9 Easy, Simple Addition Activities for Kids

Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 3 min read

Are your students frustrated with the concept of addition? Make addition fun in the classroom, or even at home, with these creative, easy and effective hands-on activities.

1. 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 for kids

2. 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.

DIY adding machine to make addition fun for kids

3. Play adding Jenga

Using Jenga blocks, write simple addition sums on sticky labels and stick a variety of addition problems to the end of each block. This addition game is played just like Jenga, with a small twist! The students must come up with the correct answer to the addition problem before they can attempt to remove the block.

Jenga addition activity

4. 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.

Addition Activity for kids using beads

5. Coat hanger and clothespins addition machine

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

addition activity for kids using hangers and clothespins

6. Ladybug addition activity

Using our ladybug addition and subtraction template, 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.

ladybug adding game for kids

7. Simple addition flash cards

Print and laminate our cute owl addition flashcards for a number of games and activities. Have students play snap, memory or simply matchup the number algorithm to its answer card.

Owl Addition Cards

8. Addition polygon puzzle

The aim of the game is for students to put the Polygon Puzzle back together by looking at the addition question and then placing the answer next to it.”>polygon puzzle template page and laminate it so it can be used over and over again. Then print out the puzzle pieces and cut and laminate them also. The aim of the game is for students to put the polygon puzzle back together by looking at the addition question and then placing the answer next to it.

Polygon Adding Activity

9. Addition catch

Using a beach ball, write simple addition number sentences on the ball. Students throw the ball to each other and pick a number sentence 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 problem.

addition ball activity

See more fun and engaging resources for teaching about addition!


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  • Olfat Farghally
    • Holly (Teach Starter)
      Thanks for your lovely comment Oifat.

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