Engaging activities for addition and subtraction involving hands-on learning
Maths is fun!
Okay maybe that is not a sentiment all kids share. In fact, there might be students in your class who absolutely hate maths and cannot wait for that period to get over! But there is a way you can turn them around to the maths-side.
Bad puns aside, if you make maths fun, you can surely win the favour of the kids in your classroom while teaching them this all-important subject in an engaging manner.
Making use of hands-on addition and subtraction activities, among others, is a surefire way to get kids interested in maths and improve their grades! In this post, you will find examples of many such maths activities that both parents and kids can use.
- Curate work tubs for the morning
- Easy prep centres
- Roll the dice maths problems
- Maths based arts and crafts
- Poster and other printables
As they say, it is easier to grasp a difficult concept with a fresh mind. And the same holds true for maths! Getting your kids to practise maths in the morning will become easy if you make use of work tubs. Activities that require less preparation are ideal as they will not take up too much of your time.
To get started, you can prepare a simple worksheet with easy addition or subtraction problems and add it to the tub along with interactive tools such as play-dough which attract the interest of students and make them want to solve maths problems.
You or your students can roll a couple of dough balls to correspond with the questions on the worksheet, which can then be used to solve the problems in a fun manner!
One of the best hands-on addition activities, you can use seasonality with this one to generate interest in maths amongst your students!
For example, if the festive season is around the corner, you can use elements related to that particular festival and implement them in creative and engaging maths problems. Using a real-life situation to drive interest in maths can be more relatable and valuable to kids.
Let us illustrate this further with a concrete example. Say the countdown to Christmas has begun. You can create a Christmas maths centre that employs Christmas-related elements and motifs to help kids add or subtract the number of days left to the holiday! This is bound to get them excited and interested.
It comes as no surprise when we say kids would rather play with toys than solve maths problems. However, what if we told you you can combine both to craft very engaging hands-on addition activities?
That is correct! The roll the dice maths activity is one kids would like to indulge in again and again.
Super simple to execute, all you need is a colourful board with numbers on them, a couple of dice and small, cutesy buttons. The agenda would be to roll two dice together at time and add their values to come up with a digit, which will be on the numbers board.
Students who add correctly can strike off that number on the board by placing a colourful button on it! The agenda is to cover all the numbers on the board.
This is one of our favourite addition and subtraction activities! Our kindergartners love it too! Making use of arts and crafts to help kids learn a subject is the oldest and perhaps one of the most effective tricks in the book.
Using arts and crafts-based addition and subtraction activities not only improves the maths skills of kids but it also enhances their hand-eye coordination and promotes imagination and creativity.
You can employ maths crafts of all kinds. Think individually drawing, cutting and colouring the number of kites kids are supposed to add or subtract. Or having simple sums on drawings of eggs which kids can colour. You could even feature the best ones on the classroom soft-board, thus further encouraging student participation!
Creating a timetable of upcoming hands-on maths activities is another way to keep kids engaged! You can print out this timetable or make a poster out of it with little colourful illustrations of each activity that is on the cards. This is bound to get them excited about maths rather than dreading the subject!
You can also create easy maths strategy charts and posters, highlighting tips and tricks students can use to solve common maths problems. Having this put up will prevent kids from just giving up on a tough problem. It will, in fact, motivate them to solve it by offering some positive encouragement in the form of simple strategies they can use to figure out the solutions.
Hands-on maths activities and strategies you can try
Encouraging hands-on learning among kids is a great way to help them really absorb what they learn. You can use a variety of tools and techniques to help kids comprehend, appreciate and engage with maths and its magical world of numbers! These include:
- Abacus or rekenrek tools
- Manipulatives and other tactile items such as building blocks
- Snap cubes
- Charts and posters with pictures
The above is not a comprehensive list. You can definitely try more variations and introduce different tactile elements to make maths time more fun! The great thing about them is that their colours and shapes draw kids and make them want to interact with them, thus evoking their curiosity for the subject. Feel free to experiment and keep mixing it up so kids never get bored!
Taking a hands-on learning approach with maths is a smart thing to do. Not only does it sharpen the skills of kids already good at the subject, it even encourages those kids to take up maths who are particularly good at it. At EuroKids, our curriculum employs various engaging techniques to teach kids maths. Even our teachers leave no stone unturned to ensure your kids get a good understanding of the subject. To know more about our teaching methods, visit your nearest EuroKids centre.