hands-On Addition for Kids

Here’s a quick video showing off five of these awesome hands on addition activities for kids.

 

Addition Card Game

Using a deck of cards, this game can be played with 2-4 players. Each player picks up two cards, they then need to add the two numbers together and give the answer to the sum. If they get it right, they get to keep the cards. If they don’t, they have to put their cards back to the bottom of the pile. The student with the most cards at the end wins!

Addition Card Game

Create an Addition Machine

Create an addition machine using a shoe box and two cups with the bottoms cut out. Students roll two dice and then use the machine to work out the answer by putting balls/counters through the cups to add the two numbers together. A great hands-on activity to consolidate the concept of simple addition.

Create an Addition Machine

Play Adding Jenga

Using Jenga blocks, write simple addition sums on sticky labels and stick a variety sums to the end of each block. Played just like Jenga, however the students must work out the answer to the addition sum before they can attempt to remove the block.

Play Adding Jenga

Beads and Cards Adding Activity

This activity can be varied to suit the resources you have available to you. We used a deck of cards, you could also use two dice depending on the skill level of your students. Students pull two cards from a deck of cards. They then thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner to show the two numbers. The students then have concrete objects to count to work out the answer to the number sentence.

Beads and Cards Adding Activity

Coat Hanger and Pegs Addition Machine

Another great hands-on activity to consolidate the concept of addition. Have students roll two dice and then place the pegs on the coat hanger to show the two numbers rolled. This provides them with concrete materials to then count the total.

Coat Hanger and Pegs Addition Machine

Lady Beetle Addition Activity

Using our lady beetle adding template, laminate and cut out the black dots and number cards for a great addition activity. Students can roll two dice or pick two number cards to create a number sentence. They then place the black dots on the lady beetle to show the answer to the addition number sentence.

Lady Beetle Addition Activity

Addition and Fine Motor with Pom-Poms

Here’s another cheap and easy idea to store away in a container to use again and again.

Write simple addition equations in the bottom of patty cakes. Students then use tweezers to pick up the pompoms and put the correct number of pom-poms in each patty cake.

I have seen this used as a morning activity. As soon as your students come into the classroom, they have to work out four simple addition sums using the pompoms! A nice way to ease them into the school day.

Addition and Fine Motor with Pom-Poms

Finger Template Activity

Children using their fingers to count is always a heated discussion among teachers.

In my opinion, what’s the difference between using their fingers and using manipulatives such as, paddle pop sticks or blocks to help them work out mathematics equations? Which is why I absolutely love this idea… The perfect hands-on addition activity for students to keep and use again and again.

You may like to use our hands and numbers template to re-create this activity.

Finger Template Activity

Addition Catch

Using a beach ball, write simple addition sums on the ball. Students throw the ball to each other and pick a sum close to one of their hands to answer. As a fun alternative, play a class game of catch, time how long it takes for every student to catch and answer a sum.

Addition Catch

Tree Adding Activity

Using our tree adding activity, laminate and cut out the apples, number strip and number flash cards (if you don’t want to use dice). Students can roll two dice or pick two number cards to create a number sentence. They then place the apples on the tree to show the answer to the addition number sentence they have created.

Tree Adding Activity

If you’re looking for more printable addition activities for the classroom we have a huge collection.

8 Comments

Login to comment
  • Matías Morgan
    ·

    amazing

    • Tom (Teach Starter)
      ·

      Thanks for the great feedback Matías!

  • ·

    Thank you, they are absolutely perfect for hands-on activities

    • Kristian
      ·

      Hi Giada, Thank you for your lovely comment. I am so glad you are enjoying our resources.

  • Vasaghi Maria
    ·

    Amazing and helpful...i really love the method to have fun in learning.not always with writing more tradisional way

    • Holly (Teach Starter)
      ·

      Thanks for your kind feedback Vasaghi!

  • Ashley Collins
    ·

    Fabulous ideas! Thanks!

    • Holly (Teach Starter)
      ·

      No worries Ashley! We are glad you have found this blog and the resources helpful! Kind regards, Holly

Popular blogs right now!

  • Go to Book Week Costume Ideas for Teachers blog

    blog

    Book Week Costume Ideas for Teachers

    Are you looking for some Book Week costume ideas for teachers? Check out these super cool ideas from some of our favourite teachers!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to 6 Effective Ways to Make a Fresh Start for Teachers blog

    blog

    6 Effective Ways to Make a Fresh Start for Teachers

    If you want to make a fresh start in some aspect of your teaching life, you are not alone. Read on for helpful tips and ideas for making a fresh start and kicking off a new term with renewed energy.

    Photo of Alison Smith 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to Book Week Activity Ideas for the Classroom blog

    blog

    Book Week Activity Ideas for the Classroom

    If you're looking for the ultimate Book Week 2022 activity ideas for your classroom - you've come to the right spot!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    3 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to 10 Ways to Calm Your Class After Lunch (Teaching Tips) blog

    blog

    10 Ways to Calm Your Class After Lunch (Teaching Tips)

    Finding ways to calm your class after lunch is a must in any classroom! Check out our top ten ideas featured in this blog.

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    5 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to Easy Science Activities for Kids blog

    blog

    Easy Science Activities for Kids

    Amazing science activities for kids that use minimal materials and work every time!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing