Set down the worksheets! I’m here to tell you that there are so many more fun and engaging ways to help your Kindergartners practice addition. For years, worksheets were how to teach addition in Kindergarten, but now we know that hands on learning is the way to go. So, it’s essential that we make practicing such an important life skill fun and engaging for our young learners! Wondering how to teach addition in Kindergarten so that your students will be engaged and have fun? Here are 3 of my favorite ways to make sure my kiddos are!
Your students have developed their number sense, mastered one-to-one correspondence, and can identify more and less. You are ready to start teaching simple addition! Never fear these 3 activities for practicing addition will have your students engaged, learning, and loving math!
1. How to Teach Addition in Kindergarten: Addition Games
Gamifying any activity is a sure-fire way to make sure students are engaged and learning. Addition games are one of my top choices for how to teach addition in Kindergarten. Games are a great way to reinforce addition concepts, and students won’t even realize they are practicing! One of my all-time favorite games to start practicing addition is Let’s Make a Square.
How to Play
In this game, students are given a grid with dots. Across the grid are simple addition problems. Students pair up and each take turns drawing a line to connect two dots. When a student completes a square they get to practice their addition skills.
First, they identify each of the numbers. Then they give the answer to the addition problem. If they can correctly identify the numbers and give the answer, they get to color in their square. Students continue playing until all of the squares have been claimed. The player with the most squares colored in is the winner!
One of the reasons this game is my go-to when I think about how to teach addition in Kindergarten is that it can easily be differentiated. You can change what kind of problems each pairing works on.
For example, you might have some students who need to work on addition with zero and others who are ready to start with adding plus 1. With these sheets, each group can get problems tailored to their needs.
Also, if students are still working on number identification, you can simply have them identify each number in the addition problem versus having to also solve the problem. They are still getting exposure to equations, but working at the level that most benefits them!
Finally, these Let’s Make a Square games make great centers and fast finisher activities. I keep a variety of these game boards on hand so that I can pull them out whenever needed. The more exposure and practice my students get the better!
2. How to Teach Addition in Kindergarten: Digital Task Cards
Task cards are great practice for almost any skill, but taking them digital really brings it to the next level. Using digital task cards, such as Boom Cards, that have moveable objects and numbers to interact with keep students focused and engaged. That’s why I love using them to teach addition in Kindergarten!
How to Use
My two favorite platforms for digital task cards are Boom Learning and Google Slides. You can create so many fun and interactive activities on both of these platforms. The interactive, visual nature of both of these sites makes them the perfect place for students to really see the concepts of addition in action. The idea is to include images to help students visualize the process of addition and to have those images be moveable so that they can practice adding.
I created these fun spring themed addition Boom cards for just this purpose. Assign the digital task cards to your students and have them complete each problem by moving the correct number of images into each rectangle and then typing in the correct answer to the problem. Google Slides works the same way.
For example: if the math problem was 1+2, a student would move one butterfly into the first rectangle and two butterflies into the second rectangle. They would then count all of the butterflies and type the answer 3 into the box after the equal sign.
These are great activities to use for centers or distance learning if needed. I definitely highly recommend digital task cards when planning how to teach addition in Kindergarten! You can find a variety of addition digital task cards to use all year long!
Being able to manipulate items in order to practice addition is important for young learners. It helps to make the concept concrete for them. They get to practice seeing what the numbers represent which strengthens their number sense. Having the images allows them to practice counting up to the correct number which is a great way to scaffold up to addition problems that only have numbers. And by moving the objects students are seeing the concept of addition in action!
3. How to Teach Addition in Kindergarten: Color by Code Activities
My students LOVE anything that has to do with coloring! Color by Code activities harnesses kindergartners’ love for coloring while also providing them valuable skills practice. This makes them perfect for addition practice!
How to Use
I love these Christmas Math Center Counting On Activity and Worksheets for the weeks leading up to our addition unit. It’s a great way to start laying the foundation for addition while also firming up number sense and counting skills.
You can also make your own color by code activities. Just grab a coloring sheet and add addition problems to each segment. Coloring pages with larger spaces work best. Add a key at the top with the answers to the problems to show students what color belongs in each section. Students add the numbers together, find the answer in the key and then color that section with the color listed.
Color by Code addition practice is perfect for whole-class practice, small groups, centers, and early finishers! Its versatility means that I always make sure to have copies on hand!
Again, ease of differentiation is a must, and Color by Code can easily be differentiated. Students can be given images that have different types of problems (adding to zero, adding up to 10, etc.), the image can have fewer or more segments depending on how much practice each student needs, and you can even use images or a combination of images and numbers to represent the problems. I like to use a number and then an image of a die to help students practice counting.
Want Help With How to Teach Addition in Kindergarten?
When it comes to how to teach addition in Kindergarten there are a lot of options for you to consider, but making sure to provide varied practice, present problems in different ways, and provide a chance for students to manipulate the components of the problem is key!
These 3 fun and engaging activities have all that and more! Don’t have time to make your own? My TPT store has a variety of addition games, digital task cards, and color by code activities. You can find all sorts of fun and engaging Addition Activities!
Take a peek at a few of the options!
Save This for Later!
Make sure to save these addition activities to your favorite classroom Pinterest board! That way you will be covered when you are ready to teach this integral skill.