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!
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.
3. 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.
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.
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.
6. Ladybug addition activity
Using our ladybug addition and subtraction 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.
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.
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.
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.
10. 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.