Subtraction Activities For Kindergarten: Get Off My Boat

Subtraction can be difficult for kids to grasp, so teachers need effective and easy subtraction activities for kindergarten. The best way for kids to learn challenging math concepts is through hands-on, interactive lessons and games.  Get off my boat is a great way to introduce and practice subtraction!

subtraction activities for kindergarten get off my boat

Subtraction Activities For Kindergarten:  Get Off My Boat

This subtraction activity is great because it really helps the students grasp the concept of taking away and making less by getting them involved in a total physical response lesson, it’s very concrete and visual.  Plus, it’s fun, and the brain loves novelty! 

You need to make a boat on your floor.  We use our SitSpots tape to make our boat! You can use masking tape or find cute boat rugs on Amazon.


As you see in the video, I get some people on my boat.  We count them.  I write the number.  Then I will make some people get off my boat, and we will solve the equation!  You can also write an equation on the board to get students on the boat and then subtract. The laughter makes this one of our favorite subtraction activities for kindergarten! Did you know laughter releases dopamine, which lowers stress levels and opens our brains up for learning?!

subtraction activities for kindergarten with worksheets

This is another one of our subtraction games that incorporates the students’ movement and total physical response, as well as working with the equations and number sentences.

And let’s be real.. it’s fun telling them to get off the boat!!!!   #teacherfun

Check out this lesson in the videos below!

subtraction activities for kindergarten get off my boat

We also work on subtraction independently and in small groups.  For the independent practice, students get a boat and 10 kids.  I display an equation on the board.  They solve the equation using their boats and then write the equation on their recording sheet.

We also bring the boat fun into math centers!

subtraction activities for kindergarten math centers

For more subtraction resources, check out these creations:

For more resources and ideas, check out these blog posts:

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