Easily make math fun with these awesome addition activities.
Practicing addition skills doesn’t have to be boring! Use these simple, inexpensive ideas to make it more enjoyable for all.
Why We Mix Up Math Drills with Fun, Hands-on Activities
Now that Xman (my youngest) is working is his way through basic math facts, I’m digging through our homeschool math resources for simple ways to make it fun.
Xman is a lot like his older brothers. He prefers hands-on, fun ways for learning and practicing math concepts.
And I get that. But, I’m also a firm believer in memorizing basic math facts.
When I was growing up, drills were the thing. I LOVED math drills! I have such fond memories of memorizing multiplication facts until I could see them in my sleep. (I was an odd child 😉 )
I attribute much of my success in advanced math to knowing my basic facts inside and out. I don’t even think about the process – I just know what the correct solution is.
I’ve tried this approach with my boys but they learn math differently than I do. And that’s okay. They don’t call it drill-and-kill for nothin’!
So, my boys and I came to a compromise. They’d appease me with doing some math drill activities. And I’d provide them with fun ways to learn and practice, like these hands-on addition activities.
Maybe you can relate? If your kids thrive with hands-on learning but you’re concerned about not using math drills, I encourage you to give our mixed approach a try. So far, it’s worked well for my older boys and I’m excited to continue with my youngest.
Fun Hands-On Addition Activities
With just a little prep (and things you probably already have around your house), you’ll be ready to do some fun, hands-on addition activities for learning and practice.
I’ve included a few of our favorites for fun addition activities plus NEW resources that are perfect for print-and-go so you can get started A.S.A.P.
Before I chat about these new addition activities, I just had to share these dice games for math fun that you might already have:
- Yardzee (I surprised my boys with this backyard game this summer. It has quickly become our #1 math game. Such an awesome way to get outside and have learning fun!)
Suggested Materials for These Fun Addition Activities
- Hundreds Chart, Addition Bingo, and the Dice Game Printables (scroll to the bottom of this post to subscribe and get your free set)
- 5 dice
- Something for game pieces to place on the addition activities—clear colored discs, game pieces, beans, etc.
- Colored pencils or crayons
- Loose change (at least 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, and 4 quarters)
Neenah Exact Index, 110 lb, 8.5 x 11 Inches, 250 Sheets, White, 94 BrightnessAUSTOR 50 Pieces Game Dice Set 5 Translucent Colors Square Corner Dice with a Free PouchLearning Resources Transparent Color Counting Chips, Set of 250 Assorted Colored Chips, Ages 5+
Dice Games for Hands-On Addition Activities
Roll & Add Mental Addition Game
- Print out the Dice Game printable.
- For this addition activity, you’ll need 1 die.
- Line 1: Roll 1 die. Write that number in the first box and the boxes down that column. Add 0 to that number and write it in the last box on the first row after the arrow.
- Line 2: Roll again. Write that number in the 2nd box and the boxes down that column. Add the 1st number to the 2nd number and write the answer in the last box on the row after the arrow.
- Line 3: Roll again. Write that number in the 3rd box and the boxes down that column. Add the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd numbers and write the answer in the last box on the row after the arrow.
- Continue this pattern until you fill in all the boxes.
Variation—Roll the dice for each box on the page instead of repeating the numbers and add each row.
- Print Addition Bingo cards.
- For this fun math activity, you’ll need 5 dice.
- Roll the five dice. Add the dice for a total.
- Each person places a marker on that number (the sum of the 5 dice).
- Continue to do steps 2 and 3 until someone has 5 consecutive spaces covered (across, up, down, or diagonally) and yells BINGO.
Variation—There’s a blank bingo card so you can make your own. Use more dice to make the game more difficult. Or use less dice. If you use less dice, you’ll have to write some numbers down more than once on your card, but that’s fine!
Addition Activities for the Hundreds Chart
Skip counting helps kids add numbers quickly.
Print out several of the Hundreds Chart Printable. Have your children color in spaces according to whatever number you give them to skip count.
Or you can print out one Hundreds Chart. Use clear chips or markers for skip counting activities.
Another alternative is to laminate (or place in a dry erase pocket sleeve) the Hundreds Chart and use dry erase markers to complete the activities.
