Hands-On Math Lesson: Addition And Subtraction

Math should be hands-on, and we’re always looking for ways to make our hands-on math lessons fun and novel. Why not use toys to practice addition and subtraction? We all know that kids learn more when they’re playing, so let’s give them some toy cars to practice adding and subtracting!

hands on math lessons addition
hands on math lessons subtraction

What kid doesn’t love playing with cars? When thinking about addition as putting together and subtraction as a way, think about roads and garages! We use toy cars and car manipulatives for these lessons, which are included in our Math It Up! resources!

hands on math using toys

The focus of these lessons is writing and solving equations! We also are using various strategies such as ten frames to add and subtract.

We start with modeled whole group lessons and then we release the work to the kids to work independently.

hands on math lessons whole group

This lesson uses a ten-frame to subtract. Students put the cars on the ten frames and then removed them. Then they write the equation.

We had students put cars in the “garage” and take the cars out. We have them putting cars on the road and adding more cars.

hands on math lessons subtraction with toys
hands on math lessons independent practice

In this activity, the kids are working completely on their own. They choose an equation, use the cars on the road to solve the equation, and finally, they write the equation. This activity is also a math center!

The kids had a blast, and using the cars kept them engaged and helped them solidify their understanding of addition and subtraction.

These videos show these lessons in action in our classroom. (Note: these videos were recorded when masks were required. Masks are no longer required.)

Hands-On Math Lessons: Math Centers

Here’s another fun way to use this resource to make a math center!

We printed the equation cards on paper and put them inside the car- or truck-shaped candy containers from Dollar Tree! Students opened the containers and used cars to solve the equations.

hands on math lessons addition
hands on math lessons subtraction

For more addition and subtraction resources, check out these creations:

For more ideas and resources, check out these posts:

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