Addition Activities For Kindergarten – Add Them Up in 2021

| Last Updated: May 19, 2021

Kindergarten is an exciting time for a child.


This is when children start communicating with the world, finding out new concepts and their fascinating connections with each other.


Putting seeds of mathematical concepts and nurturing them is one of the skills acquired through your child’s kindergarten education. Adding numbers together is one of the many types of skills your child will learn.

Photo credit: busytoddler.com

Below are several fun activities and games to boost the little one’s conceptual understanding.

Great Addition Activities For Kindergarten

We’ve researched on the internet and found the most diverse and creative activities for kindergarteners.

Below are several highlights and websites from these findings. Let’s dive in and have loads of fun.

Fine Motor | Social | Science Skills

1. Jenga Math Game 

Jenga is a fun and competitive game enjoyed by kids and adults. We suggest adding a mathematical twist to it, making it more educational.

Here is what you need to make this version of Jenga:

  • The usual game kit
  • Colorful sticky labels
  • A permanent marker

Before starting the game, you’ll have to write simple addition problems on the sticky labels and put them on either end of the Jenga pieces. Once the setup is ready, make the tower.

The same rules apply as in the regular game, but each player should solve the addition problem before taking out the piece.

This original idea and many others are available at teachstarter.com.

Fine Motor | Problem Solving | Creative Skills

2. Number Coloring

Have you ever colored a picture by number (all sevens are blue, all fours are green, etc.)? This is such a fun activity that there are even smartphone games for adults to help deal with anxiety.

This activity brings together the calm of coloring by numbers and addition equations. Like the original coloring book page, a printable variety for this game consists of a picture divided into sections.

However, instead of having all the numbers written outright, the child has to solve a simple addition exercise to get the color.

This exercise is fun not only because it has the coloring component, but also it sets a slower pace for the learning process, removing the constant stress of adding numbers together.

The simple setup for this activity consists of:

  • Printable versions with pictures and number/color indications
  • Colorful markers, crayons, or pencils

Read about this fun exercise and where to download the free addition sheets on weareteachers.com.

Math | Life Skills | Fine Motor Skills

3. Pancake Addition Game 

Is your child up for some sweet pancake action? This math activity includes cardboard pancakes of two sizes with digits written on them.

It’s all about finding all the combinations of smaller items to get the number on the large one.

Here are all the materials you need for exercise setup:

  • Recycled cardboard or paper 
  • Scissors
  • A permanent marker
  • A spatula
  • A baking sheet or a tray

You’ll need to cut out 20 small and 10 large “pancakes” from the paper or cardboard (the latter is easier to pick up with a spatula). Write numbers from zero to nine on small pieces of cardboard, doubling each number to get two small “pancake” sets. Afterward, write numbers one to 10 on larger disks.

Finally, place one or more large pancakes on a tray and let the kid reach the indicated number in as many ways as possible.

While the source website, 123homeschool4me.com, teaches the method above, you can also develop creative twists on this fun activity.

Number Identification | Sensory | Colors

4. Popsicle Sticks and Pom-Poms

This is a fun DIY idea for an entertaining study afternoon!

While using counting sticks without any additional attribute is an excellent way to start counting, added pom-poms or other identifiers take it to the next level.

For this exercise, you’re going to need:

  • Colorful pom-poms
  • Ten popsicle sticks
  • A permanent marker

Number the sticks from one to five, which is convenient if you’re teaching addition to number 10. Plus, we suggest making two sets of such sticks to make it easier to practice.

Glue the pom-poms on the sticks, color coding each number (one for red, two for orange, etc.).

Once you have everything ready, it’s game time! You can use cards or handouts to indicate the addition problems and ask students to put together the right sticks and figure out the answers.

This activity is our spin on the original idea from thebestideasforkids.com.

Visual | Following Directions | Social Skills

5. Ladybug Addition Printout Mat

This is an excellent option for teaching addition to children. The naturally divided body and dots of a ladybug are a fun way to get your child’s math skills up to speed.

Our featured ladybug-inspired activity needs a few components:

  • Manipulatives for counting
  • Dice
  • The free printable mat featuring the ladybug and the blank equation
  • A paper or a notebook for recording purposes 

All you need to do to make the game happen is to roll the dice, count the dots, and place the manipulatives on the right side of your ladybug. Then, similarly, determine the other number. Finally, count and put together the solution to the problem.

You can find more information about the printable and adjacent materials on teachinginprogress.com.

Number Identification | Number Grouping | Online Game Skills

6. Make a Number

Incorporating online activities in learning is another step toward gamification of the learning process. We’ve come across a fun exercise that can help your kid’s addition skills.

While splashlearn.com has many online games, we thought that “Make a Number up to 10” is the most appropriate for kindergarteners. It starts with a fun monkey character loading the screen.

