Math fact fluency is one of the key math goals in elementary school. If you’re teaching little ones in first or second grade, you’re likely spending a lot of time helping kids learn addition and subtraction math facts. Slowly you shift from teaching kids the basic concepts of combining and separating sets to emphasizing rapid recall of basic facts.
To be honest while these skills are very important, teaching them can sometimes rely too heavily on worksheets, and we know kids tend to zone out when that happens. In this article we’re outlining some of our favorite math fact games, addition and subtraction toys, and a few math fact workbooks to supplement your hands-on learning if you really need them.
These math fact activities are great to use in the classroom or at home.
Games to Practice Addition and Subtraction Math Facts
Games are by far the most fun way to help kids learn math facts. These are our top picks for teaching addition and subtraction math facts.
Snap it Up is our family favorite right now. It’s fast-paced and each round goes rather quickly, so you aren’t pulled into a game that never ends. We can easily play a few rounds before or after dinner, or whenever we have a couple of extra minutes. I love that it encourages kids to really think about different ways to make a number. They get excellent practice in figuring out how to add or subtract to reach a certain number. And it’s FUN! Because of the fast pace, it’s best for kids who already have a certain level of skill in addition add subtraction.
Math War is a better option for kids who are just started with math facts. They can take their time to solve each problem. We played this one a lot before transitioning to Snap it Up, but it’s still a go-to option for both of my kids. You play it exactly like traditional war, except you’re solving addition and subtraction facts along the way. This one requires more time than Snap it Up, but you get a lot of valuable math fact practice in the process.
Head Full of Numbers is a bit of a step beyond Snap it Up in my opinion. It’s a bit like a math version of Boggle. Kids make different addition, subtraction, multiplication, or divisions facts given a set of numbers. The goal is to see who can come up with the most correct equations. While I like that this one involves mixed operations, it does require that kids are on a relatively close skill level to keep interest high in playing the game. But if you do have a group of kids working on about the same skill level, it’s an excellent game to get them to stretch their mathematical thinking.
Sequence Numbers is another family favorite. Kids solve basic math problems to block a spot on the board. In a bit of a tic-tac-toe style they aim to get a certain number of spots in a row to win the game. Here again like in Math War there are numerous opportunities to practice different math facts with the added element of strategizing to win.
In the Addition Fact Fluency set, kids play-
–> Addition Race // Spin the fact and graph the sum.
–> Roll and Add // Roll a die, write the addend and solve the problem.
–> Connect Four // Challenge a partner to solve four facts in a row first.
In the Subtraction Fact Fluency set, kids play-
–> Subtraction Race // Spin the fact and graph the difference.
–> Roll and Solve // Roll a die and solve a problem from the matching column.
–> Tic Tac Toe // Challenge a partner to solve three facts across, down or diagonally first.
–> Subtraction Color Up // Roll a die and color the matching answer.
Toys for Hands-On Addition and Subtraction Activities
Giving kids a variety of options for exploring addition and subtraction can also help them learn math facts. These toys are great additions to independent play or math center options.
Make it yourself math fact games and activities
These hands-on activities are also great for helping kids practice math facts.
Practice adding with pom pom “apples” in this apple tree addition game.
Grab a deck of cards and this free printable game mat to practice making ten.
Build your own math facts with this fun bird nest addition and subtraction activity.
Practice adding and subtracting on a number line with this grasshopper math game.
Use subtraction flash cards and play dough for this fun subtraction game.
Craft sticks for the win! Use them to make a math fact matching game.
Make a portable math box to practice addition or subtraction facts. Great for independent practice time!
Get moving with this math facts island gross motor math game.
Play tic-tac-toe math fact style with this free printable addition game.
Practice adding with this bee hive addition freebie.
Put those mini erasers to good use in this number bonds math activity.
Use paper cups and this free math fact printable for more hands-on practice.
Work those fine motor muscles as you practice math facts with this cardboard box math facts activity.
Find the missing addend with toy cards and triangles in this number bond activity.
Make math fact targets and use your Nerf gun to knock them over!
All of our roll and color math games have math fact activities in each set!
Cootie catchers are so fun! Use them to practice math facts, too.
During the spring try this free printable flower petal math fact activity.
Engaging Workbooks Options for Kids Who Still Need Extra Practice
Some kids do enjoy using a workbook, and some parents like to be able to follow along in a series of activities. Try these options if you’re looking for addition and subtraction workbooks.
Keep up with New Recommendations We Discover on Our Amazon Shop Page
As we discover new toys and teaching tools we’ll be adding them to or Amazon Shop Page. Bookmark this page to visit as you’re looking for new teaching resources for early childhood education.
With a little creative thinking and the right materials, you can definitely make learning math facts fun! We hope these resources come in handy.
Is there another way you love to teach math fact fluency, tell us about it in the comments. We’re always looking for new ways to teach math facts.