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Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game Activity

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See more activities in: First Grade, Subtraction

Place values and what they mean are tricky for kids to master. It's much easier when you can visually reinforce this mathematical concept. Help your child grasp that one ten equals ten ones with this simple math game. For two players, all you need are two sheets of paper, two decks of cards, and some rubber bands for the games to begin.

What You Need:

  • One deck of cards for each player
  • Two dice
  • Rubber bands
  • One sheet of paper per player
  • Pen

What You Do:

  1. To make a place holder mat for each player, divide the sheet of paper in half and write “tens” at the top of one column and “ones” at the top of the other. You can also print out a “Giveaway” header.
  2. Have each player organize her cards. She will create five stacks of ten. Rubber band these stacks together and place them on the tens side of the mat. Put the two loose cards (the ones), on the ones side of the mat.
  3. The first player rolls the dice and subtracts whatever number she rolls from the cards on her mat. She can only take cards from the ones side of the mat. This means that if she doesn’t have enough cards to subtract the number on the die, she will have to “borrow” from the tens, removing the rubber band from a stack of ten and placing them on the ones side.
  4. Subtracted cards are given to the player to the right. Remember, she can only keep 9 cards in the ones section of the mat. If she has more than nine, bundle up a stack of ten and place them in the ten’s side of the mat. Once her cards have been rubber-banded and sorted as needed, it is this player’s turn to roll the dice and subtract cards. Her cards go to the player on her right who then gets to roll the dice, etc.
  5. If a player makes a mistake, the player who catches the error gets to subtract the cards shown on the dice from her own ones pile and give them to the player who made the error.
  6. Whoever runs out of cards first is the winner.
Updated on Aug 6, 2013
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: First Grade, Subtraction
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