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10 Hands-On Resources to Teach Addition and Subtraction

Updated: Jan 12

Hands-on learning is absolutely the best way to teach addition and subtraction. It allows children to learn to add and subtract in a way that's interactive, fun and memorable. By using hands-on resources, children can develop a deeper understanding of addition and subtraction and will soon memorise their number bonds!


When it comes to addition and subtraction resources, there are so many different options available though. Which ones should you use? This handy guide is packed full of engaging and varied resources - there's something to suit every child!


1. Magnetic Ten-Frame Set

ten-frame addition and subtraction answer board

Children solve maths problems within the ten-frame by adding or subtracting counters. Four boards are included in the set, so they're perfect for use with individuals or a small group. The board is magnetic and comes with brightly coloured magnetic foam counters. Not only that - but one side of the board has one ten-frame and the other side has a double ten-frame! Ideal for differentiating your lessons.




2. Sum Swamp Game

sum swamp addition and subtraction within 12 game

This game is a fun way to develop addition and subtraction fact fluency within 12! Children race through the swamp and are encouraged to add and subtract using the numbers 1-6. They roll three dice, place the highest number first, then the operation die and then the smallest number. As one reviewer says, 'The kids have no idea they are learning whilst they play'!






3. Addition and Subtraction Snap

addition snap game to 10
subtraction snap game to 10

A fun way for children to grasp early addition and subtraction facts. Children try to snap cards with matching answers, for example 6+2 with 4+4. The cards have addition and subtraction number sentences within 10.







4. Math Marks the Spot!

math marks the spot addition and subtraction within 12 floor game

This activity takes up quite a bit of space, so you'll need to set it up on the floor. It's great for ensuring that children are active! The game teaches addition and subtraction to 12 and as with Sum Swamp, children roll two number dice and an operations die to make a number sentence. They then use a marker to cover the answer on the mat. There's a handy number line at the bottom for children to use to work out the answers.




5. Counting Mountain

counting mountain addition and subtraction game

How exciting does this look! This game teaches addition facts within 10. Children hang their climbers onto the 3D mountain but better watch out for the yeti who can send them back down to the bottom! The aim of the game is to be the first to reach the summit, but you've got to solve sums along the way!






6. Addition Bingo Game

addition bingo game addition within 20

Children practice addition facts to 20 with this bingo game. It's played like the traditional game: one player calls out the sums and the other players cover the answer! Fun for small groups at home or school.







7. Maths Dice - Mental Maths

math dice addition and subtraction within 20 game

Children roll the white 12-sided target number die first. This is the number which they need to try to make. Next, they roll the other five dice (the scoring dice) and use addition and/or subtraction to make the target number. The more scoring dice children use to make the target number, the more spaces they can move forwards on the track! A great way to practise mental maths skills!





8. Pop Addition and Subtraction

addition and subtraction within 10 game for children

A fast-paced game designed to help children to learn addition and subtraction facts within 10. To play, children spin the spinner and take that many bubblegum cards. On the reverse of each of those bubblegum cards is a number sentence. If the child answers correctly, they get to keep the card, if not, it must be returned! The winner is the person with the most bubblegum cards at the end.






9. Mathswatters Addition and Subtraction

game using fly swatters to practise addition and subtraction

A surefire 'hit' with any child! Children grab their swatters, add or subtract, and swat the correct answer! There are multiple ways to play this game - children can swat the correct answer or the matching number sentence, plus they can play with dice or a spinner. The different ways to play and learn keeps the game fresh and exciting!






10. Maths Island Addition and Subtraction

addition and subtraction within 20 game for children

A similar concept to Sum Swamp but this game uses addition and subtraction within 20. Children roll the two number dice and the operations die, solve the number sentence and move that many spaces around the board. The game is a bit like snakes and ladders, with many obstacles along the way!








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Addition and Subtraction: What Next?


Follow No Worksheets Allowed on Instagram and Facebook to discover more fun ideas for kids! If you love the activities shown here, make sure that you check out these other hands-on learning activities too:


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