Addition Games and Activities

Addition Games......Before the Worksheets

Be able to answer addition problems (unlimited digits) in algorithm form with speed and accuracy.

Helpful Note: In addition, an augend and an addend are added to find a sum: 7 + 3 = 10. Sometimes both the augend and the addend are called the addends. Sometimes the sum is called the total.

Your child should be able to use strategies to break these problems apart and quickly get an answer.

One example:

34 + 29 .... I might add 30 + 20, then add 9 + 4 ( I round 9 to 10...take 1 from 4 so I am left with a friendlier equation of 10+3). I am left with 50+ 13. I can now start at 13 and count up 5 groups of ten for 63. Or add 10 to 50, then add 3 for 63.

* I can do this process in seconds (in my head). Of course I could add and carry but, using these strategies shows my understanding of how the number system works. It takes more time to learn the strategies but it pays of ten fold as math becomes more complex.

Your child should still have opportunities to do the following (Especially in the 5th grade):

(1). Ask your child to explain how they add larger numbers, this in itself is fun. We take turns challenging each other. What is 35+41? As fast as he can, son will say 30 + 40 = 70, 5 + 1 = 6, 70 + 6 = 76! How many different ways can the numbers be added together?

(2). Find large numbers as your driving or just out and about town to add together. The 76 gas station + 35 mph sign, add them. You will be surprised how many larger numbers you pass during the day.

(3). Adding money is perfect. Having your child keep track of money or earnings involves lots of adding. You can use a 1000's chart to keep track of how much money they earned.

Addition Games......Before the Worksheets

Choose an appropriate strategy and equation for story problems

Traditionally, as parents we watch our children do homework and say "great job".


If we shift from congratulating our children for finding the right answer to focusing on congratulating them on using a great strategy to solve the problem, they will be equipped to answer all kinds of problems.

This is not hard....usually it takes just asking questions like:

" How did you go about that?"


" Where did you start?"


" What was your brain thinking when you answered that question?". (This one is my personal favorite)

It may take a bit of pulling but, just keep asking these types of questions and your child will get use to explaining their thinking. I always learn something when I ask my child to explain how they got their answer.

Point out Key Vocabulary for addition:

Add, sum, total , plus, in all , both, together, increased by, all together, combined

Keep a list of these terms somewhere for you to see, use these as you create interesting story problems for your child.

Addition Games......Before the Worksheets

Know how to write and use the addition equation/algorithm

Finally, at this point your child should be able to physically write the traditional addition equation and answer. But remember that they can use any method they like to get that answer.

Have your child practice actually writing the algorithm and answer, this can be really fun because you can use so many things to write with and keep your child's attention.

Some examples:

1. ketchup packets at a restaurant
2. whipped cream on a plate
3. cheeze whiz on crackers
4. watercolors and paper
5. water on dry cement

Using crazy ingredients turns our simple addition games to messy addition fun!

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