For example, if you say “skip count by 3s”, they’d color in 3, 6, 9, 12, etc.
This type of activity also helps kids when it’s time to do multiplication (which is really just a quicker way to add). Show your kids how the colored numbers are all multiples of 3s.
Gather up some coins! You’ll need at least 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, and 4 quarters.
Once you’ve done this, you can do multiple addition problems on the hundreds chart. Have your child:
- Place a penny on each square beginning with 1 and ending with 100. Tell them to count out loud as they do.
- Put a nickel on every space ending with a 5 or 0. Tell them to count how many nickels (5¢) are on the Hundreds Chart. Ask, “Since there are 100 cents in a dollar, how many nickels does it take to make a dollar?” Have them count out loud by 5s.
- Put a dime on every space ending with a 0. Tell them to count how many dimes (10¢) are on the Hundreds Chart. Ask, “Since there are 100 cents in a dollar, how many dimes does it take to make a dollar?” Have them count out loud by 10s.
- After you’ve done the nickels and dimes activities, give your kids some quarters, even more than they actually need. After explaining a quarter is worth 25¢, ask them to place a quarter on the right spaces of the hundreds chart. Ask, “How many quarters does it take to make a dollar? Have them count out loud by 25s.
- Make a stack of various coins and ask your kids to place them on the correct space of the hundreds chart. For example, a stack that contains a quarter, dime, nickel, and 3 pennies would go on the 43 space.
Dice + Hundreds Chart for Fun Addition Activities
- Each player has a marker.
- Roll a die and move that many spaces.
- The next player does the same.
- Players continue to roll the die and move their marker the number they roll.
- The first one to 100 wins. (If you’d like, let each person have one last turn after someone reaches 100.)
Print out the Hundreds Chart. Have your kids color in numbers 61 through 100. Now the goal is to fill in the rest of the numbers by rolling the dice.
- Spaces 1–6: Roll 1 die. Color in the space of the number rolled. Keep rolling until spaces 1 through 6 are colored in.
- Spaces 7–12: Roll 2 dice. Add the numbers on them together, and color in that space (unless the space has already been colored in). Keep rolling until spaces 7 through 13 are colored in.
- Spaces 13–18: Roll 3 dice. Add the numbers on them together, and color in that space (unless the space has already been colored in) until spaces 13–19 are colored in.
- Continue with this pattern for…
- Spaces 19–24: Roll 4 dice.
- Spaces 25–30: Roll 5 dice.
- Spaces 31–36: Roll 6 dice.
- Spaces 37–42: Roll 7 dice.
- Spaces 43–48: Roll 8 dice.
- Spaces 49–54: Roll 9 dice.
- Spaces 55–60: Roll 10 dice.
Make this more fun by having your kids do this as fast as possible to see who can finish first.
Variations—You can stop at any point! If you just want to go through 30, just mark out squares you won’t use before you start. Or do it over a week’s time.
Get Your Free Addition Activities Set
Ready for some sensational math fun with your kids?
This free PDF (printable) set includes 6 pages of addition activities that you can use in so many different ways:
- Dice Game
- Hundreds Chart
- 3 Addition Bingo Game cards
- 1 blank Addition Bingo Game card
I recommend printing these addition activities on white cardstock for durability.
Please print out as many copies of these activities as you need to make addition fun with your kids, class, or homeschool co-op. If you have a friend or co-worker who’d enjoy these math fun activities, share the link to this post (not the download link). Thanks so much for your cooperation and sharing!
When you join the Rock Your Homeschool community, you’ll receive this printable in a PDF download in an email, along with a super-secret password that opens the vault to all RYHS freebies.
In addition to your freebies, you get a weekly email with ways to make life and learning fun.
(Psst! Current RYHS members just need to access the Subscriber Freebies page and enter the password in your welcome email.)
Oh, I forgot to mention one of our favorite hands-on addition activities! My boys love Legos so these ideas for Addition and Subtraction with Legos from Math Geek Mama are awesome 🙂
Hope these hands-on addition activities help make math more fun for your kids and you. What are your favorite games or hands-on math activities?