You find yourself in a sunny sea landscape with clouds, which indicates the number you need to get, while the equation below has one blank space. There’s also a set of colorful blurbs that shows the equation to make numbers easier to spot. 

Once the student puts the right card on the blank, they get a coin as a reward. The child can have as many tries as needed to get the equation right.

The game also plays with the notion that changing the spots in an addition equation doesn’t affect the sum.

Active | Math | Task-Oriented Skills

7. Not Your Typical Domino Addition Game 

You might’ve already discovered that domino is a gem in math learning. Still, the more you explore, the more ways you can find.

This exercise combines house chores and tasks with addition equations and fun.

One way of making children take care of their toys, pick up clutter, and, most importantly, learn their math is incorporating games into these boring daily activities.

To make sure your child is on the right track, prepare the exercise. You’ll need the following:

  • A numbered list of chores
  • A set of dominos

Once everything is ready, prompt the child to take one brick, add the two numbers, and do the task under the sum.

For a more detailed walkthrough of the activity and much more visit handsonaswegrow.com.

Pre-Reading | Creative | Number Matching

8. Apple Tree Addition Setup

Do you want some spring fun with colorful trees and apples? This addition activity will make the kids love fruits and learn a couple of things.

This setup’s primary goal is to get the children to understand the main principles of addition and practice in a tangible way. All you need here is:

  • Construction paper for the tree and the apples (brown, green, and red)
  • Scissors
  • A pencil or a permanent marker
  • Addition problems on separate cards

You can decide to involve the kids in the DIY process for better effect and gamification. First of all, you need to make the tree:

  • Trace and cut the trunk of the tree using brown construction paper
  • Trace and cut the foliage using green construction paper
  • Draw the apple locations on the foliage using a pencil or a permanent marker
  • Make the apple shapes from the red construction paper (you can also glue a leaf or two on) and number them 
  • Prepare the cards with addition problems

Once everything is ready, you can go one of two ways:

  • Arrange all the equations on the tree and cover them with the corresponding “apples.” The indicated number on the apple should be the sum of the equation underneath.
  • Arrange the equations and ask the children to match the “apple” number with the correct location.

The first way can be used for teaching purposes, while the second is better for kids that need more practice.

Find details about the activity on hellowonderful.co.

Fine Motor | Substituting | Math Skills

9. Snap Cubes and Colored Dot Dominoes

This time, dominoes are accompanied by another simple tool that can come in handy in any classroom or house with kindergarteners. The exercise doesn’t require a lot of preparation and is easy to set up.

This activity is a vivid example that incorporates color coding and is very easy to understand even for kids with no prior knowledge of the subject. Here is what you need:

  • Domino sets with colored dots
  • Snap cubes of similar colors

The task is to count the dots on either side of the domino, take the indicated number of snap cubes of the same color and make a tower. The same happens to the other side of the domino: count, match, and build.

Finally, the child should put together the two towers and count the total number of cubes used in the tower.

Find the original description of the activity on planningplaytime.com.

Number Matching | Social | Number Identification

10. Magical Addition Cups

A similar concept to the above activity is employed in this one, except this is more social and more time-consuming preparation-wise.

Addition Cups is a group activity where the students put small manipulatives through the “magical device” and record the results. Here is what you need to make it:

  • A board on a wall (at children’s eye level)
  • Two paper cups with bottoms removed (attached to the board)
  • A container (secured to the board)

This setup is the visual representation of the addition equation with two sides (the cups) and the “plus” mark in between them. The bottom container holds the sum.

There are a few other items you’ll need during the play:

  • Permanent markers
  • Regular print paper
  • Small manipulatives (buttons, cubes, pom-poms, or cotton balls)

As this is a group activity, you’ll need at least three children to play it. They should take turns approaching the “device,” then counting and putting the small manipulatives through the cups. Once the necessary number is through, the third kid will approach the board and count the result.

You can record each step on the board with attachable number cards or regular paper in a handwritten form.

To review the activity and see the “device” set up, visit sweetsoundsofkindergarten.com.

Conclusion 

As an essential math skill, addition should be developed over time, introducing the child to the concept step by step. Gamified activities help teachers and parents to do just that. 

People Also Ask

Below are a few more questions that touch upon the topic of teaching addition in kindergartens.

Do You Learn Addition in Kindergarten?

Usually, learning addition and subtraction doesn’t all happen in one year.

Teachers work to give the children the foundations of simple mathematical concepts. Kindergarten activities usually include some visual component.

The natural development of the skill happens through the first years of school as well.

Photo credit: teacherstarter.com

What Age Should a Child Learn Addition?

Five years is the typical age a child should begin learning to solve addition equations. However, the concepts are seeded throughout the kindergarten education years, with some children able to understand them earlier.