Simple Addition/Subtraction Game

This is a simple addition/subtraction game to introduce simple addition, subtraction, and combinations of 10.
simple addition/subtraction game
  • paper plate (write the number 5 on it)
  • counters (we used large wooden beads)
  • index cards (with numbers 1-5 written on them)
  1. Start with 5 counters on the plate.
  2. Pick an index card (from a pile or bag) and add that many counters to the plate.
  3. Count/Add how many you have all together.
Note: It might be helpful to have 5 of the same counter on the plate to start with and 5 different counters to add to the plate so it is visually easier to count or add.
Write the sum on a chart and keep track of which number you get the most of.


simple addition/subtraction game
Subtraction Game Directions:
  1. Start with 5 counters on the plate.
  2. Pick an index card (from a pile or bag) and take that many counters off of the plate.
  3. Count how many you have left.
Use tally marks to write down what you have left. When you earn 10 tally marks you win!
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  • Reply danita

    Great! I was just thinking about starting this with my son!

    February 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm
  • Reply JDaniel4's Mom

    This looks like fun.

    February 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm
  • Reply Lauralee Moss

    Great idea. I also do something similar with an egg carton and two coins/beads that ‘jump’ around in the sections of the carton. The sections have numbers and whatever the coin lands in, those are the numbers you have to add or subtract. We will add the plate idea to spice up our math games. Thanks, as always!

    February 16, 2011 at 4:05 am
  • Reply Abbie

    Great idea! We just started working on the egg carton counting/adding game. This one would be a great change/extension of that.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm
  • Reply Elle Belles Bows

    Wonderful idea and I always enjoy anything that can be done with items that you already have around! Kerri

    February 19, 2011 at 4:41 am
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