Practice addition and subtraction facts with this fun printable math game! It’s a file folder game too, meaning that the game and its pieces can be stored in a file folder. The only thing that won’t fit in the file folder is a 12-sided math dice, or two regular dice. Kids can set up the game and play independently.

This game is free to print. There is a link to print at the bottom of the post.

I would recommend this game for ages 6-7, or any child who needs to practice addition and subtraction facts.

The idea of this game is to play tic-tac-toe with math expressions instead of symbols like X and O. This game is a great supplement to worksheets and flashcards because it approaches addition and subtraction from a slightly different angle. Instead of solving a problem and moving on to the next one, students will be looking for equivalent addition and subtraction sentences. In other words, they’ll need to choose math expressions that are equal to each other.

Setting up the Game

The printable file has a tic-tac-toe board, a cover page, and 90 math problem cards. (It’s not necessary to use all the cards at one time. In fact, I would recommend NOT using all of them! More on that in a minute.)

I found some colorful file folders at Walmart. They have a clear pocket on the outside, which is perfect for holding the cover page! If your folders don’t have a pocket, just tape or glue the cover page to the front of the folder.

I used a quart size freezer bag to hold the math cards, and I taped it to the inside of the file folder. Tape the game board on the other side of the folder.

How to Play Addition and Subtraction Tic-Tac-Toe

Lay out the cards. Each player will roll a 12-sided math dice, or roll two dice to determine their number for that round.

Let’s say the players roll 6 and 8. One player will play math sentences that equal 6, trying to get 3 in a row. The other player will play math sentences that equal 8, trying to get 3 in a row.

If players roll a 1 or a 2, they should roll again. If you use two dice, they will NEVER roll a 1, so I did not include cards that equal 1. Two is also highly unlikely to roll with two dice, so I didn’t include sentences that equal 2.

Tips for reducing the number of cards:

Start with only addition.

Then try only subtraction.

Or, use both addition and subtraction, but reduce the cards to 3 of your choice that equal each number, 3 through 12.

Another option, if students don’t like hunting for the right card, is to laminate your game board and have them write the math expressions of their choice with a dry erase marker.

How to Play with One Player

Here’s a fun way to play this game with just one player. Have the student lay out three cards on the grid. Then have them find two matches (equivalent math expressions) for each of their three cards.

Ready to print your Math Facts Tic-Tac-Toe game? Click the link below. The file will open, and you can print from there.

CLICK HERE: Math Facts Tic-Tac-Toe Printable Game

Need more first grade math ideas? Here are more hands-on activities!

Print this FREE LEGO First Grade Math Pack!

You’ll also want to grab these FREE LEGO Math Challenge Cards.

Kids will enjoy this Math Facts Baseball Game.


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  1. Susan Jan 6, 2020

    Thank you so much!

  2. Marian Jan 11, 2020

    God has blessed you with such creativity! It is evident how much you love your children and learning. Thank you so very much for sharing.

  3. David Jan 31, 2020

    Thank you so much!
    God bless you!

  4. Orla Apr 6, 2020

    Thank you so much, know I’ll use it in my class/homeschooling at the mo. Super job!


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