The following are a collection of great addition games that have been picked especially for practicing addition facts, and also for their High Fun Value!
This is one of my favorite addition games. Finding combinations that add up to 10 is very satisfying, and a great skill for kids to learn as well! You will need a deck of cards with face cards removed. Aces are worth 1.
On a turn, a child turns 12 cards face up. That child tries to find combinations of cards that add up to 10 (such as 7 and 3), and takes these cards. When no more 10-combinations are available, the unused cards are shuffled back in and the next child lays out 12 cards.
When the deck is used up, or you judge the game to be over, children count up their cards. The one with the most cards wins. (This game can also be played as Solitaire. For a non-competitive group game, put all of the “won” cards in a shared pile. At the end of the game, count all the “won” cards to see how many the group won.)
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Skill Note: Encourage younger children to add the figures on the cards if adding written numerals is too difficult. This is one of the best addition games for learning how to make 10–a very important addition strategy.
Bingo is one of the most popular addition games, and with good reason! You can either buy a game of Addition Bingo, or print free Bingo cards from www.mathbingo.org. To play, you will need one caller and several players. Each player gets a Bingo card and counters (beans or poker chips will work fine). The caller draws problem cards and reads the addition facts, setting these cards aside or writing the problems on the board.
If the child can find the answer on his card, he covers it up with a counter. When a child gets all the numbers in a row, going up, down, or diagonally, she yells, “Bingo!” Have the child read back the numbers and match these to the problems on the board to check that there are no mistakes.
Skill Note: If you have children with mixed or low math levels, you can call out the number, wait a moment while all the children solve it, and have kids raise their hands when they know the answer. Call on a child to say the answer, then write the problem and the answer on the board while children look to find that number on their card.
This is one of the easiest addition games to play. You will need a deck of cards with face cards removed. Aces equal 1. Divide the deck equally between two players.
Fast Version: Both piles are face down. Each child turns over their top card at the same time. The first one to add both cards together and say the correct answer gets to keep both cards.
Slow Version: As above, but each child turns over two cards. The two cards that add up to a higher number win, and that child takes all four cards.
When you have gone through the whole deck, count your cards. The child with more cards wins.
Skill Note: The fast version is hard to play with two children of different skill levels. In the slower version, children can take all the time they need to figure out the problems, or even help each other. The cards determine the winner, not kids’ math ability.
Remove the face cards from a deck of cards. Aces equal 1. Put the deck of cards face down on the table. On the count of three, turn over the top card. Each player doubles the number in their head. The first to say the correct answer keeps the card.
NOTE: To keep kids from blurting out answers repeatedly, and to reduce the advantage of the child who is turning over the card, tell kids that if you call out a wrong answer, you can’t answer again until the other child has made a guess.
Take the face cards out of a deck of cards. Aces equal 1. Before you begin the game, have kids pick a target number-from 5-15. Take out any cards above that target number. For example, if the target number is 7, take out all the number cards that are 8 and above. Deal 6 cards to each player and put the rest face-down in the middle.
Tell kids that they are going to play a kind of “Go Fish”, only instead of finding matching cards, you are going to be asking for cards that add up to 7 (or whatever target number you chose). If you are holding a 5, you can ask, “Heather, do you have a 2?” If she does not, she says, “Go fish.” The child then has to take a card from the deck in the middle. The game ends when one person runs out of cards. The winner can be the person who ended first, or the one with the most pairs.
Skill Note: For a child who is struggling, an adult helper or more accomplished child “looking over her shoulder” and making suggestions can be a big help. You can also decide on the target number yourself if you want to work on a particular set of facts.
Keep track of the addition games your kids like best, and return to them later even after kids know their facts. It helps to cycle through more basic material often to keep it fresh, and kids love to revisit old favorites.