Two games for practicing addition facts

Math is so much more fun when it’s disguised as a game!  Gresham (first grade) and I did a couple of games to practice addition facts this week, and he loved them both.

Game #1:  Addition Card Game

For the first game, I made two sets of cards numbered 1-10.  To play, each player simply lays down the top card from their hand.  The first person to correctly add the two numbers gets to keep both cards! (And of course I added very slooooooowwwly so that Gresham would win most of them and thus practice his addition facts!)  I couldn’t believe how fun he thought this was.  We played two rounds during math time, and then he played again with Dad and Aidan later.

To swing the game toward an easier level, just add in extra 1 and 2 cards so that more small addition problems will show up.

Two games for practicing addition facts

Game #2:  Roll the dice

Gresham played this game by himself.  I gave him two dice and instructed him to roll the dice and then add the two numbers together.  He wrote a math sentence for each combination that he rolled.

Two games for practicing addition facts

Both of these games were so simple, and yet so much more engaging than filling in worksheets.  We have gotten to the point where Gresham’s math book needs some supplementing.  We are using Making Math Meaningful from Cornerstone Curriculum, which is a great curriculum, but it needs additional practice on the basic facts, in my opinion.  (In our five years of homeschooling, we’ve been through several different math programs – you might want to check out my comparison of four different first grade maths!)

My goals for Gresham for the spring semester are to memorize the addition facts, start working on subtraction facts, solidify telling time to the minute and counting pennies, nickels, and dimes.  He is doing first grade this year, but he is really kindergarten age (turned 6 in October), so if we don’t finish first grade this spring we’ll just continue on in the fall before starting second grade – one of the many benefits of homeschooling!

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  1. Dorothy Jan 30, 2013

    These games look super fun! We are going to try them today! Thanks for all your great ideas! My boys are 5 and 3 and so many of your ideas are right on target for us! YEAH!

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    1. Eddie - The Usual Mayhem Jan 30, 2013

      I love these games! Pinning. :)

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      1. Heather Mar 1, 2013

        I love the ideas too! We have used the dice for addition too. The first grader is doing it just as you described it. After being accused that my 3rd grader couldn't tabulate scores while playing a game with Grandma, we've been brushing up by rolling two dice, making one a ten and the other ones (6 & 3=36 or 63) and then adding them to the previous total & just do a column of two-digit addition. We use Singapore Math, so it's just another exercise to practice that approach. Can't wait to read more of your site! -homeschooling mother of three boys

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        1. Momof2QTs Aug 20, 2016

          Thanks for the idea of using flashcards. Die are not a good idea in our house because it's a choking hazard for our youngest.

          I wrote out flashcards with extra 0, 1 and 2.

          The advantage of flashcards is you can add 0's and go as high or low as you want.

          A little mom to mom tip. I make my daughter earn TV on the weekend (after the coffee kicks in of course). It forces a break between cartoons and makes practicing short and motivated.

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